Friday 24 February 2017

Emma Thomasson: Big brands eavesdrop on hostile social-media conversations

IT LOOKS like mission control: in a Swiss market town, an array of screens in Nestle's headquarters tracks online sentiment. Executives watch intently as California wakes up, smells the coffee - and says whether it likes it.

This is the nerve centre of the company's Digital Acceleration Team. By monitoring conversation about its products on social media - right down to "realtime recipe tweets" across the United States - they aim to win over a sometimes hostile world.

Other companies, such as PepsiCo, Danone and Unilever, have exploited the opportunities to promote themselves online. But Nestle is also concentrating on using social media for damage limitation.

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