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Some lunchbreak thoughts on Nestlés Social Media Policy

Facebook users with unkind avatars are being removed by Nestlé

At work recently, I’ve been dabbling a bit in social media presentations. I’m not going to pretend that I know everything there is to know or, heaven forbid, start calling myself a guru, or even worse, a social media envangelist.

I know what I like though and what I don’t, a bit like dresses on girls.

Recently, I’ve been updating a presentation I knocked up last October. Whilst back then there were PR fails in abundance (skittles affair anyone), as social media agencies improve and learn from their mistakes the PR Fail hashtag has been a little thinner on the ground.

This all went out of the window today with Nestlés handling of the palm oil controversy which has provided enough slides for my next presentation to fill an adventure playground.

This crisis centres around their facebook fanpage, specifically the handling of the content therein.

I advise clients that one of the advantage of having a facebook page is that you are in control of all publishable content; you just have to manage it properly.

Nestlé have managed theirs like David Brent in a paper merchants. Primarily the tone they’ve taken whilst dealing with their consumers. It seems they have put a plain rude, self-righteous, know it all in charge of facebook engagement. Yes it is your facebook page; yes, you do own the intellectual property rights; but facebook has 400 million users and you can’t delete all of them. Or silence them. As the people involved in the Trafigura scandal will have you know.

It reminds me of primary school playtime football rules whereby if it was your ball, you could do whatever you liked. Sometimes that may have been the case, although it made you a very unpopular 10-year-old at birthday parties.

Just look on the Nestle homepage now. More posts than a farmer’s fence extolling the virtues of abandoning Nestle products. And their response? A statement on their homesite explaining that they’re still using Sanir Mas, the palm oil supplier at the centre of the scandal, although through third party companies. They also re-iterated their commitment to “using only “Certified Sustainable Palm Oil” by 2015, when sufficient quantities should be available.”

As one user commented: “If I knock your house down but tell you it’ll be re-built in 5 years times a bit shoddier than it is now, does that make it ok?”

To end, I’ll leave it to the facebook user who said: “It’s not ok for people to use altered versions of your logos, but it’s ok for you to alter the face of Indonesian rainforests? Wow!”

Wow, indeed.

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