OAK BROOK, IL: McDonald's will launch 14,500 Facebook pages by the end of the year in an effort to connect every US restaurant with customers via social media.
The move will make McDonald’s the biggest brand on Facebook in terms of footprint. It also marks the company’s growing focus on social as a way to listen to customer gripes.
McDonald’s has already rolled out 7,000 pages, with another 7,500 to follow by the end of the year. It will also launch Twitter accounts for individual restaurants. The company has been working with CRM software company Salesforce to push unified brand messages to each page.
David Martinelli, US digital marketing manager at McDonald’s, said the goal is to speak to customers in "real time."
"14,500 pages – we know that’s a lot of pages to get up and running, but we know the customer’s journey doesn’t end at the restaurant," said Martinelli, speaking at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. "We wanted to connect to them in the place they’re at and deliver that relevant content. It’s important to be part of the conversation and really understand what’s being said, and then join the conversation."
He acknowledged it has been difficult convincing local marketing teams to participate in such a large-scale rollout.
"We have hundreds of stakeholders that are playing a role in the launch of this, and it’s been a journey bringing them along with us to fully understand the impact on the business," Martinelli added.
McDonald’s will support the new pages with paid ads at a local level, plus activity on other social media outlets.
"There are conversations that are happening about our brand beyond Facebook and Twitter – it’s Yelp or Google reviews – and we need to participate in that in a real-time manner," Martinelli added.
McDonald’s has also just launched a major transparency campaign to counteract horror stories about "pink slime" and answer questions about ingredients in its food.
This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing.