General Mills Ramps Up Social for 37 Brands

Implements Spredfast for cross-platform management

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General Mills and Spredfast are announcing today that the consumer packaged goods giant has implemented the tech vendor's newly upgraded system to manage content publishing and consumer engagement across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn. 

The General Mills development underscores how the company has been ramping up its social media efforts for 37 brands including Pillsbury, Betty Crocker and Cheerios.

"In the past year, we've made major steps to do two things," said Aaron Miller, social media and marketing specialist for the CPG firm. "One is to set in place brand foundations that enable success in social media. We've established that each brand needs a purpose—reasons for being that go beyond selling Cheerios. For example, the purpose for Betty Crocker is 'help make home.' It's not just about the product, but how to create rich content. The second big effort has been hiring people specifically with social and digital skill sets."

Miller has brought in 15 staffers in the last 16 months, hiring from public relations agencies and other companies. His community managers help orchestrate social CRM, coupons and other offers via Facebook and Twitter as well as paid ads that promote content from the social communities. Some of General Mills' brands have followings that exceed one million, while the company is also getting its footing on emerging platforms like Instagram and Tumblr.

"Our goal is to be in front of consumers with content that they like to see in their feed—stuff they want to amplify to their communities," Miller added.

Meanwhile, General Mills joins the likes of Pepsi, Bayer and Weight Watchers among companies using Spredfast, which offers social media tools dealing with analytics, community management and ad buying.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.