Six of the Best: Facebook Friends or Foes edition ~ Brand Mix

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Six of the Best: Facebook Friends or Foes edition

Photo: Friend or Foe? by Lighthelper :) (Flickr)

It's been a tough few weeks for companies on the social media front as this collection of stories attest:

1) Greenpeace vs. Nestle: How to make sure your Facebook page doesn’t become a PR trojan horse – Part 2: The BrandBuilder blog
I've written before about Nestlé's somewhat amateurish efforts in the social media space. But that was in the quiet backwaters of instant coffee where nothing much could go wrong. It was perhaps only a matter of time before disaster stuck, which it did when Greenpeace and others turned the Nestlé Facebook wall into a battleground as they aired their grievances about the company's use of palm oils and its supposed deforestation effects. Olivier Blanchard has a great, no-side taken, two-part series that analyzes what went wrong and what Nestlé could and should have done about it.

2) 5 Lessons from Social Media PR Disasters: The Atlantic
"Pop quiz for all of you hotshot social media mavens: Your client's Facebook fan page is overrun by angry protesters. What do you do?" Another angle on the Nestlé debacle plus lessons from several others including Domino's Pizza and Motrin.

3) Facebook Fans: You Get What You Pay For: eyecube
Rick Liebling says that when you dig a little deeper into Facebook Fan Pages, what you see is not a pretty picture. Nice stats mask "walls filled with off topic conversations at best, vile language and real antipathy for the brand at worst." Rick describes the case of TGIF which got hundreds of thousands of fans for its FanWoody Facebook page after a free burger promotion but ended up closing it down after it became a clearing house for complaints and worse about the promotion and TGIF itself. "TGI Friday's pretty much had to spray Agent Orange on their relationship with 600,000 people," Rick concludes.

Moving on to other social media:

4) Unsocial media and the unfriendly skies: What's up below deck? (Landor)
How do passengers express their gratitude to airlines for installing the technology that enables Wi-Fi on board planes? By using it to cause a stink any time something goes wrong, that's how. Exhibit #1: The Virgin America flight from LA to JFK that was stuck on a tarmac for several hours. That was reported "live" on Twitter. Then, of course, there was the big enough for two seats, Kevin Smith and his Twitter-expressed rage at Southwest. Kristin wonders why these generally media-savvy brands aren't: "using social media to their advantage in a way that reinforces what their brands are about."

5) The Social Media Bubble: Harvard Business Review
Umair Haque advances the bleakest and most negative hypothesis about social media that I think I've ever read. Worth reading just as an antidote to the normal breathless enthusiasm

6) Social Media Is Dead: Long Live Common Sense: slideshare
David Armano posted his presentation to the Chicago American Marketing Association. His key point: If companies want to integrate "social" in a meaningful way, they are going to have to modify process, staffing, training, culture and even leadership to get there. Some of the problems we've seen over the last few weeks show that there's still some way to go.

That's it! Back soon with more stories from the world of brand strategy (and vaguely related areas). More thoughts and comments also available on Twitter (@martinjbishop).

1 comment:

Steve Dawson said...

Great posting, Martin. A connections bubble is in the making.

I also liked the distinction made between "thin" and "thick" connections in a HBR related post....

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