Help! My Groceries Are Tweeting And They’re TERRIBLE! (door Chris Brogan)

Posted on 28 september 2011


I was inspired by C.C. Chapman’s post about how Ragu hates dads. He pointed out that the Ragu sauce Twitter account was out there spamming the heck out of dad accounts on Twitter. So, I looked around. I wondered, “Just how many other grocery shelf products are botching their chance to capture our attention on Twitter?”

Oh, there are LOTS of things to review. This is a post in pictures, so if you can’t see them, click here.

The Ghost Town

Swanson Chicken

There are plenty of abandoned “official” Twitter accounts for food. With the poor quality of these tweets, no wonder someone was discouraged and let this account lie fallow. Dear someone who likes Swanson’s chicken: please go rescue this company’s account and put it to better use.

Nestle's Toll House

No one home at Nestle’s Toll House Cafe, either. Might as well leave that detritus up there. It looks great not updating a brand page since February. I hope you paid a lot for that advice.

Necco Wafers

Okay, these guys are local. I even met them once at a conference. They haven’t updated Twitter since last year? I might have to make this call myself. And yes, they still make Necco wafers.


The folks at Entenmann’s let their account go past the sell-by date. These are all verified accounts, even. These aren’t rogue efforts started by some well-meaning jerko. These are the real deal accounts. Oh dear. Perhaps they could leave this in the half off area?

Spam I Am


Starting with C.C. Chapman’s new favorite, look at the shellacking job the smart PR or marketing person did with this account. Oh dear. Why not just spend money photocopying pictures of the link and put them on our cars and stuff them in our doors, too?

Mrs Butterworth

First, um, what does faux maple syrup like Mrs Butterworth’s have to do with football? Second, repeat it more and more. Maybe it’ll be answered more often. Holy cats. Repetition is reputation, and in this case, your plan isn’t so sticky.

It’s All About Me!


The nice folks at Hormel mistook Twitter for their press release media page. Nice of them to share all that great official company news. It couldn’t be any more boringly presented. You have a whole part of your website for that (which no one visits, unless they’re reporting on processed meat trends). Why not try something more personable on Twitter? (You all owe me credit for not making one “Spam” joke.)

Success Rice

Are you attempting to be engaging, Success Rice? You failed. Get it? Oh dear.

What do you think of Duncan Hines? What about now? Do you like Duncan Hines? We’ll tweet at you until you say something nice about us. Ugh.

And Now, Here are Some Twitter Accounts From the Grocery Aisles That I Liked


The folks at Endust seem to be trying to find a way to engage their customers. People who like to dust are probably actually a decent demographic. I like a lot of their tweets, actually.


I actually could “hear” the “voice” of the Butterball account. I found it very personable, very engaging, and seemed like someone I’d want to meet at an event. Whoever’s running this account, give yourself a pat on the back for making a voice that catches people and gets good things going.


I’m on the fence about Breyers, but I thought they did come up with some engaging tweets. Throw some @ replies in there, and you’d win me over.

The account for Healthy Choice is pretty okay. Maybe remove a few exclamation points. Also, retweeting praise for yourself can come off as jerky. Maybe retweet something that the person who praised you said earlier about their life. Make sense?

Little Debbie

To say that Little Debbie seems to have one of the most human accounts in the grocery store is not saying it proud enough and loud enough. Little Debbie really tweets like a person and someone who cares. Heck, I’d invite her over to figure out what a cloud cake is. Good on ya, LD.


You should not be surprised that Coke does an amazingly good job of tweeting like a human. (Pepsi does great, too.) These companies spend actual budgetary dollars on social media, do a lot of it in-house, and have it as part of their agenda of “things that matter.” Coke and Pepsi and some of the larger brands that you might suspect from the grocery stores actually do a great job of being human.

What Do We Draw From All This?

  1. Don’t let your account die. Delete it, if you’ve abandoned the project.
  2. Make it about your audience.
  3. Engagement is not the same as bragging about yourself.
  4. The brands that act like humans get the most engagement.
  5. Spam people at your peril (the non-meat kind, Hormel. Simmer down).

There’s no reason to just throw up a Twitter account if you’re not going to make it about connecting on a different level than an ad campaign. There can’t possibly be enough clicks and activity to justify doing the job poorly. Perhaps it’s a matter of the advice you’ve been given. Maybe it’s just some checkbox on the systematized approach you’ve been told equals social engagement. That’s not how most folks will see it on the receiving end.

If you ever want to talk about that more with me, my brand friends, you know where to contact me.

Any thoughts? Questions?

Auteur: ceb

Posted in: Twitter