Expo East 2012 Wrap Up

Part of Whole Foods Market’s success has come as a result of its efforts in engaging customers, and much of this happens through social media. At a seminar titled “What’s Behind Whole Foods Market’s Social Media Strategy?”, Whole Foods Market digital marketing manager Ryan Amirault shared some insight into how his company’s social media outreach has developed.

In a time when one in five minutes spent online is spent with social media, it has become essential to reach out to customers this way, Amirault explained, and it’s not just the young, tech savvy crowd anymore. Scheduling social media content to go up on the main social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, is a smart way to keep things active. Whole Foods Market uses software called SpredFast for this purpose. They are also newly engaging with Pinterest, a growing, image-oriented social media site well-suited to reaching out to consumers.

Tips included encouraging retailers to start tracking social media stats if they haven’t already. One example is tracking the link between social media promotions and sales. Amirault also said that deals and specials are typically the last thing people want to see on social media, but described the relatively new Facebook Offers program as potentially profitable.

 “Each store has a dedicated marketing and community relations person. This is kind of our ‘person on the ground,” Amirault said of his company. He emphasized the importance of getting everyone involved in social media outreach in some way. This is especially crucial for those retailers that aren’t able to add staff members dedicated to this task. He also talked about the importance of being human on social media, summarized by the motto, “Don’t just DO social for your brand, BE social.”


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2012 (online 9/26/12)