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Andy’s Answers: How McDonald’s is engaging employees with a social-media talent contest

2 min read

Brands & Campaigns

With more than 1.5 million employees, McDonald’s is one of the largest employers in the world. That number alone is incredible — but when you factor in that these employees are spread across 119 countries, you really begin to scratch the surface of how challenging it would be to communicate across all of these languages and cultures.

But that’s just what McDonald’s is doing every day, and social media is playing a big part in that. In his recent BlogWell presentation, Joe Curry shared the details behind the company’s global “Voice of McDonald’s” challenge, an “American Idol”-like contest that relies heavily on social media to discover and promote the most talented employees.

The contest led to 685,985 votes and 1.1 million video views in 2009 alone — all from employees. A few of Curry’s key points about the program:

  • Your employees can be your best brand ambassadors. Too often, marketers forget to look at the people on their payroll when looking for talkers and evangelists. Not every employee will want to be a brand advocate, but the ones who do are likely to be among your brand’s biggest fans.
  • Make it easy to share. Curry and his team used tools such as Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr to make it easy to share the contest. Because the campaign was about activating employees all over the world, these universal tools made it easy for lots of people to talk (in lots of languages).
  • Get early buy-in from legal. Curry recommends involving your legal team from the beginning. Earning their early support on big communication projects means fewer surprises and headaches down the road.

And if you like this presentation, be sure to check out our upcoming BlogWell in Philadelphia on Nov. 9.