Social media can be a great way for brands to interact with consumers, and this can lead to exponential gains in success. However, without adherence to a strict social media policy companies can go wrong quickly when using social media for rapid communication. With the ability for things to go viral in a matter of seconds with social media, companies have to pay close attention to what they are putting out on the world wide web so they don’t damming their brand. Bad social media PR tactics can destroy a company’s standing in a short period of time. Nestle found this out the hard way, and effectively turned their 90,000 followers into upset consumers.
The Greenpeace campaign protesting Nestle’s “unsustainable palm oil policy” led to mass accusations of the company being the driving force in cutting down the rain forest. Many fans began to post angry comments on the Nestle Facebook page. In reaction, the company took an unfortunate route with regards to PR.
The company posted a request on its Facebook page stating, “Nestle fans, don’t use an altered version of the company’s logo as your profile pic, or your comments will be deleted.” The reaction from the brand’s followers was instantaneous. The message itself wasn’t the problem however. The company posted follow up responses that were perceived by fans as rude. The moderator of Nestle’s Facebook page responded with comments like, “Thanks for the lesson in manners. Consider yourself embraced. But it’s our page, we set the rules.” This response has been thus perceived as an example for companies across social media networks on how not to interact with users.
Although Nestle eventually did recover, the process could have gone must faster had they responded appropriately. Nestle took 50% longer to return to their pre-crisis average than a similar company’s social media crisis who responded much quicker.
Take a glance at the Greenpeace video that sparked all of the accusations below: