4 Insights from McDonald’s Director of Social Media

Author: Rick Wion

image via NYC Daily News<

Guest post written by Rick Wion, Director of Social Media, McDonald’s

Whether you have millions of fans on Facebook or you are celebrating your first 1,000, it is important to get alignment across marketing and communications. But alignment is easy to say and difficult to achieve. How do you do that when teams in digital, marketing, communications and even other parts of the organization all want to “own” social media? At McDonald’s we have nearly 1 million followers on Twitter and more than 27 million fans on Facebook. Additionally, we have more than 90 local Facebook and Twitter pages that are sharing and engaging with customers in markets from east to west. How we do strike alignment with so many people talking and so many customers listening? Here are a few keys:

Start with goals…not a quest for tweets and likes. Nothing worthwhile is successful unless it starts with goals. If your goals for social media start with gaining followers, likes, retweets and such, than you probably don’t have the right focus. Your goals should sound more like typical marketing goals…building awareness, driving trial, engaging with customers.

image via McDonalds

Think orchestration…not control. If you are using social media for a brand, you already know that you cannot control the conversation with your customer. In a very similar way you should not seek to control the conversation within your organization as well. The way that we do that at McDonald’s is to develop content and engagement opportunities at both the national and local level. This means not only creating content calendars but sharing them with the local markets. It includes creating content that can be easily re-shared via social while also allowing local markets to insert their own flavor and local relevance.

Know who is saying what… Monitoring social media is an absolute essential for any company to understand what people are saying about your brand and your industry. Set up monitoring to measure the overall conversations, how conversations flow, what topics drive those conversations and who influences those conversations the most.

Look offline for online opportunities…People get excited about McDonald’s food so we are always challenging ourselves to figure out how we can connect our yummy food to the social conversations that they drive. Combining offline and online opportunities also allows us to connect national marketing efforts with local promotions. Interesting new functionality from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Vine also show fun potential to easily engage with our fans and share their excitement…even if they don’t share their fries.

About Rick: Beyond reminding folks how yummy the fries are, Rick’s efforts include social marketing campaigns, long-term branding, issues management, customer service and employee engagement. Using new trends and technologies to enhance digital storytelling around McDonald’s balanced menu options is also a key driver behind the brand’s endeavors. Prior to McDonald’s, Rick was Vice President of digital and social media for GolinHarris in Chicago where he implemented digital-communications strategies for Fortune 500 companies including Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Dow among others.

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