Rick Wion

McDonald’s: How to rock and roll in rough social waters

Rick Wion, the director of Social Media at McDonald’s, opened his presentation at Blogworld in New York this week with the statement “everyone loves a crisis.”

Controversy spurs conversation, crisis can drive traffic, and hand-wringing draws a lot of attention. In most cases, pundits are very good at it.

But what can you do as a company to navigate these waters?

McDonald’s social media chief: Foot traffic and check-ins are not the same

Last week I wrote about a case study that McDonald’s presented at the Mobile Social Communications conference in New York. Rick Wion, head of social media at McDonald’s, boasted that a special McDonald’s ran on Foursquare Day in April increased foot traffic at McDonald’s 33%.

That’s no small number, and since not all 26 million McDonald’s customers are on Foursquare, it was a bit unclear what, exactly, had increased 33%. 

With commenters and bloggers questioning the results, I followed up with Wion. As it turns out that McDonald’s results were not measured in actual foot traffic. According to Wion:

“We measured check-ins, not foot traffic, transactions, or sales, on Foursquare Day.”

That’s an over 20 million customer difference. However, Wion still
stands behind his results. And he’s using this case study to justify
more social media offers at McDonald’s.