Fonterra and Social Media

Fonterra is a global dairy nutrition company, owned by approximately 10.500 farmers and a leading dairy exporter. Below is a little chart explaining a bit more about Fonterra’s organisational structure and the core components of its business.

Fonterra business

Fonterra’s promise is to “make a difference to the health and wellbeing of people and communities, while securing the prosperity of their farmers and looking after New Zealand land”. Source  

To put this core promise into action they resort to using a variety of programs geared towards practices like responsible dairying through their commitment to improving biodiversity and water quality in New Zealand waterways. Innovations such as having light proof milk bottles assures the delivery of better dairy nutrition choices for consumers by protecting milk’s natural goodness.

For more information click here.

What does the dairy Industry have to do with social media and technology?

Fonterra is a leader in terms of technology and innovation in the dairy industry. In this report I will show how Fonterra uses a variety of social media platforms in their operations so as to actively engage their consumers with their business.

Fonterra and Social Media

Fonterra invest considerably their time and money in social media to ensure that consumers are well aware of their leading position in the dairy industry. The social media channels used by the company are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. These are constantly updated to cater to their target audience.

In particular Facebook is a useful channel that enables Fonterra to spread and share the news posted on the website to a wider audience.

It likewise use Twitter. Fonterra’s Twitter account was created in 2010. This has proved to be a great way to market their company.  With one click and 110 characters a post can reach 11.3K people (followers) in the world.

Fonterra has its own Youtube channel which provides news about business focused issues and campaigns.

As well as the above channels, Fonterra has a blog located on their website. The blog provides a central hub for the latest news and updates regarding Fonterra’s involvement in local communities as well as their growing global presence in the dairy industry.

Source of image

Fonterra’s advertising themes are clearly aligned with their business strategy. This can be seen in their current #431AM advertising campaign. This campaign is all about giving people the confidence and nutritional building blocks to grow into strong, confident, healthy beings, able to take on any challenge.

#431AM is a campaign focused on engaging and interacting with suppliers, consumers and other key stakeholders to better understand how Fonterra can meet their needs. This campaign allows Fonterra to gain visibility among these keys groups as well as obtaining valuable information which can be used to tailor and deliver better products and services.

An example of how Fonterra is tailoring their responses to farmers can be seen here .

As mentioned, there are many benefits to incorporating social media and growing and online presences. However this is not without its challenges. Some of these challenges include increased costs as well as exposure to increased scrutiny and negative feedback.

As mentioned by Lincoln and Lydgate “you can’t please all of the people all of the time”. In the same way that one click, one comment on social media can bring lots of good outcomes for a company; it can also have negative consequences.

Fonterra takes an active approach to addressing criticism received through social media. click here. One example of this is how Fonterra engages with negative comments and criticism on Social Media. Real time posting allows Fonterra to be able to quickly respond and attempt to remedy any negative criticism received (facebook). Another way Fonterra addresses negative criticism is by posting regular, topical articles and videos on their website.

The 4Cs and Fonterra V3 focus



According to Cook, N, Fonterra’s vision meets the 4C’s:

  • Connection
  • Collaboration
  • Co-operation
  • Communication

As being a natural source of dairy nutrition for everybody, everywhere, every day, creating the Connection to grow milk production volumes to protect their place in a growing market, using Collaboration to satisfy and drive more value from every drop of milk by providing high value products and services to their consumers and customers with Co-operation, executing their strategies at speed being committed to delivering superior products that improve health and wellbeing at key life stages and ensuring that people have access to open communication throughout their online channels about the food they eat.

Strategy, Policies and guidelines used by Fonterra

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According to the Altimeter report by Li and Solis Fonterra has applied the following principles

  1. Planning – listening to learn – Fonterra always involve finding out about their customers social behavior. (Source).
  2. Presence – As seen above, Fonterra uses popular media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and their blog to cultivate simple measures such as the number of likes, hits, re-tweets, traffic counts etc. that provide a gauge of interest and engagement from their audience.
  3. Engagement – Fonterra create relationships through dialogue – this is done by creating a relationship with customers through listening, consulting and advising. See here.
  4. Formalised – establishing organisation wide governance. Engagement across the business especially at executive level. (Source ).
  5. Strategic – becoming a social business – integrating into all areas of the business. By focusing on development using the V3 strategy, this gives Fonterra a clear direction to build a team equipped with the right tools and supported by a robust capital structure to achieve their objectives.

Source of image

            6. Converged – social becomes fully integrated within the business strategy.

We can conclude from this report that Fonterra views social media as a key driver in their continued success both locally and globally in the dairy industry. Fonterra’s continued expansion into social media will have many challenges such as greater costs and increased scrutiny from disgruntled stakeholders. However the benefits of greater public visibility, and ability to address stakeholders concerns in real time and the ability to gather valuable data in a regular and timely manner will allow Fonterra to continue as a global leader in the dairy industry.


Cook, N. (2016). The four Cs of workplace social software. Retrieved from

Fonterra. (2016). Fonterra blog. Retrived from

Fonterra. (2016). Fonterra website. Retrieved from

Fonterra. (2016). Fonterra facebook. Retrieved from

Fonterra. (2010). Fonterra (@Fonterra). Retrieved from

Fonterra. (2016). Fonterra Retrieved from

Li, C., & Solis, B. (2013). The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Media Transformation. Retrieved from

Scott, A. T. (2007). The Bivium Group- adventures in headhunting. Retrieved from


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