Nestle’s Social Media Drama

When social media goes from bad to ugly it can get real ugly.  Nestle this past week got caught in up into sticky situation with the environmental protection group Greenpeace and they are now feel the effects of how a few keystrokes can create a lot of a attention in a not so positive way.  The benefit to the consumer is companies become more socially responsible.

As a food broker we would participate in vendor food fairs on college campuses show casing our products to the students and staff members and that’s when the reality of what I was representing took on a whole new meaning.  I represented Nestle for about nine years and heard a lot of negative feed back over the years about their business practices and supply chain.  I have also heard feedback about other companies I represented as well.   Eye opening to say the least which over the years which has caused me internal conflict as well.

This mess Nestle is in really can’t be avoided.  Companies are becoming more transparent and as there is a live person keying information into these social media tools being careful not to let someone push your buttons is an absolute must. Here are a few things to keep in mind with working so social media. With open platforms for engagement anything can happen.  I’ll even go as far to say they can happen anywhere on the Internet as individuals have a strong voice and can distribute that voice in a number of locations in a short amount of time.

This is why we say you need to listen with social media as much as you broadcast. Listen to your customers and listen to protect your brand; even on weekends. Nestle is the worlds largest food company with many product lines, world wide production, resources and open to criticism from many angles for many reasons.  Large corporations need to be socially responsible and practicing sustainability.    Operate as a solid citizen all the time. Have a responsible person in charge. Someone who knows how to react, act and promote.

The people managing your social media are your voice for your company.  So many times restaurants will let younger staff members manage their social media because they don’t want to learn it or feel it’s overwhelming.   To quote a friend of mine, “social media is no different than anything else you had to learn in life and about running your business”. Social media will never go away now that it’s here. The sooner you learn how to working these tools the better you and your business well be. Whoever was making these comments made a huge mistake.

Nestle is addressing and responding to the palm oil questions however as for addressing the social media drama, this has been classified as a PR Disaster.   The Atlantic You can check out their fan page without becoming a fan to see all the comments being made. As for our restaurant friends, please keep in mind the size of this company and their world wide recognition.  No comparison yet many lessons in what not to do. Madonna Kash

Restaurant Marketing Partners/ Foodservice Geeks
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