Local engagement with a personal touch is more likely to garner customer retention than a generic brand campaign, especially when it comes to customer service issues. Customers value personal interaction on the phone and on social media alike. Considering Whole Foods also 'acts locally' sourcing certain food/produce from local vendors (a quality that attracts part of their customer base) local social engagement, though more complex, seems like a worthwhile endeavor.
1 hour a day imho isn't sufficient. I sort of see it as customer service only being avail 1 hour a day. I do love whole foods in Austin (ROCKS!!) and cry almost every time I'm there (as homeaway.com is located diagnally across the street)
Whole Foods Austin has so much going on in the store to keep their feed continuously flowing throughout the workday from reminders of different tasts of the food venues to new item/product showcases.
I commented on HEB's main page yesterday regarding a $6 purchase of hot guacamole that wasn't prepared remotely to my satisfaction (still ate it of course) and the brand commented RIGHT AFTER me avoiding my comment completely. IMHO, that was an opportunity for them to engage and diffuse. I even opened the complaint with I LOVE HEB but.. and the comment was dispalyed on top as well. imho, the brand manager failed.
"They go on social media to hang out with their friends." Each account must have a unique and compelling story."
and you see the brands content via your friends, hello! :)
Mr. Roques - You have to trust your employees sometime. I think in the case of Whole Foods they've benefitted that the risk of rogue employees is more than counterbalanced by the benefit of localization.
Reality isn't neat, pretty nor does it come tied in a bow... From my prospective authenticity is the one super power every person has (if they can only tap into it...). If the staff are well trained and follow basic posting guidelines, a little over step or marginally misguided quote only adds to the authenticity, that they have real people communicating not a bunch of flacks..
I believe it could create a big headache if the person that handles one local store, does publishes something that they shouldn't have (if they also have to do their normal job). They have to trust a lot on their employees, which we have seen can sometimes be a mistake.
We are a million times smaller than Whole Foods, but I can also confirm that local social media really works well.. We are a neighborhood bakery and there isn't' anything as affordable nor as powerful as Facebook for creating Earned, Owned, and Paid media to reach our customers, friends and fans within our ZIP code..
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