Started on April 24th 2009, many (including me) believed @McDelivery was the ‘real’ voice of McDonald’s Malaysia on Twitter. Back then, it was hard to tell whether it’s fake or not. It Interacted well with its followers and engaged them with McDonald’s-related information. In addition, @McDelivery and McDonald’s Malaysia Facebook Page launched almost at the same time, which further enhanced the believability of Twitter account. The Page is the ‘real’ voice of McDonald’s Malaysia on Facebook, the social media component of McDonald’s on-going “Have You McValue Lunch-ed This Week?” contest (At the time of this posting, the Page has over 13,000 fans.)
Clown that ‘Sheesh!’
On May 7th 2009, all came undone. It started with a tweet at 11:05 AM and its downward spiral for @McDelivery from thereon. (A little background information: May 7th is declared as ’1BlackMalaysia Day’, related to the political stand-off in the Malaysian state of Perak. For more, read here).
The Twitter Page of @McDelivery
Insensitive to the sentiment of the day, @McDelivery tweeted “I think everyone that is so caught up with the Perak case should chill and have some McDonald’s.” Quite a number of Malaysian Twitter users were not pleased with the tweet. They responded to @McDelivery and also RT (retweet). Not willing to back-off, @McDelivery went on to deliver its lethal blow to itself by unleashing a second tweet: “Recommending some good meals vibes for everyone is tasteless? Sheesh!” Such sarcasm added fuel to the already burning bushfire and we have Forest inferno!
The following offers blow-by-blow account on what actually happened, narrated with selected Tweets posted:
The following day, McDonald’s Malaysia Facebook Page confirmed, “We’re not on Twitter yet”. The truth is out. As of the afternoon of May 8th 2009, the fake voice of McDonald’s Malaysia, @McDelivery stopped twittering and the Twitter page no longer exist.
Prior to the face-off, @McDelivery is doing a favor to McDonald’s Malaysia through its interesting tweets and interactions. If it weren’t for the incident, many would still think it’s the official voice of McDonald’s on Twitter.
Those who are managing the McDonald’s Malaysia Facebook Page should also need to monitor other social networks. Also, it’s a great lesson for brands is to avoid tweeting about issues that can polarize your customers and audience.
Probably, the biggest mistake of the fake voice is he/she didn’t know when to back-off. So, for social media engagements, get someone who are capable of maneuvering tense situation with finesse. And It’s always wise to stick to your brand story. On Twitter, it’s all about branding through conversations.