Milkface Nursingwear Inc

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Use of Social Media by Formula Companies

Annie, at www.phdinparenting.com has been looking deeply into the issue of Nestle's use of social media to reach new moms. She has asked for input on the question "How should Neslte use social media?" We thought we'd add our thoughts. Read them below.


From Mr. Milkface
I believe that Nestle will act in its own best interests and on behalf of shareholders who demand a return on their investments. The benefits of breastfeeding are well known to those who choose to educate themselves, but among those benefits you won't find the word profit. Nestle chooses to associate itself with breastfeeding because it is the socially acceptable thing to do. They continue to violate the WHO code because it is profitable. Their motives are apparent. Their actions reprehensible.

As seen with the H1N1 issue, people will believe some outrageous claims when it comes to health. If they read it, it must be true. The motives for the claim (profit) are rarely considered when judging the veracity of the claim. The qualifications of the claimant aren't scrutinized. If the claim was on a professional looking website it is taken as gospel and a paypal transaction is completed.

Now the good news... I am a publisher, a blogger, a reporter and a marketing department with global reach. Fortunately, the same social media the formula companies employ to get their word out can be used against them. Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, et al allow those of us with no marketing budget to face off on even terms with massive corporations with equally massive marketing budgets. Our comments appear side-by-side with theirs, all around the world. The biggest challenge in this face off is to ensure those who are passionate about educating the benefits of breastfeeding remain passion free in their posts. Logic and consistent messaging will win over new moms seeking answers. Passionate rants make us look like the lunatic fringe. The marketing departments of Nestle understand this too well. For those who want nothing more than to educate new moms of the benefits of breastfeeding, this is one time we need to be just like the formula companies.

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