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Posts Tagged ‘Ad Age Digital Conference’

Whole Foods’ Local Social Media: ‘It’s Not the Mini Me Version of Corporate Social’

Overseeing social media across multiple retail locations for a popular, sometimes controversial food retailer is a complicated proposition. But at least customers’ comments related to crises are usually directed at the corporate, not the local level, according to Natanya Anderson, Whole Foods’ director of social media and digital marketing. She spoke at Ad Age’s Digital Conference in New York on Tuesday.

To make a close connection to the local community, Whole Foods’ local social media encompasses four areas: brand social, city social, functional social (i.e. healthy eating) and store social, Anderson explained. Overall, she said the company has a “big eco-system of 604 social media presences.”

“We have different expectations for local social”, Anderson noted, and they follow a plan:

  • The brand acts as the local authority and connects to residents’ lives by featuring local products.
  • They focus on creating and curating content. Their new Detroit store will feature different offerings than their east coast stores.
  • Local employees are dedicated to customer service. For example, they can snap photos of products that customers request.
  • Local staff members often email Anderson before posting on their local social platforms. “We’re adding a local crisis management element”, she said. (Perhaps Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey should have checked in first before his controversial comments on President Obama’s healthcare program earlier this year.)
  • They have dedicated mailing lists to disseminate information to local customers.

Whole Foods has devoted many resources and a large infrastructure to make local social media work, and Anderson claims it has been worthwhile from a number of perspectives:

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Gap Goes Back to its 1960s Roots to Regain Relevance

Gap has experienced well publicized struggles with its marketing identitytop management turnover, and declining revenues, so in order to move forward, it has taken a step back in time — to its 1969 founding.

Seth Farbman, Gap’s global CMO since last year, described Gap’s rediscovery of its core heritage and its new digital initiatives during Ad Age’s Digital Conference on Tuesday in New York.

Gap’s return to its 1969 heritage is part of a broader business strategy. From Farbman’s standpoint, Gap’s retrospective turn was a natural homage to the brand’s founding couple, Don and Doris Fisher. He explained that the name was meant to convey the generation gap, and the business was based on the idea that only one percent of jeans sold at stores fit right. The move to revert to 1969 actually started in 2011, when the brand created documentary videos about its denim studio.

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