Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 97

Social Media

Technology

Social
Study

Most grocers are investing in
social media - so why aren't more
shoppers following?
By Randy Hofbauer

F

or years now, social media has been
a big deal for food retailers: Almost
all are on social networks, while
three-quarters are making significant
or moderate investments in socialmedia-related outreach, according to research from
Tampa, Fla.-based marketing and promotions management company Aptaris and Cincinnati-based
analytics firm Dunnhumby.
But while nine in 10 grocery shoppers regularly
follow one or more social media sites, only one
in four of that group is connected to her primary
grocer, according to "U.S. Supermarket Shopper
Update," a recent report from the Retail Feedback
Group (RFG), based in Lake Success, N.Y.
Why the disconnect? Some grocers simply might
not be on social media. However, it could be more
likely that many are on social media but terrible at
offering compelling reasons to connect.
Therefore, grocers need to work harder to draw
these people's interest.
"If the content is not relevant and updated regularly, shoppers will quickly lose interest," says Brian
Numainville, RFG principal. "Consider that content
should include items that are helpful, fun and draw
the shopper into a relationship with the retailer."

Right Channel, Right Way
First and foremost, social media is social - it's not
to be used just as a billboard, according to Margarita Fitzpatrick, Dunnhumby's head of customer
engagement, North America. Grocers have to be
interactive and engage users, and make sure that
they reflect the essence of their brand in the process.
However, there's no "silver bullet" strategy when
it comes to succeeding with a specific platform, as
different exchanges have channels more suited to
them. Take YouTube, for instance.
"Channels like YouTube ... are great avenues to
show videos, which can include informational topics, events or contests," Numainville notes.
But while RFG's research shows 53 percent
of consumers using YouTube, only 33 percent of

retailers are using the channel, according to an
Aptaris study. This reveals not only a gap that
needs to be addressed across virtually all age
groups, but also a clear opportunity for grocers
to connect with people in a specific manner on
the social media channel.
Coborn's, a Minnesota grocery chain based in
St. Cloud, incorporates videos through its YouTube channel, for instance, whether they feature
recipes demonstrated by employees, or discuss the
community - they're compelling media from a
local grocer to local people.
Of course, not everything might draw strong
interest on social media. A good way to know
whether something will gain traction and generate excitement is if it first has a real buzz outside
of the cyber realm. Reputations are built outside
social media, and then expanded within it, argues
Paul Lencioni, president of Blue Goose Market,
an independent grocer in St. Charles, Ill.

In an area
where immediate
response is
expected, we
want to make
sure to balance
lightning
speed with
accuracy and
thoughtfulness."
-Lydia McNabb,
Nugget Markets

Speedy Delivery
For platforms lending themselves more to twoway dialogue - such as Facebook and Twitter -
many grocers don't understand the importance of
responding quickly. Lydia McNabb, social media
coordinator with Woodland, Calif.-based grocer
Nugget Markets, notes that she's always finding
room for improvement in terms of responding to
August 2017 | progressivegrocer.com |

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - August 2017

Contents
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Intro
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - CT1
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - CT2
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Cover1
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Cover2
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 3
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - 4
Progressive Grocer - August 2017 - Contents
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