I’ve read—and written myself—so much about the great results social media can generate that when you hear about Nestle’s current social media woes, it comes as kind of shock. Sure, there are the occasional stories like Domino’s/YouTube that gives one pause, but those are few and far between. Nestle’s situation is interesting because the company’s Facebook page has been “virtually” hijacked by those angry about the company’s choice of palm oil supplier for its products—which is described in more detail in The Wall Street Journal. In the case of Nestle, the social media mantra of sensitive engagement with friends goes out the window, as the “friends” (now up to about 96,000) are anything but friendly. Which leads to the interesting options posed in the WSJ article: Do you keep the Facebook page going and ride out the storm, or do you shut it down and start over (presumably after the crisis wanes)? Closing it would mean surrender, while keeping it online means more negative posts for who knows how long. If you were a Nestle PR exec, what would you do?
–Scott Van Camp