Mar 19 2010

Really, Nestle? Really? It’s Not 2006.

Published by at 1:00 pm under social media

Welcome! If this is your first visit, I do emerging media strategy for White Horse. Let me know if we can help you.

Greenpeace just made a video about how Nestle uses palm oil from the Indonesian rainforest. It went viral.

Not surprisingly, a number of people (over 91,000 at last glance) became Fans of Nestle on Facebook, so that they could express their displeasure about Nestle’s sourcing methods.

But, here’s where the story gets bizarre. The administrator for Nestle’s Facebook Fan page started berating, lambasting, and generally brushing aside the people that reached out to the company to express their frustration.

Here’s an example of the *insane* commentary that Nestle directed toward its Fans.  Especially, note the last comment, “consider yourself embraced”:

OK, if this were 2006, I would understand this confrontational response. We all got defensive in the past, when dealing with a social media storm for the first time.

But, it’s 2010. And the best practices with how to deal with a crisis like this are very well understood within the social media marketing community.

I am reminded of one of my favorite recent SNL bits, “Really?! With Seth and Amy”

Really, Nestle? Really? You thought it would be a good idea to tell people you would delete your posts? You thought that would not make them double down on hater-ating? Really? That’s like taunting a wrestler to take a swing at you, then being surprised when you end up on the floor.

Really? You don’t want your logo to be modified by your fans. You think you own your brand? Sorry – your customers do. They are the ones that have invested in it, and they will tear it down. Threatening to delete off-brand imagery just causes it to blossom.

Really, Nestle?! You think sarcasm is the way to make friends? Really? Did you ever hear of Dale Carnegie? Being a mensch is the first rule of making friends. Really.

And, really? You think you own your Facebook page? Really? How much did you pay for that page? Facebook owns that page, and they get to decide the rules. That’s the double-edge sword of using a free platform: you don’t get to make the rules.

The best part about this story is that they have updated their Facebook page to say, simply, “Social media: as you can see we’re learning as we go. Thanks for the comments.” Now, stop, breathe, regroup, and start learning.



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