We live in a digital world driven largely by millennials so it’s no surprise that social media is a necessary asset for all businesses. Keeping up with the millennials is a daunting task and trying to figure out how supermarkets should use social media to maximize their marketing efforts can be a challenge. A study by the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America found that many shoppers are not impressed with their grocer’s social media efforts. They compare supermarket pages on Facebook to online circulars replete with coupons and other special offers.
I recently spoke with several experts who follow the social media efforts of supermarket retailers. What do they recommend? Much of their advice, and some of my own, is summarized below.
How Supermarkets Should Use Social Media
Here are the Do’s:
Focus on Food: There are many websites and forums that spotlight food, but a grocer’s website and Facebook page should be the most important one. After all, consumers buy their food in the grocery store. It only make sense to be a go-to source for meal recipes, food and health advice, cooking tips, food allergy alerts, and so on.
Develop a Dialogue: Grocers need to begin a dialogue with their shoppers. Ask for their opinion about the in-store experience. How can it be improved? Suggest shopping strategies and comment on their suggestions. This back-and-forth conversation engages shoppers.
Create a Community: One of the goals of social media is creating a community of shoppers who feel a kinship with the group and the grocery store. Build a relationship with customers. Solicit product reviews, especially for new store brands.
Shoppers are talking on social media. Grocers need to join the conversation., it’s an important factor in how supermarkets should use social media.
Here are the Don’ts:
Don’t Post Only Simple Content: The challenge for grocers is to make their websites and Facebook pages engaging. Don’t just duplicate the simple efforts of other supermarkets. Anybody can post the online circular, coupons and other special offers. Go beyond the basics to transform these social media destinations into a place for dialogue and food content.
Don’t Ignore Complaints: Not every customer is pleased with the shopping experience. Their gripe could be with the size of assortments, the customer service, the ambiance, and so on. If the website contains an area for shopper feedback – and it should – be sure to address the complaints. Explain the rationale for decisions that affect shoppers. But don’t monitor the complaints and ignore them. Doing so tells shoppers that the store doesn’t care about them.
Don’t Forget about Insights: Shopper feedback on social media is the best kind of Big Data that a grocer can accumulate. But the danger is to be data-rich and insight-poor. When analyzed, shopper feedback provides critical insights into the thinking of customers. Who doesn’t want to know what their customers think? The next step is to take action, be it corrective action or action to start a new program.
Those are just a few do’s and don’ts of social media marketing for Supermarkets. We hope that you now have a better understanding of how supermarkets should use social media. Leave a comment below and let us know what has and hasn’t work for you.
Blog credit to John Karolefski