Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Supervalu trying to connect via social media

When thinking of supermarkets at the forefront of something - customer service, competitive pricing, new formats, etc. - we typically think ShopRite, Wegmans, Whole Foods, and perhaps even Walmart. But Supervalu?

As it relates to social media, yes. As Supermarket News Editor-in-Chief David Orgel reported yesterday, Supervalu is proactively embracing Facebook, Twitter and even Yammer, a private social network used by more than 100,000 companies worldwide (according to Yammer.com). Supervalu employees are using Yammer to connect store managers and executives, and to allow employees to share best practices in real time.

The company's store brands (10 in all, including Acme and Save-A-Lot) are connecting with customers via Facebook, and some store directors now use Twitter to communicate with customers about their stores. Soon, individual stores will have their own web landing page.

On a corporate level, Supervalu operates a Twitter feed (@supervaluPR) that posts news for investors and the media, and a career Twitter feed (@SVUCareers) reaches out to potential new hires. YouTube, Foursquare and other social media platforms could eventually see some action as well.

The leadership in this company-wide social media effort comes directly from CEO Craig Herkert, who has a taskforce that develops social media strategies. It's a commendable effort that may help retain customers at risk of leaving, but whether or not it can help win back customers that have already jumped ship (Acme...) is another question entirely.

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