From time to time, we come across a story that demonstrates that a worst case scenario can come to life. Nestle is currently going through just that ( http://www.mycustomer.com/topic/social-crm/nestle-debacle-demonstrates-common-social-media-misunderstandings/105610).
The story is that they launched a facebook group which is a general ‘corporate’ one – if you read the information page, it talks about Nestlé, and its Mission is ‘Good Life, Good Food’.
The group has over 93 000 members, so clearly has attracted many people.
As the communication team was getting excited about the success of this open engagement strategy something went badly wrong.
Greenpeace decided to launch a campaign against Nestle called Nestlè Killer – Give the Orang-utan a break, driven from the main UK site: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/. The greenpeace campaign has all the marks of a social media campaign (including a truly gross video – do not watch this before eating!).
But here comes the twist. The greenpeace campaign gradually started to take over the Nestlé facebook group, putting comments, pictures and activating the campaign using the very platform Nestlè had build to show it’s customers how it was delivering ‘Good Life, Good Food’. The result is that currently the site is dominated by posts by anti-Nestlé campaigners. The company is struggling to find the appropriate response – first by deleting comments, then confronting the campaigners and finally apologies and letting all the comments stand. The spirit is one of open and and learning – but it feels a lot like a catastrophic situation out of which there is no easy way out. As this is still unfolding it will be fascinating to observe how this plays out.
The question is: what should Nestlé do now? Delete? Engage? Change country? Flee the country? They have already said that they had stopped giving business to one the companies that was responsible for the deforestation that is leading to the Orang-utan being threatened.