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Grocers Growing Social Media Usage


Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 09:09 am

Although 87 percent of supermarket shoppers say that they regularly follow one or more social media sites, just 25 percent indicate they are friends with or connected to their primary grocery store. Those stats are from our previous article featuring the Retail Feedback Group’s “U.S. Supermarket Shopper Digital Update.”

Interaction Marketing’s report, “Social Media: Invest to Impress,” says consumers follow retailers for these reasons:

• 73 percent want to hear about discounts and promotions

• 72 percent want to look for new products

• 59 percent want grocers to share food recipes

• 59 percent like to learn about in-store events

• 39 percent want information about new trends

Grocers know that their customers are using social media to get the latest news and recommendations, as well as for entertainment. To remain relevant and be included in current conversations, supermarkets are ramping up usage of social media.

According to the recently released “2017 Promotional and Advertising Practices Study Among U.S. Grocery Retailers” published by Aptaris and dunnhumby, 95.6 percent of food retailers are now active on social media. The report compiles data from nearly 70 food retailers representing more than 4,600 stores across 34 states. The comprehensive study provides insights into grocers’ investments in social media, marketing and promotions.

Supermarkets keep social media in-house
Food retailers mostly employ in-house staff to manage social media outreach, particularly the larger grocers. Some complement in-house efforts with agency or intern support. Retailers not employing any social media are in the minority, down to just 4.4 percent.

Facebook and Twitter top social media platforms for food retailers
Among the 96.4 percent of retailers employing social media, fully 100 percent use Facebook and 57.8 percent are active on Twitter. Second-tier platforms with rapidly rising penetration are Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Much like other advertising and promotional strategies, larger grocery companies tend to have a higher engagement with most social media platforms. Small independents mostly rely on Facebook and Twitter. When comparing shopper usage statistics to company outreach, opportunity gaps exist for YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest for smaller independent grocers.ops-Aptaris-chart

Most retailers post content to social media a few times a week
Nearly three in 10 food retailers post on social media every day—either once or multiple times. The majority of food retailers, however, tend to post content every few days.

The posting frequency increases along with the number of stores operated. Among large regionals and chains operating more than 100 stores, 73.2 percent post on a daily basis.

Social media success measured by likes and shares
While one in five retailers does not measure the effectiveness of its social media outreach at all, 83.7 percent closely monitor likes and shares of posts. Click-through rate is another important measure, in contrast to tying social media posts back to actual sales lifts or conversion.

Typically, retailers with higher posting frequencies tend to be more likely to measure the effectiveness of their efforts. Larger retailers are more likely to track likes, shares, click-through rates and the effect on sales as well.

Other ways in which retailers measure the effectiveness of their social media efforts include:

• List growth

• Two-way shopper sharing back vs. one-way posting

• Traffic (online and in-store) and engagement in terms of comments and brand sentiment

Social media presents an interactive and authentic platform for communicating with customers. It’s also a logical extension of promotional programs. To optimize social selling, supermarkets are advised to engage in conversations that solve customers’ problems. During the online discussions, grocers may ask more questions and provide answers that lead shoppers naturally along the customer journey.

Investing in social media delivers value by elevating awareness, loyalty and sales for grocers.

Source: The 2017 Promotional and Advertising Practices Study published by Aptaris and dunnhumby and conducted by 210 Analytics. This is the third in a four-part series (find part 1 here and part 2 here). To receive a free copy of the full results, email Rich Keiser at [email protected]

About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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