Publix, a grocery chain based in Florida and typically found along the East Coast, seems to be doing something right with their new social strategy. According to the Tampa Tribune they were receiving 100 friends per minute at launch. That was only a few weeks ago and they're now pushing 18,000 fans and are already seeing considerable conversations on their page.
Like you would expect, the page has coupons and deals and their own recipe section, but where they get this so very right is in their community practices.
These are spot on. Short and written in real language, these guidelines don't go into many details but paint a picture of what they want their community page to contain. They even take time to promote their brand here by reminding people that "treating each other with dignity and respect is part of (their) mission." Well done!
We know we aren't perfect and sometimes you may be upset with us. We do not plan on removing your comment unless it includes vulgarity, racial comments, personal attacks an associate or customer, is a third-party solicitation, or goes against Facebook's terms and conditions. Anything contrary to our company values may be removed.
Employee Social Guidelines
Attached to employee pay stubs last week, according to Mark Wilhelm, their social media guidelines (image) are short, but cover the basics. They don't specifically tell employees not to speak negatively about Publix but they do remind them to think before they comment. "If you would not say something at work in front of a customer, it is probably best not to say it online." For questions, employees are pointed towards the Media section in their handbook and to a full social media guidelines document on their internal website.
Answering Tough Questions
They could lighten up a bit on the PR-speak, but they're answering even the tough questions. This one that would have gone unanswered on most brand's pages gets an syrupy, but honest, answer.
Apparently they're not looking at all to Twitter for community outreach because their Twitter account is still private and appears to be a placeholder. It appears that they're focusing fully on Facebook now, which makes sense considering their target audience. According to Abisay Hererra, who manages a Facebook page in the grocery industry, brand loyalty is very strong in the grocery sector. He pointed out that groceries are purchased often and are a necessity, so getting someone to choose your store over competitors is important. He did wonder though, why was Publix so late to the game?
Whether the relationship you have with your grocery store is good or bad, it very much affects your purchasing decision and has direct impact to the bottom line. The potential to show real social media ROI here is huge.