Facebook as an instrument of strategic crisis communication : a content analysis of the Nestlé palm oil crisis

Niedermeir, Franziska

Social media provide organizations with new opportunities for crisis communication but also present dangers, as shown by the Nestlé palm oil crisis. This paper examines Nestlé’s crisis communication during the palm oil crisis and Facebook fans’ perceptions of the crisis on two of the company’s Facebook fan pages by conducting a content analysis. The research discovered little dialogue orientation and revealed that content recommendations were only partially met. Furthermore, a markedly different perception of the crisis on both fan pages and differences in the evaluation of Nestlé were associated with different crisis communication strategies. However, the results could not confirm the theoretical assumptions of the SCCT. Using the example of the palm oil crisis, this research offers insight into the use of Facebook as a communication instrument during crises and highlights the need for further research on Facebook communications so that scientifically based recommendations for crisis communication via Facebook can be provided in the future.


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Niedermeir, Franziska: Facebook as an instrument of strategic crisis communication. a content analysis of the Nestlé palm oil crisis. Ilmenau 2012.

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