With the year coming to a close, it feels like the right time to reflect on the things that happened in 2012 and more importantly the things that can be learned. When it comes to social media, 2012 showed that many brands, including very high profile ones, are still approaching things the wrong way. They're not thinking about social media as a place for conversations. They're thinking about it as another channel for pushing messages. This flawed thought process yielded mistakes and five ways to learn from them.
1. You Don't Control The Message
This summer, McDonald's invited a very public critique of its business on Twitter with a campaign promoting #McDStories. The brand intended to get a very positive message out there and have consumers chime in with their own upbeat stories. Instead, people Tweeted on everything from McDonald's and weed to getting sick and the sourcing of food.
This wasn't how McDonald's thought things would go but how could they not have seen it coming? There had been a previous (but not as well-publicized) incident that took a similar path for the brand on Twitter. Instead of making the second attempt, McDonald's should have realized it can't control Twitter. If it's important to have engagement with the community, then make that engagement real. Take suggestions from the community. Answer questions.
2. Would You Spam Your Friends?
Toyota took to the Twitter airwaves during this year's Super Bowl...