Why General Mills Yogurt Brand Yoplait Sets an Example on Twitter

When you start with a popular consumer food item, especially one like flavored yogurt, it’s that much easier to create a great brand presence on Twitter. We spoke with Alexandra Heide, Community Engagement Specialist for General Mills’ Yoplait brand, to get her take on the value of incorporating what she calls “joy” into Yoplait’s Twitter account.

The tone of Yoplait’s Twitter account is always upbeat. Whether it’s tweeting about who to watch on the red carpet at the Oscars, or links to innovative yogurt recipes, the brand posts a nice mix of product and non-product related tweets. The common theme is always fun and positivity.

“Just like the way people enjoy our product, we like to provide Twitter content in bite-sized portions,” says Alexandra. The brand also appears to have subtly associated itself with health and social issues by posting links to promote events like Athleta Esprit de She and International Women’s Day. This is not only a way to reiterate the positive theme of the Twitter account, it’s also a clever way to post content that’s relevant to the brand’s target audience.

Let’s take a closer look at how Yoplait uses the overarching concept of fun, along with specific strategies like posting images, soliciting feedback, and using social media management tools and teams to carve out a commanding presence on Twitter.

Post Lots of Visual Content

Use Images

A tangible way that Yoplait contributes to the success of its Twitter account is to post lots of fun and colorful visual content. Following a strategy we’ve long espoused, it posts pictures from its Instagram account, including generic upbeat images like the one above. Of course, it posts lots of product shots as well. These are usually accompanied with some thought-provoking copy, such as “What challenges are you facing today?”

As you might expect, Yoplait also has vibrant image galleries on Facebook and Pinterest and occasionally cross-posts these pictures to Twitter. The net result of all these images in its Twitter stream is that Yoplait’s followers are exposed to numerous visual impressions of the brand in a way that never seems like advertising. The visual strategy on Twitter is obviously working. Alexandra confirms that its visual content always gets the most interaction whether it’s “a picture of yogurt pops or a cute baby animal.”

Encourage Suggestions and Feedback

Solicit Feedback

Other tweets that you’ll see a lot of when you peruse Yoplait’s stream are solicitations for feeback, suggestions and input from its followers. “We get a lot of product suggestions for new flavors and new products,” says Alexandra, adding that they’re always interested to hear what their fans think of the brand. It’s evident that fans are obviously paying attention to the brand on Twitter because the account is filled with retweets from happy consumers.

Perhaps because of the health-conscious connotation of Yoplait yogurt, a lot of celebrities like Chris Tucker and Carmen Electra have been willing to lend their endorsements to the brand as well.

Use Social Media Management Tools and Teams

Social Media Management Tools and Teams

I addition to Alexandra, the Yoplait Twitter account is staffed by a second, part-time Community Engagement Specialist, Sara Fryar. Alexandra says that she and Sara are given a lot of autonomy from parent company General Mills to post whatever they feel is appropriate to the brand. “Most of the time we don’t need approval before posting something,” she says.

To make sure there are no problems or issues though, Yoplait has put some social media policy guidelines in place. “Our legal department put together a handbook of topical guidelines for us which is very helpful in creating content. If we want to do anything like a sweepstakes though, we schedule a meeting to make sure we’ve covered the details appropriately.”

Yoplait also uses a variety of social media management tools (including Sprout Social) to stay on top of the large volume of incoming and outgoing tweets this account generates. Alexandra says that “the digital/social division across the company helps select tools to assist us in scheduling posts, but we handle all the interactions.”

Advice Applicable to All Brands


When asked if she has any advice for brands and community managers using Twitter, Alexandra says “don’t be afraid to have a little fun. Be transparent — consumers respect that — and try to be as timely as possible.”

Referring to Yoplait specifically, Alexandra adds a lesson that can be applied to all brands: “Anything we post that reminds our fans that the voice of Yoplait is coming from real people — that’s a success in our books!”

Know any other brands crushing it on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image credit: aercanarias]

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