Online Reputation Management Blog

McDonald’s Hopes New Social Media Q&A Campaign Will Improve Public’s Perception

McDonald’s has a bad rap, and with the increasing popularity and availability of healthier on-the-go meal options, such as fast-casual chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread, and Saladworks, consumers aren’t lovin’ it anymore. McDonald’s has therefore taken to social media in an effort to revamp their image of unhealthy — and maybe even downright unnatural — food, to one that promotes healthy meal choices.

As such, they’ve recruited former Mythbusters host Grant Imahara as part of their new social media campaign. Imahara, with his approachable nerdy-but-cool demeanor, is seemingly far less frightening than McDonald’s previous Facebook and Twitter Happy Meal Mascot, which drew an immense amount of scorn and mockery from consumers and which coincided with four consecutive months of declining, less than stellar U.S. sales. While the mocked mascot may not be directly linked to declining sales, it contributed to the public’s poor image of the McDonald’s brand.

According to a third-quarter study conducted this year by Brand Keys, McDonald’s has suffered declining sales across all age groups and generations. Millennials, Gen X- and Y-ers, and even Baby Boomers are spending less and less at McDonald’s, characterizing its food as “cheap,” and not “quality food.” However, McDonald’s has been suffering from much more than declining sales and the social media blues. Ironically enough, social media may just be what ultimately repairs their image.

In an effort to shift consumer behavior and dispel negative associations regarding their food, McDonald’s has taken to social media to keep it real with consumers by answering their questions. And consumers definitely got real, asking tough questions like “What is mechanically-separated meat, and how do you turn it into a nugget?” and “What’s with that pink slime?” and also “Is there horsemeat in your hamburgers?” The realest question of all may have been, “Does McDonald’s even sell real food?”

In addition to the social media campaign, McDonald’s is now accepting Apple Pay, a new mobile payment system that allows users to pay with a smartphone app rather than their wallet. Cloud based-POS systems have taken the retail and restaurant industries over by storm. The convenience and security of cloud POS systems allows businesses to have access to important sales data at all times, from any location where an internet connection is present. Large retailers and restaurant chains use cloud POS systems to carefully monitor sales. The Golden Arches will likely use this technology to track the efficacy of their new social efforts, as well.

While the future of McDonald’s has yet to be determined, the trend towards healthier, more natural foods makes it seem as though fewer people may be asking to have fries with that in the future.

Go Daddy Issues Apology After Massive Service Outage

On Monday morning September 10, Go Daddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, with more than 53 million domain names under management, experienced an unprecedented service outage affecting millions of web sites.  GoDaddy posted a statement on Twitter as it became aware of the extent of the interruption across its network and issued a public apology late Tuesday night after completing an internal investigation and restoring service to its customers.

According to the company, the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables, and not, as initial reports suggested a coordinated attack by the mysterious hacker group Anonymous.  Once the issues were identified, the company said it has taken corrective actions to restore services for affected customers and implemented measures to prevent this from occurring again.

On Wednesday morning September 12th, Go Daddy CEO Scott Wagner sent an email to millions of impacted customers apologizing for the disruption and providing assurances that sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, were not compromised.  Go Daddy is also giving customers until Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at midnight (Pacific Time) to take advantage of a credit for the value of one month of service for each active/published site.

Go Daddy is no stranger to controversy. The company’s racy Super Bowl ads, featuring scantily clad women in suggestive situations, have gotten them in hot water with feminist groups and outspoken founder and former CEO Bob Parsons was a lightning rod for criticism by liberal bloggers, animal rights groups and others.

However, the latest service outage is the greatest threat to Go Daddy’s reputation as one of the most reliable hosting and online service providers available.  Regardless of what you might think about Go Daddy’s advertising strategy, the company did right by its customers this week and delivered an excellent lesson in online reputation management — delivering prompt notification to their customers on social media, working quickly and efficiently to restore service to millions of customers and issuing a formal apology and credit to restore confidence to business owners who rely on Go Daddy’s hosting service for their livelihood.

Advertising on Twitter

Twitter is a very powerful social network for online advertising and marketing for your business — with an estimated online audience representing 15% of all adult internet users and 26% of the coveted 18-29 year old demographic, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center. We recently shared some valuable Twitter tips for business on this blog.  This week, I want to talk about two popular Twitter advertising solutions to help you better target customers and increase your business Twitter following.

Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets:

The first is Promoted Accounts where the Twitter teams analyze your current following and then it searches for people with similar interests.  When a match is found, Twitter recommends you in the “follow section” to each of these users. Ultimately this service helps you generate additional followers with users who share a common demographic and/or interest. [Read more…]

Twitter Tips for Business

Like Facebook, Twitter has seen meteoric rise in the past five years and with more than 140 million active users, Twitter is considered one of the top social networks in the world.  While you may use Twitter for fun, using it for business can actually be a very strategic part of your online marketing efforts.

There are differences between a personal Twitter and a business Twitter account – but the basics still remain the same.  You can still share out compelling content in 140-character tweets.  But there are some differences too.  For instance, Twitter offers businesses with several tools to enhance a Twitter business profile page so it is branded with the ability to load in logos, unique background, images and videos.  In addition, Twitter provides some nifty services to get your business Twitter profile viewed by the right tweeters.  Hundreds of millions of users may sound impressive – but if you own a local business, you may just want to target tweeters in your area.

Here are some tips for leveraging your business Twitter account to gain more followers and enhance your business branding online: [Read more…]