Sorry, But McDonald’s Did Not See a 33% Increase in Foot Traffic Because of Foursquare

A McDonalds in a Toronto, Ontario, Canada Wal-...
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According to a current headline on TechMeme, McDonalds saw a 33% increase in foot traffic to its stores when it ran a promotion during Foursquare Day earlier this year. At that time, the fast food chain offered users who checked into McDonald’s a chance to win $5 and $10 gift cards. On the Econsultancy blog, Meghan Keane reports that McDonald’s head of social media Rick Wion claims that, “with this one little effort [$1000 in gift cards], we were able to get a 33% increase in foot traffic to the stores.” These numbers, however, simply don’t add up.

There is clearly some confusion here about the numbers that Wion was talking about. Keane reports that McDonalds saw a 33% increase in check-ins from the day prior to Foursquare day and a 40% increase in check-ins for the week the special ran. Then, however, she goes on to quote Wion as saying that he “was able to go to some of our marketing people — some of whom had never heard of Foursquare — and say, ‘Guess what. With this one little effort, we were able to get a 33% increase in foot traffic to the stores.'” It seems clear that Wion was talking about check-ins here and misspoke when he claimed that this campaign increased foot traffic by 33%.

Some of our colleagues, however, then took this number and ran with it – after all, a 33% increase in foot traffic to one of the world’s largest brands because of one of the most over-hyped social media companies sure sounds like a good story.

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’d like to dig a little deeper…

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