A talk with Oatly

True intentions for the post-milk generation

Komfo
Komfo
Jan 3, 2018 · 4 min read

We sat down with Oatly, the Swedish company that turns fiber-rich oats into nutritional liquid food, to find out what makes them tick and what drives their social media success. Here’s what we found out.

What advantages does social media and Instagram provide over other digital touchpoints?

Our social channels are where we drive debate and conversations that bring a deeper understanding of our brand and what we are working towards.
Where we in other media can get peoples’ attention — we also get their direct response in social media. And this engagement is kind of the starting point to get people to re-think and start taking small steps to more sustainable choices.

Other media can get peoples’ attention — we get their direct response in social media.

— Sara Hansson, Social Media Manager, Oatly

Social media also allows us to share a wide spectrum of content and to act fast. For example, we shared posts on Instagram directly from the court when we got sued by the Swedish milk lobby. We are transparent in everything we do, and, by connecting with our consumers on social media, we get closer to them and are able to involve them on a whole other level. Because we are honest and totally transparent people tend to trust us. This allows us to build a long-term bond with our customers that are more critical to our future success than you could ever imagine.

Because we are honest and totally transparent people tend to trust us.

— Sara Hansson, Social Media Manager, Oatly

What are your main objectives and ambitions for your content and social media strategy?

Our main objective for our content and social media strategy is to grow the brand. One part of that is to raise challenges where we are actually a part of the solution such as the state of our planet’s health and the fact that the food industry counts for one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions. Another part of growing the brand is to remind people how to use our products (it’s actually just to swop from dairy to oats). Our focus is not selling products. We want to make it easier for people to eat better and live healthier lives without taxing the planet’s resources in the process. And this allows us to be a lot more creative than just talking about our products.

Our focus is not selling products. We want to make it easier for people to eat better and live healthier lives without taxing the planet’s resources in the process.

— Sara Hansson, Social Media Manager, Oatly

What is your strategy on Instagram?

On Instagram, we can visualize how we fit into peoples’ lives. Being relevant and interesting doesn’t mean to push the product in people’s faces all the time. Instead, we share content within the main pillars we are staying upon — sustainability, health, and transparency — and that means a wider spectrum of visuals and captions. This also creates a nice diversity of what type of content we share so we never bore the hell out of people. We aim global, but engage on a local level. Komfo is a great tool for achieving that. We can work closely with our local community managers and local translators within the tool, and at the same time have a great overview of what content we share throughout all markets.

How do you activate your Instagram audiences?

We love having dialogues with our consumers about everything under the sun. Komfo makes sure that we don’t miss a single comment that more than often include a question, feedback or appreciation. On Instagram, we share our values and what we do, but we are also letting our followers know when we are involved in happenings or what we think of current events happening around the world. This means that we often discuss present issues, challenges or progress. Komfo makes it easier to navigate and encourage these discussions by making all incoming comments visible and easy to reply on.

We aim global, but engage on a local level.

— Sara Hansson, Social Media Manager, Oatly

What significant results have you reached with Instagram so far?

During 3 years we have grown our follower-base from 500 to 57k, and reached a significantly higher level of engagement amongst our followers.
People show interest in a lot more than our products. They show high
engagement in our posts around sustainability, they involve themselves in our initiatives that purely based on doing something good for the planet such as the Summer of -69% campaign. This proves that we have achieved
something very important. We have been able to get people to understand our reason for being.

A great case that mainly has been running on Facebook and Instagram is our Oatfinder — a map where consumers can find a coffee shop that serves OatlyBarista Edition in their coffee. We had a big challenge though — a lot of coffee shops didn’t use our product. And there are a lot of coffee shops in this world. So we gave the power to our fans and followers to add their favorite coffee shops to the map — by doing that our system automatically sent those coffee shop a card with information about our Barista Edition and how to get it. Now we have 2 169 coffee shops on the Oatfinder. Thanks to our oatsome-fans.

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