Thursday, March 25, 2010

Social media, Nestlé and the mistakes through the way

We all love social media tools, at least we do here at Unicatis. We use them, talk about them, and look for all that’s good in them. We even look for the best ways to leverage them. But sometime things happen that remind how important it is to be aware of the mistakes you can make while using social media.

When information can spread before you can finish coffee you have to be prepared in case that one “great idea” backfires. I had just finished my espresso, when I updated the 12 new tweets that flashed in front of me telling me I was missing out on the world.

And there it was, Nestlé, the company that practically raised me – sorry Kraft but I’m Brazilian, and they are our top of mind – going down because of a mistake in the use of social media. According to here’s what happened:

|| Greenpeace is attacking Nestlé for its “unsustainable palm oil” policy. No news there. They’ve even released a scathing attack ad about Kit Kat in recent days entitled “Need a break? So does the rainforest?” Meanwhile, perhaps in response, Nestlé’s Facebook admin issued a killjoy edict to its 90,000-plus fan base saying anybody showing their loyalty to the brand by using the logo will be, ominously, “deleted.” ||

As result, Nestlé’s Facebook page is covered with angry comments. People are starting to protest and getting others to “give Nestlé’s products a break” and not surprisingly Nestlé’s stocks are already going down and the company is in the verge of having immeasurable damage to its brand.

So when using social media tools to deepen your relationship with customers, remember sayings like “the costumer is always right”, “treat your costumers with respect” and “your costumers are your most important assets” haven’t gone old. And I dare to add one more “do not piss off the activists”.

                Flora Nunes

                Brazilian, loves chocolate, sustainability and studying about social media -- but is only now making friends with Facebook.