Measuring social media influence

Greenpeace Australia came and did a presentation for Social Media Club Sydney, about the social media component for their global campaign to get Nestlé to stop buying unsustainable palm oil from Sinar Mas, a global supplier that was destroying the south east Asian rainforests where orangutan’s were being threatened.
Here’s Dae Levine from Greenpeace Australia presentation at Social Media Club Sydney, where she outlines how Greenpeace took 10 weeks to achieve the kind of result they took 10 years to do using offline channels.

A summary of the key learnings:

  1. Greenpeace campaign succeeded in taking down the sentiment of KitKat to an extremely low level
  2. Nestlé gave fuel to the campaign by having the YouTube video banned initially, causing international news services to pick it up, and giving the campaign oxygen (it went viral soon after)
  3. Nestlé did not pro-actively respond using any social media, instead deleted Facebook comments and posted angry status updates around the use of the Nestlé logo by people within Facebook who wanted to bring awareness to the Greenpeace campaign, which caused even more uproar
  4. Nestlé failure in social and its lack of social crisis management contributed significantly in Greenpeace success in the social campaigning
  5. Two Australian specific tactical campaigns for KitKat – Desk Jockey and Take Back Time were launched early June to combat the negative impact of Greenpeace on the brand, but did not get enough traction to offset the overall decrease in brand sentiment until well after the capitulation of Nestlé

I ran a social media analysis using Alterian SM2 to see how the Kit Kat brand in Australia was affected by Greenpeace campaign. The results show a clear negative impact on Kit Kat’s brand sentiment, that’s clearly attributable to Greenpeace’s localising the  campaign.

So the moral of the story? Old school PR methods of bunkering down will not help you in social media. Third party influence can drag your brand sentiment down, and unless you pro-actively crisis manage, you could be left well behind those who are active and understand social media strategy.