5 tips Whole Foods can teach supermarkets

The Lempert Report
October 21, 2014

The next place supermarkets need to be? Instagram!

This photo sharing site, is the fastest growing social media platform in the world, so why are the majority of supermarkets not on it? Most supermarket chains have been slow to adopt the use of social media. When SupermarketGuru conducted its 2014 supermarket Twitter study, while chains like Whole Foods, Walmart and Target were using the platform to communicate with customers, share recipes, advertise specials and operate a sort of online customer service department, others like Trader Joes weren’t even using the platform.  

Now, with millennials ditching Facebook for Instagram, it makes sense that a grocery chain with a predominantly young clientele would be interested in what the platform has to offer. It's here that Whole Foods has found new and unique ways to promote its brand and build business. For example,  @The_Pizza_Series,  an Instagram handle started by a Whole Foods Market pizza chef to showcase “what I love doing for work — making pizza." Whole Foods took notice and featured Matt on its Instagram account, which boasts more than 250,000 followers. 

The bulk of Whole Foods’ instagram photos feature food — dishes created from ingredients sold at Whole Foods utilizing movers and shakers in the food and nutrition industries and on occasion, Whole Foods uses Instagram to highlight store openings.  What makes these seemingly simple efforts so clever is that Whole Foods is  tapping into a demographic that often goes ignored by the vast majority of supermarket chains —young people.  Here are our five tips that Whole Foods can teach other supermarkets about social media:

  • It’s not always about the product. Tell your brand’s story in a way that requires thinking outside the box. 
  • Stay relevant. Stores with their own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts can post information of relevance to locals that might not appeal to customers from outside the area.
  • Be active. Whole Foods posts on social media multiple times throughout the day. Set a routine and follow it.
  • Don’t share secrets. Whole Foods company policy is not to discuss approaches to social media and PR with the media. 
  • Have fun. Whole Foods posts are never boring. It’s information you’d be interested in seeing even if you weren’t a customer.