Have you ever seen a social media blunder from one of your favorite companies or bad reviews on their Facebook page and it changed the way you thought of them? In March 2010, a Nestle employee who was annoyed by the improper use of the Nestle logo by Facebook users decided to post a request on Nestlé’s Facebook page asking users to stop. This upset some Facebook users and they posted their disdain for the scolding with some fairly tame posts questioning the motives of the request. The Nestle employee didn’t appreciate the Facebook users opinions and decided to sarcastically post comments to the users with posts like, “Oh please… it’s like we’re censoring everything to allow only positive comments” (Broida, 2010). This PR gaffe was a huge mistake because it prompted more negative responses like one who said “Your page, your rules, true, and you just lost a customer, won the battle and lost the war! Happy?” (Broida, 2010).
I decided to check out Nestlé’s Facebook page to see if I could find any other blunders and instead found another PR problem facing them, negative posts. There appears to be one who is a thorn on Nestlé’s side with the name ‘SAY No to Nestle All Year’ because they post negative comments on every story posted on their page. On a story Nestle posted regarding their acquisition of Accer, a medical food manufacture for Alzheimer’s, SAY No to Nestlé posted,
“Will nestle do anything ever that might be ethically right but not make money for them or even lose money? Not until hell freezes over and probably not even then” (Facebook.com).
And on a story touting Nestlé’s support for the regeneration of Haiti’s coffee industry this same user posted,
“Nestlé you can’t be trusted – you destroyed forests until you were rumbled. Bet you still do”.
How much longer can Nestle allow users to comment until the Facebook page becomes a detriment rather than a marketing tool?
In February 2012, American Express administered an internet usage survey and found 46% of US internet users turned to companies Facebook pages to vent their frustrations (eMarketer.com, 2012). With brands increasing their social media presence, this type of negative buzz has to be hurting brands over time. Since posts on the internet can last forever, it seems logical that every company should employee professional PR writers to monitor customer posts. But in a January 2012 worldwide survey by a customer service provider, Satmetrix, only 49% of the companies surveyed actually followed up and tracked customer feedback on social media (eMarketer.com, 2012). According to eMarketer.com, a digital intelligence company, “This buildup of negative buzz on social media can have a significant impact on brands because social media is more public and moves faster than customer complaints via traditional channels,” (eMarketer.com, 2012).
Do negative posts affect your view of a company and influence your buying decisions? How long do you think a company can allow a single user to continually post negative comments on every story posted on their Facebook page before they debar them? Does your company employ people just to monitor customer reviews and social media sites?
Broida, R. (2010, March 19). Nestlé’s Facebook Page: How a Company Can Really Screw Up Social Media. cbsnews.com. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-28646786/nestles-facebook-page-how-a-company-can-really-screw-up-social-media/
eMarketer.com. (2012, July 16). Brands Ignore Negative Social Buzz at Their Peril. Retrieved from http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009189