2010 McDonald’s Social Media Monitoring Report Researchers Micaela Carter and Antonio Bivins have monitored the online conversation for the Fortune 500 Company McDonald’s using Radian 6 between the dates of January 15, 2010 to February 10, 2010. The data collection table represents where the researchers have collected 30 nuggets of online conversation mentioning McDonald’s. The researchers have decided which source is credible and which is not, by looking at previous blog posts, comments and feedback. This report is a continuation of a previous social media monitoring report done in November and December of 2009 on McDonald’s. Micaela Carter Antonio Bivins 2/9/2010 Background: McDonald’s was founded on May 15, 1940 in San Bernardino, California by Dick and Mac McDonald. The first and original restaurant was considered mainly a BBQ car hop service. In 1955 McDonald’s Corporation was founded in Illinois by Ray Kroc. As of 2008, McDonald’s is said to have over 400,000 employees with 32,000 restaurants worldwide. McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants serving around 47 million hungry customers a day, and it was once said to be the leading global restaurant chain. Purpose: Since McDonald’s is a Fortune 500 company, it is necessary to monitor the online conversation. The researchers feel that this is essential because something that is labeled the largest hamburger chain in the world would like to know what the customers are really saying about it. In addition, on January 11, 2010 McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer, Jim Skinner announced that Don Thompson who was the President of McDonald USA is now taking on the role of President and Chief Operating Officer and overseeing 32,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide. It will be interesting to see if people’s thoughts about McDonald’s have changed since the last social media monitoring report done between the dates of November 2, 2009 to December 2, 2009. In addition, the researchers are looking for any talk about Don Thompson ever since he took on the role of Chief Operating Officer. Methodology: The research was conducted through extensive searching from frequent bloggers. All of the sources were accumulated from Radian 6. After viewing the River of News, time and dates of the posts, the researchers referred back to these sites to perform the search and determine credibility. The sites included but were not limited to; www.radian6.com , www.blogsearch.google.com , www.twitter.com, www.facebook.com and www.flickr.com. The time frame the researchers used to monitor the online conversation was January 15, 2010 through February 10, 2010. Each post that the researchers found mentioning McDonald’s were necessary and were looked over, but the researchers chose to use posts that were relevant to McDonald’s in general. For example any posts that just mentioned the word McDonald’s were not used in the data collection because those posts were not appropriate for what was actually being said about the Fortune 500 Company. To determine if the sources were credible the researchers looked for previous posts by the bloggers and also checked to see if the blogger had any feedback or comments. Even though most posts were just short summaries about McDonald’s they all seemed significant to what the researchers were looking for, which was just any small talk about the corporation. Results: After monitoring the online conversations about McDonald’s the researchers found that this restaurant is the talk among hamburger chains. Whether it is satisfied or displeased customer’s a good number of bloggers had something to say about it. The researchers noticed that in a one hour time span on December 2, 2009, 381 tweets were made about McDonald’s on Twitter. In another one hour time span on February 9, 2010, 547 tweets mentioned McDonald’s. The researcher’s felt that this was important in their monitoring because that says a lot about McDonald’s knowing that it is mentioned that much in sixty minutes and with the large increase of tweets just in two months. Out of the 30 nuggets of information used in the data collection table the researchers only found nine sources that they would consider not credible. Credibility was determined by comments, feedback, post related to the topic, previous posts, followers, how many times it has been viewed. Sources that were considered credible could have been posts from someone who is a writer who works for a company and does this for a living, also by the number of diggs, if the post had numerous comments, Associated Press, high number of followers, etc. Out of the 30 nuggets the researchers have broken each piece of information used in the report into six different categories depending on what was said in the comments section. The six categories included health, newsworthy, economy, bad experiences, good experiences, and other. The researchers found three posts pertaining to McDonald’s and people’s concern for their health. One particular post by James Causey discussed child obesity, even though the post is well- written and the fact that he works for JS Online the researchers found him to have potential to be credible but would not fully rely on his posts. As for the other two posts relating to health, the same situation applies both sources were considered to have potential credibility one day. There were seven nuggets of information that were considered newsworthy, the researchers chose to use newsworthy as a subject because with McDonald’s being one of the top fast food restaurants in the world anything that technically pertains to this company is newsworthy to the corporation. The first newsworthy post found discussed how once again someone is suing McDonald’s for their hot coffee. The remaining six posts all were related to accidents or crime scenes involving McDonald’s. For example Erin McGrath discusses how a grease fire at McDonald’s started, this source is considered credible because she is a reporter for The Nelson County Times. Another newsworthy post discussed the investigation going on at one McDonald’s location due to a robbery; there were also two homicides in two different restaurants. Three more posts mentioned in the newsworthy category that mentioned law suits or court cases involving the restaurant. Three out of 30 used in the report mentioned McDonald’s in a negative way. The first one by Phil Villarreal is considered credible by the researchers due to him being a frequent blogger with many comments and followers. In Phil’s post he discusses an experience he and his girlfriend had with McDonald’s when they were served “raw hamburgers.” The researchers felt that this post was necessary to use in the data collection due to fact that McDonald’s probably acted real fast to this slip up in order to cover up and not hurt their business. The one problem is that since Phil is considered credible by the researchers, many people at this point have already seen and responded to the post. In Missouri one unhappy McDonald’s customer trashed the restaurant after not being satisfied with her cheeseburger, this was a valid post because it came from the Associated Press. The researchers do not feel that this post will hurt or help McDonald’s, because even though the woman acted out in the wrong way, they feel that the woman is more so seen in a negative light than the restaurant. Six of the posts used in the data collection were positive or pleasing posts. The majority of the posts were short sentences briefly stating why someone simply loved McDonald’s. The researchers found it interesting how on the negative posts the bloggers went into detail and were very descriptive on why they were so dissatisfied but on the positive end it was very brief, short and to the point. Out of the six sources, three were considered credible and three were not. The other category has two posts, the first one discusses McDonald’s and how each restaurant is different depending on the country. Jason Mays is the writer for this post but the researchers did not feel that he was neither credible nor not credible, due to the fact that he works for NBC makes his credentials higher than most but not high enough. The other post in this category discussed an advertisement involving the company; the post discussed how McDonald’s is recognizable brand and LeBron James the NBA player just agreed to a multiyear partnership with the corporation. This post is valid and is considered credible because of the Associated Press. Lastly, the largest category and the one area that the researchers found the most posts pertaining to this subject is no surprise, the economy. With the economy on everyone’s mind for the past year it just so happened that this is what people are blogging about. Nancy Luna a credible source discusses the new value menu perks and how to get more for your money during these penny pinching times. In another post, it is mentioned that McDonald’s sales are starting to increase again, whether it is due to the fact of the value menu, the new wraps or the new additions on the breakfast menu. There were three posts that mentioned Japan; two of the three both discussed how in Japan 430 McDonald’s restaurants were closing due to the faltering economy. One source was considered credible due to the 9,000 followers, where as the other was not considered credible because the tweet had no comments. The researchers found it interesting that one post was from Japan News and the other was a tweet from someone who could not imagine there even being that many McDonald’s in Japan. On the more positive side Crew Newshire mentions McDonald’s international sales increasing, the only issue is that the researchers did not find Newshire to be credible because of the lack of traffic on his site. Conclusion: In conclusion the researchers found that McDonald’s already has an image worldwide, and that McDonald’s has already created a brand in itself. Regardless of what people say, I think the company will only continue to grow in revenue even if there are some unpleased customers, or a dwindling economy. The results and the River of News also show that it is not just American’s blogging about McDonald’s; it is all over the world. The mentioning of McDonald’s will only rise. This was definitely obvious just by the increase of tweets mentioning McDonald’s from November till now.
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