#McFail: McDonald's hashtag promotion is a marketing disaster

McDonald's french fries sit under a heat lamp at a McDonald's restaurant on April 19, 2011, in San Francisco, California.

Sure, social media is important.

That's true for people wanting to connect with other human beings in their personal networks, of course.

But it's also true for companies that are trying mightily to reach their target customers. 

A good social media marketing strategy can work (check out this Mashable article for details).

But I'm pretty sure McDonald's is regretting its decision last week to run with this #McDStories hashtag promotion on Twitter.

That's because #McDStories has been an unmitigated — and sometimes uncomfortable to watch — disaster.

Here's the back story:

Like many other companies, McDonald's wanted to start a conversation with its customers. So it began the hashtag marketing plan with the following Tweet:

 

But then, as the Twitterverse can do so quickly and so devastatingly, the hashtag became a trending vehicle for people to share their own stories about McDonald's.

And not everyone's opinions about McDonald's correspond with a McDonald's marketing executive's wishes. To say the least. 

Here are some of the biggest disasters so far, pulled from #McDStories on Twitter and Storified:

For more from Thomas Mucha on Twitter: