Hazard Perception & Damage Limitation with Social Media

Social Media has revolutionised how we use the Internet and share information with one another. With Social Media conversations now take place between people all around the world and about pretty much everything, if it exists or even if it doesn’t, more than likely there will be an online conversation going on somewhere about it.

As an organisation this can be great if people are talking about your brand but we must not forget that not everything said is positive and thanks to technology, such as BuzzMonitor, we are now able to monitor what is being said online. Social Media Monitoring can identify issues that might not be common knowledge to the public just yet, and might be restricted to a few people.

For example this could be a few people complaining about the overheating of a device you created. It could start off as a few individual cases before it starts to escalate to become a real issue. This early knowledge can allow you to create a strategy if these few case become more widespread and action has to be taken to come up with a solution.

An example of how Social Media Monitoring could have been used to avoid a PR nightmare was Nestle KitKat and the campaign started by GreenPeace about Nestle’s use of Palm Oil sourced from companies destroying the Rain forest.

Nestle were deaf to Social Media

In March 2010 Greenpeace launched a campaign against Nestle and their chocolate bar Kitkat because Palm Oil, used in the process of making the bar, was sourced from companies that got their product from none sustainable rain forests and destroyed the home of the endangered Orang-utan. The campaign had many different channels that it was going to run though including Twitter and Facebook.

When the campaign launched Nestle were only being reactive, meaning that they only reacted once the campaign had started and in this case not only were they slow to react but they also did it badly because they were not prepared. If Nestle had implemented a Social Media Monitoring strategy they would of noticed a conversation going on for a couple of months about the campaign, meaning they would of had some warning about what was happening and could of dealt with the issue a lot better.

Instead they tried to stop the campaign by deleting all comments on their Facebook page, got into arguments with the public on Facebook and attempted to get videos on YouTube removed but they could not control what the public were saying on their personal accounts and so the campaign escalated. For every video and comment they deleted 3 more would replace them.

The eventual result was that Nestle stopped using Palm Oil suppliers that were destroying the rain forest but it was too late to prevent the eventual damage that the brand suffered and all this could of been avoided if Nestle were to listen to what was going on in online conversations and address the issue early before it got out of control.

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