Clearly, social media has become an important part in marketing. Yet, with new trends also comes new consequences to consider. In this case, McDonald's attempt in creating a viral hashtag backfired severely. Surely McDonald's is an established and global brand that has created a definite brand community, but McDonald's made a horrible mistake in not considering how a hashtag could create such a negative ad campaign.
McDonald's could have avoided this by having a little more common sense, because clearly there is also a large community that views McDonald's as a corporation promoting unhealthiness. It seems strange to me that research would not have predicted the results of this hashtag. McDonald's could have used a focus group interviewing them about their past views with McDonald's as a brand, and their experiences in McDonald's restaurants.
Typically hashtags are used to create a viral, peer to peer form of marketing, which is a good approach. Yet, McDonald's failure in attempting to predict the outcomes of such campaign caused McDonald's a very embarrassing and newsworthy story.