Which Social Media Platforms Are Best For Grocerants?

January 01, 2018

Which Social Media Platforms Are Best For Grocerants?

Two experts weigh in at NRA Foodservice@Retail Summit panel

From the January, 2018 issue of The Great Grocerant.

The ability to attract younger consumers by winning them over on social media is an essential skill for grocerants. 

Using insights from two successful practitioners at the latest NRA Show, grocerant operators can sharpen their platform choices, messages and delivery to help secure more traffic and a broader base. 

Platform relevance

“There’s a difference between which channels GenZ is consuming versus those resonating best within the food space,” said Elizabeth Pigg, Senior Vice President and Director of Paid Media and Influencer Strategy at Edelman. “Everyone talks about SnapChat, but this younger generation engages much more with Instagram.  Particularly influential people in the food space look more toward Instagram, especially the Instagram Instant Stories product.  

“Facebook still works in a lot of ways because its paid targeting ability goes above and beyond any other platform, except for perhaps LinkedIn,” which isn’t appropriate for promotions, she added. “Say you want to target a competitor in a certain region, you don’t even have to have a large fan base of your own to reach those people.”

Claire Siegel, RDN, LD, Lead Registered Dietitian and Content Strategist, SNAP Kitchen, the co-panelist, described SNAP’s “goal and strategy to be the cool curator of all things healthy.  Within that, we look at each channel and our purpose within each channel differently. Instagram is where we show who we are, quite literally with food-focused photos. No business or investment news there.  

“Our Twitter feed has gorgeous shots of food with informational and educational captions related to the health of that food. If we’re posting a breakfast on Monday morning, we speak to if they’re thinking about how awesome their weekend was, and how they’re ready to eat healthy again.  We interact one-on-one with guests here,” added Ms. Siegel.

“On Facebook, we share more news, post our blog, and echo what we send out over e-mail,” she said.

Engaging Millenials and GenZ

“Experiential elements you can make bigger than just in the store are really powerful,” said Ms. Pigg of Edelman.  “Facebook LIVE, Periscope and other live streaming tools are…a great opportunity…to draw people to the store in some sort of way. Individual brands don’t use Facebook LIVE regularly enough right now, even though credible news sources and influencers do. 

“Look at how popular food shows are on television. Why are they popular?” she posed. “Because people tune in the same time of day and know what they’re going to get.  Grocers or grocerants have an opportunity to create this type of episodic content that makes them bigger than they are. It’s something I would love to see. Storytelling and authenticity are two key pillars…Everyone in this room has a story to tell [that] came from a point of passion. If you tell that story honestly, the younger generation sees that right away.

Ms. Siegel of SNAP Kitchen agreed: “We always try to keep it real on social. We make sure all our photos look like a professional didn’t take them….Listening and responding is also super-important. Make sure you reply to every Instagram post you get, every tweet, not just with a generic thanks or a like, but a comment that shows you took the time to listen to what they had to say.  GenZ doesn’t know what it’s like to dial an 800 number or be put on hold.  They tweet and they expect a response back.”

The Great Grocerant will report on more social-media tips from these sources in the February 2018 issue.