Branding Potential of Social Media

When we think of businesses using social media we tend to think of big corporations or small businesses with niche clientele but social media also allows individual stores within big chains to individually brand themselves and create their own identity. My father works for a grocery store that is part of a major chain and has over the past 2 years attempted to use social media, mainly Facebook, to build a sense of community and enhance their community outreach. Facebook is the perfect platform for the audience they are intending to reach. Women 18-65 who do the bulk of their family’s food shopping and are engaged in their community.

Initially, I feared the account would draw negative commentators giving them a platform to share their individual beefs with a wide audience. Instead, the Facebook profile comments are mostly positive and the site has given the owner a great platform to promote his community work, charity BBQ’s, pumpkin sales for the local hospital, sponsored free swims at the local pool etc. While the posts do not get a huge number of shares, users tag their friends expanding reach. Occasional online contests also help increase “likes”

Why is this important? Because like many industries, the grocery industry is very competitive and social media is a way to build customer loyalty if handled correctly. You may have recently seen the below Facebook post shared by a friend, where a father shares his family’s very positive experience at a local grocery store, with over 5000 shares that is tremendous advertising for that particular store for doing something they felt was right.
Had something happen this morning that was just too awesome to not share. Molly and I were out and shopping at Zehrs (Geneva St., St. Catharines) when without warning Molly puked HUGE in the pop isle.
The responding employee (I didn’t get his name, but I’ll call him Mr. Neck Tattoos) was caring and thoughtful about Molly’s well being. Before getting a bucket he brought her a bottle of water to drink and shopping bags for me as her clothes now all had vomit on them (seriously, shirt, pants, hat, mittens, and winter coat). I said I was going to head over to Joe Fresh for a wardrobe change as its -10 outside. Can’t really just wipe it off and hope for the best. Mr. Neck Tattoos had already thought of that and told me to find the lady that works in there, he pre warned he and she was expecting me.
So I head over, she had already picked out pants and a shirt and while I was getting Molly changed she got a winter coat and new mittens.
So this is all awesome in and of itself but when Jenn (the Joe Fresh lady) checked out my groceries she wouldn’t take money for the new clothes. She said they were “compliments of Joe Fresh. We just want your daughter to be warm and comfortable while you get her home”.
Needless to say I was blown away. So in a world of negative messages, I thought I should share this one!
(I’ve already emailed head office)
106 people like this.
5,469 shares (Accessed from Facebook Jan. 15 2016)

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