At approximately 3pm today, the Nestlé Facebook page status update read: “Social media: as you can see we’re learning as we go.”
This was, perhaps, the most profound show of humility that the company had mustered on a day - I’m sure - the guardians of the Nestlé brand would hope ends very soon indeed. In short, whoever is responsible for managing the company’s communications on its Facebook page was simply not able to deal appropriately with the grass roots invasion by users changing their profile pictures to either Orang Utans or the ”Killer” logo Greenpeace has twisted Kit-Kat into.
Not only has today been a masterclass in mishandling a social media disaster, it’s managed to bring the central issue - the company’s connection to deforestation in Indonesia and its effect on indigenous people and Orang Utans - to more eyeballs than even Greenpeace could have imagined.
And the virtual worlds of Twitterville and the blogosphere like nothing more than spreading the word about some eye-wateringly bad online behaviour by a brand in a state of apoplexy.
Barefoot Media’s blog describes the handling of the crisis like “David Brent in a paper merchants” while Intelligence in Social Media points out: “It’s not every day that a brand turns its most loyal followers into angry protesters”. And just follow the literal torrent of Tweets via Twitterfall.