Is it possible for social media to threaten an organisation?

Nowadays, when people mention social media, the first thing that comes to mind would be Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare it’s a worldwide obsession. Although people think social media gives more benefit impact, the risk is always there. Greater risk may occur and this may give a big impression to their reputation and financial success. It’s a matter of the importance engaging with others through the social media openly with honesty and transparency.

For my example, im going to talk about Nestle ( the largest food and nutrition company in the world ).

In May 2010, Nestle’s product Kit Kat  received negative views  when it uses palm oil from companies that where trashing Indonesian rainforests and  threatens the livelihoods of local people and pushing orangutans towards extinction.

This was the response from Greenpeace.

While this is a risk of social media to Nestle, Greenpeace is leveraging social media to its great advantage. This also involves consumers attacking Nestle’s Facebook page where they have around 230k fans at the company’s page where some are joining just to voice their opposition. This is when social media is a threat and can spell disaster in just a matter of minutes.

This is the screenshot from facebook of what happen when Nestle respond negatively and causes more problems:

Organisations that maintains publicity through social media such as Facebook page should learn from Nestle’s mistake. With corporate policies and proper training, this could have been avoided.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for organisations engaging with social media:

  1. Take positive aspects others and accept negative consequences.
  2. Always monitor your social media outlets
  3. Making social media as part of crisis communications plan.
  4. Put someone responsible and experience in charge.

References:

Nestle
Greenpeace – Kit Kat campaign

Do organisations need social media policies?
Nestle’s facebook bungle and example for SMEs

Nestle – Facebook page comment

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One response to “Is it possible for social media to threaten an organisation?

  1. With all the great services that we get from web 2.0 there still some risks coming with it, but it depend in the way people use it.
    I really liked your blog it was really great, keep up the good work.

    Feel free to come and read my blogs I would love to get your opinion or any advice you might add.

    Ryan ALHARBI

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