The Lempert Report has compiled the industry’s first comprehensive data on Twitter use by supermarkets.
So, what did we find out? 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. No apparent industry standard emerged as retailers continue to assess the value of their Twitter presence.
What was evident was that the food retail sector is continuing to find its way in social media. Our ongoing dialogues with retailers in 2013 suggest they’re exploring which efforts will payoff in terms of sales and attracting multi-platform consumers. A twitter presence needs to support their marquee names, promote items, drive traffic to stores and websites, and be seen as relevant.
Some retailers are ahead of the rest in the Twitter world. Whole Foods Market for example, 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. 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.
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.
As retailers gain more comfort in the Twitter world, we anticipate this kind of aggressiveness will heat up.