How Grocery Stores are Using Social Media to Sell Fresh Foods

Have you checked into your own personal Facebook or Twitter account today? The chances are high that you have.

Today, over three-quarters of the American population has at least one profile on a social media site and 200 million Americans own a smartphone.

And we don’t just carry those smartphones around in our pockets all day long. No, not us. We actively engage with them. In fact, Americans check those beautiful little devices eight billion times a day.

The average smartphone user checks into social media for a total of 106 minutes per day. While 79% of smartphone users confess that they’re on their social media accounts within fifteen minutes of waking up.

What does all of this mean?

It means that you’ve got to get your grocery store onto social media pronto. Today. Right now. Think of it as the most epic marketing party of the decade, and you’re invited.

All you’ve got to do is say yes.

If you’ve been wondering how grocery stores can use social media to sell fresh foods, read on. We’ve got the complete guide:

The trend so far

Social media is a wonderful tool that all businesses can leverage, but, for a lot of grocery stores, social media usage is still in the early stages. Research suggests that most grocery stores are still focusing their efforts and their budgets on traditional marketing – newspaper, radio, tv, mailing.

The Food Retail Industry Speaks 2015, indicates that on average, less than 12% of food retail advertising budgets are spent on social media campaigns or mobile and email marketing. When grocery stores are using social platforms, they’re primarily using Facebook, their own website, and Twitter, and are largely ignoring Instagram and texts.

You need to buck this trend

Why? For three key reasons:

  • Popular social media platforms rule the world; or at least, they rule a large portion of a person’s day. If you’re not entering that space, you are losing customers. Period.
  • Facebook and Twitter have become the marketing monsters of our world, and for good reason too. Not only do they give you and your business unparalleled access to a captive audience of socially engaged people, but, in general, they give you that access for free.
  • Global sales of healthy foods are estimated to reach $1 trillion by 2017. The demand for fresh food has never been higher. Customers want healthy foods and are even willing to pay more to get those foods.

You can employ all kinds of marketing strategies to help you sell your fresh food, but using social media lets you cut right to the chase. You can release hugely informative, engaging content to people who are interested in what you have to offer. During that process, you can find out more about potential customers too.

Convinced yet? Great. Now, here are three essential concepts to help you build a compelling social media presence.

1. Educate Your Customer

When you use social media, you effectively join in on the conversation everyone is having. But as an authority on all the different kinds of fresh food, you don’t have to just follow that conversation. You can lead it.

People may shop with their eyes, but knowledge is power. Not everyone knows everything there is to know about the benefits of eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods. You can use social media to educate them.

‘Educate’ does not mean bore. In a world where consumers are constantly bombarded with the latest information on the newest fad, your social media voice must be one that entertains as much as it informs.

Did you know that the average person has a lower attention span than a goldfish? You have about eight seconds to grab their attention or they’ve clicked on to the next thing. Bear this in mind in everything you do.

Don’t just show your customers the quality produce you have, show them what to do with it. Set up an interesting blog or host a recipe section on your account. Manage a healthy-eating forum. Show your customers that mouth-watering dish as it comes fresh out of the oven.

Educate and entertain. Now and forever, two peas in a pod.

2. Create a Community

Most people are social beings who routinely seek out the company of others. This is part of what makes us human and it’s a fundamental part of who we are.

We want to feel part of something. We want to connect.

You can create this sort of connection with your customer on social media. You can tell your story. You can talk about what inspires you to eat and sell fresh foods.

You can share your mission with your customer, and in doing so, you can help them to feel part of a movement – a movement toward better health.

In all of your postings, you can validate the choice that your customer makes to eat fresh and healthy foods by reminding them that you’re all on this course together.

A powerful social media profile can help you say the things that are worth saying to a customer: We get it. We get you. Come join us.

3. Social Listening

You can do something on social media that you cannot do on most other marketing platforms. You can actively engage with your customers. This gives you a unique opportunity to gain powerful information that will serve your business into the future.

Social listening means putting a premium on how your customer is reacting to you, your business, your products and your mission. It means taking stock of your customer’s needs and wants and fears and doubts. And it means acknowledging feedback of all kinds – the good the bad and the ugly.

All of this adds up to a greater experience for your customer and, as we know, a happy customer is a repeat customer.

You can track all of this easily on social media. You can set up dedicated customer feeds on Twitter. You can host question times with personalized hashtags. You can ensure that the review section on your Facebook account is always monitored.

Really, the only limit to social listening is your imagination.

Sell More Fresh Foods With Social Media

So, what have you been waiting for?

Think of social media platforms as beautifully wrapped presents for your grocery store. And the good news is that you don’t have to put your business on every platform out there. You can pick the platforms that suit you best and focus your time and efforts on those.

The demand for fresh food is undoubtedly out there. Your customers are just waiting for you to connect.