Whole Foods Market, Target, Walmart lead the flock of food retailers to Twitter.
The Lempert Report has compiled the industry’s first comprehensive benchmark data of Twitter use by supermarkets and several key competitors.
The figures we charted (CLICK HERE FOR DATA TABLES) reflect a food retail sector that continues to find its way in social media. Major chains, regional operators, and competitors such as Target, Walmart, Walgreens and 7-Eleven vary widely in their activities and the size of their followings. There is no apparent industry standard yet, as retailers continue to measure and assess the value of their Twitter presence.
Our own ongoing dialogues with retailers in 2013 suggest they’re exploring which efforts will pay back best in terms of sales and attracting and retaining omni-channel shoppers. They also want to support their marquee names, promote items, drive traffic to stores and websites, and be seen as relevant to the shopper bases they court.
If that seems a heavy load for 140-character messages, it doesn’t daunt retailers that have made significant inroads. Whole Foods Market is the food channel’s Twitter king: it has more than 3.5 million followers, and it follows more than a half-million other Tweeters. Both measures are the food channel’s highest by far. Its Klout influence score is a lofty 87, which trails Target and Walmart at 90 and Walgreens at 89, while edging out 7-Eleven at 84 and Dollar General at 83.
Whole Foods’ frequency of daily tweets is 15.28 on average. This trails the 27.73 of 7-Eleven, but tops the 13.42 by Meijer and Family Dollar.
Wegmans leads the regional food chains with more than 61,000 Twitter followers, an average of 22.28 tweets per day, and an 82 Klout score (which edges Raley’s at 80).
These data points are a small sample of what’s on the charts (CLICK HERE FOR DATA TABLES), which typically show far lower figures for most food merchants.
Especially with Twitter traded publicly on Wall Street now, and its need to show revenue and profit growth, we anticipate the company will develop B2B-friendly initiatives. These could raise retailer interest in this social media platform, and possibly suit it more to the food business.
Poaching customers by targeting their tweets is one growing way retailers are using Twitter. According to Adweek, Walmart tweeted at consumers last holiday season who were vocal online about product availability issues they had with Best Buy.
Such aggressiveness will likely heat up once retailers gain more Twitter savvy.