Why The Social Media Numbers In The Nestle Palm Oil Case Caused Such a Stir

by Scott Douglas

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Orangutan FingerClick on the image on the left and you’ll find a zooming presentation which gives a quick tour through some of the astonishing numbers involved in the first four days of Nestle’s social media PR disaster.

You can click through it in a few short minutes and see just what kind of coverage the story achieved in mainstream titles – as well as the huge amount of activity on YouTube, Twitter and blogs.

Of course, it all really started out on Nestle’s own Facebook Fan Page – and you can swing by there any time to see how it is playing out almost a week later.

I put toghether this presentation for a group of media students at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and delivered it yesterday (Tue, Mar 23).

Among the 40 students there was one blogger, around three active Twitterers – and 40 enthusiastic Facebook users.

Depite it being a full house on the Facebook front, not a single one of the students had heard about the Nestle row – which I suppose must be some kind of music to the ears of the troubled chocolate maker.

Lively debate followed proving they’re a bright bunch at QMU with questions about whether companies should be on Facebook at all.

Businesses should be sitting up and paying attention to this.

Personally, I believe that many companie can w benefit from Facebook, s long as they have a clear strategy of where it fits in their overall comms plan.

However, the Nestle case demonstrates that they’d better have a good, old-fashioned crisis management plan in place in case it all goes wrong.

Scott Douglas is co-founder of Holyrood PR, PR in Scotland, provides strategic advice on communication, PR and social media to business. Contact us if you would like to find out more.


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