How many friends have you got on Facebook?

As The Grocer went to press, Nestlé's corporate Facebook site had more than 90,000. But in the past few days, those logging on haven't been so friendly.

Since Greenpeace's gruesome palm oil campaign against Kit Kat was launched 10 days ago, Nestlé's site has been taken over by protesters. Nestlé has now simply abandoned the page until the initial anger subsides.

The food giant has come under fire for its handling of its Facebook site, and blogs are already suggesting that Nestlé's social networking nightmare is a case study in social media mismanagement.

In the digital age we live in, bad news doesn't just travel fast. It's so much harder to control. Whereas before companies could manage a crisis with the aid of the media, social networking is able to unite consumers both at lightning speed and in exponential ways.

Such a powerful tool means companies will need to learn to tread carefully to avoid the 'true friends' on their sites from ­falling victim to the views of their ­enemies.

Read more
Nestle battles Greenpeace over Kit Kat palm oil claim (18 March 2010)
Extra, extra! Blog all about it! (13 February 2010)
The dark art of social networking (8 August 2009)