At the end of last year, people were petitioning to have the Canadian rock band Nickelback replaced as the headlining performance at the Detroit Lions vs. the Green Bay Packers Thanksgiving Day game. The petition received more than 50,000 signatures, but Nickelback still performed. That is not the only time that people have had bad things to say about the mainstream rock band. People have taken to Twitter to express their disdain with the band. The difference now is that the band or whoever runs the band's Twitter account is replying to the negative comments. One person tweeted "You ruin my day when I hear your music." Nickelback replied, "How else could we cause you so much torment? So worth it." When another person tweeted, "Nickelback makes me want to chop my ears off," the band responded "Did you do it yet? What's the hold-up?" And there are literally dozens more exchanges like this. Even "American Idol" alumnus Daughtry got in on it, replying to Nickelback and calling it "hilarious." The band currently has more than 140,000 followers on Twitter.
Now from a band that's using Twitter to fire back at its critics to a company using Twitter to generate good publicity from its fans.
So McDonald's decided to interact with its customers on Twitter, but the plan backfired -- badly. In a promotional campaign, McDonald's used #McDStories and #MeetTheFarmers hoping to have people reply with their positive McDonald's experiences. However, the campaign did not go as planned. In fact, people responded with some snarky comments and stories of their bad experiences. One person tweeted about his brother allegedly finding a fingernail in his fries. Another person tweeted about not liking the food, saying, "More than half a year since last McTerrible McFattening McMeal. I don't McMiss the McFood McOne McBit." Within two hours, McDonald's pulled the hashtag. You would think that McDonald's would have learned from other company's mishaps with hashtags before starting its own campaign. The Australian airline tried to use #QantasLuxury, but people responded with their horrible flying experiences. Kraft also tried to promote its Macaroni & Cheese on Twitter, and it became a trending topic when people accused Kraft of using bovine growth hormone in its cheese. Definitely not the kind of publicity either company was anticipating.