When we plan campaigns, we often have a reasonable idea of how much interest they'll get. Some are designed to speak to a small, specific audience who are in the right place to get things done, while others are broader in appeal. Our Nestle campaign certainly fell into the second category but never once did I think we'd see the level of response witnessed over the last few days. As one of our campaigners said last week, we're beyond wildest dreams territory.
Nestle's rather brusque attitude towards commenters on its Facebook page, who were simply asking about its palm oil policy, triggered indignation, disbelief and - when Nestle's tart comments were shared on Facebook and Twitter - a flood of negative posts from people angry at the company's dismissive behaviour. I'm almost proud to say I'm one of those who had posts deleted because of "altered versions of [Nestle's] logo" and I was banned from making any more comments on their fan page.
And it's been a hot topic on blogs, not just in the green sector but in the marketing, PR and social media realm too. It's being referred to as a text book case on how not to use social media, so if you got a snappy response for the Nestle admins, don't take it personally. Here are a few of my favourite blogs on the subject:
Riding the social media wave is helping to get the word about Nestle out to many more people, but there's a risk here. We need to make sure that the core message - that their palm oil suppliers are destroying the Indonesian rainforests - doesn't get lost in the '#nestle epic #fail' astonishment. Given their rather feeble public response - a statement and Q&A posted on their corporate website - we need to keep asking about their use of palm oil, not just about their complete lack of social skills. Social networking skills, that is.