How McDonald’s Has Zoomed to the Top on Facebook

This post is part of the Killer Facebook Pages Series, which highlights the top brand pages on Facebook and provides tips on how to emulate their successes.

More than 20 million Facebook users have been served a ton of content at McDonald’s market-leading Facebook page.

The site has blown away the competition over the past several years – amassing about the same amount of likes as Burger King, Wendy’s, Chic-fil-A and Pizza Hut combined.

The enormous reach of this multi-national fast food conglomerate certainly adds to online popularity.

If people around the world didn’t enjoy McDonald’s food, they wouldn’t be so eager to like them on Facebook.

But that’s not all. Marketing strategists have been actively populating the site, engaging fans and providing fresh content.

Delicious content

The top of the McDonald’s Facebook page doesn’t show a mouth-watering Quarter Pounder with Cheese or the cult-favorite McRib sandwich.

Over Memorial day weekend, they “hung ten” by showcasing surfers to promote their Cherry Berry Chiller iced smoothie.

At this point, the burgers basically sell themselves, so it’s a smart tactic to highlight a seasonal treat.

Up and down the timeline, the page is filled with more pictures designed to capitalize on the calendar, iced coffees when the weather turns warm, Shamrock Shakes for St. Patrick’s Day, and hot chocolate in the winter.

There’s also a plethora of videos presenting the healthy lifestyles of McDonald’s customers and the clean conditions of their cattle. These are clearly designed to combat McDonald’s image as a greasy antagonist blamed for the American obesity epidemic.

Throw in back-in-the-day commercials that conjure up a sense of nostalgia, and you have a solid marketing tool on the world’s biggest social network.

Audience engagement

McDonald’s has a very active legion of fans online. Its social marketeers encourage discussions with probing questions such as: “If you could travel to any McDonald’s in the world, where would it be?”

Other posts are geared toward specific McDonald’s products.

One recent post about the comedic possibilities of the Extra Value Menu generated 701,000 likes, 896,000 people talking about it and a countless number of laughs.

Of course, all the interconnectivity has it’s downside.

Everyone who posts a negative comment about McDonald’s on their wall – and there are plenty of these post in cyberspace – will also show up when their friends go to the site, but what’s even more damaging was a Business Insider report detailing the company’s botched Twitter campaign with the subhead: “fingernails in my Big Mac.”


Less than three years ago, 20 million likes were unheard of. That summer, the internet was buzzing with news about restaurants passing the 1 million like barrier.

The first restaurant to achieve that coveted mark was Chic-fil-A. Now that site seems to have stalled with only 5 million.

Pizza Hut was another Facebook pioneer which beat McDonald’s to the 1 million mark, but it has since been eclipsed by the golden arches. Today it boasts about 7.5 million likes, which is nothing to sneeze at – unless your comparing it McDonald which more than twice tat amount.

Other competitors Burger King and Wendy’s have even less of an audience, 5 million and 3.5 million respectively.

These numbers tell you all you need to know about McDonald’s social media dominance. Driven by good content, it has left everyone else behind and it’s done it in a relatively short amount of time.


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