A Letter to Kroger: Taking your Social Media from Good to Great
Over the last several months I’ve had the opportunity to explore your digital marketing, critiquing and creating strategies to better build your brand. From social media to inbound marketing to mobile advertising, I strongly feel that Kroger has done an adequate job hitting every aspect of the digital advertising world. With this considered, as famously said, there’s always room for improvement. I believe that the most digital potential lies within your social media. That’s why I’ve created the following strategy. Do with it what you’d like.
Kroger has a great social media presence on their verified Facebook page, posting daily, sometimes more. But, finding Kroger on Facebook can be confusing, as along with the verified page, specific Kroger locations have their own pages. Not only do they not post, but not every specific Kroger location has its own page. This is very confusing.
The first step in constructing a perfect social media experience for Kroger and its customers is creating pages (across all platforms) for every state with a Kroger. Kroger currently resides in 31 states. For example, @KrogerMichigan or @KrogerOhio. It’s unrealistic to create Kroger social media for every store, and even more so unrealistic to maintain them. By creating social media profiles for the Krogers of every state, Kroger can offer a seamless experience for customers and followers. This will allow for customers to visit and become familiar with the Kroger stores throughout their state. Realistically, customers visit more than one Kroger location in their lifetime, whether it be because of moving, travel, or other reasons. By having a state-wide page, customers can be connected wherever they go.
One example may include the Kroger in Okemos, Michigan. Let’s say they’re having a sale on avocados. The post may sound something like this: “Hi Michiganders. If you’re in the Okemos area, make sure to stop by for fresh avocados, on sale 2 for $3. Only in Okemos on Marsh Road!” This may appeal to someone who works in Okemos, but normally visits the Kroger in Lansing by their house. Seeing this may tempt them to stop by the Okemos store after work. This not only encourages customers to visit Kroger regardless of where they are, but potentially inspires trips to the store (particularly one they don’t normally visit) they otherwise may not have been made.
Among creating more social media accounts, the Kroger strategy will include a variety of social media campaigns with various goals. The first campaign includes improving the current blog on the Kroger site. This will be done by completely recreating it, and posting on it more frequently. Kroger won’t be solely responsible for posting, but rather will hire guest bloggers to write recipes and articles. The recipes will use Kroger ingredients, and will be timed to specific deals and promotions. They will then be posted to Facebook and other platforms. The goal of this campaign will be to drive traffic back to the blog (and therefore the website), and encourage customers to make recipes with Kroger ingredients.
There are many benefits to using food bloggers. Not only will they post the recipes to their sites, but by stating they got the ingredients at Kroger, they’re encouraging their readers to shop at Kroger too. This campaign can even be taken a step further by creating a friendly competition. Kroger will ask people to submit their recipes for a chance to be featured on the blog and social media. This leads to engagement and participation.
While the prior campaign focuses on blog and website traffic, the second campaign will focus on increasing email sign-ups. Kroger has a great email rewards system that lacks nothing more than promotion. A larger number of email followers will create a platform for communication and promotions.
The campaign will consist of a number of boosted posts across social media. These boosted posts will lead directly to the email sign-up, making it easy for social media users. If Kroger decides to take it a step further, the boosted posts can offer coupons upon sign up, and a chance to win a special Kroger shopping spree. The boosted posts will also be sure to include the benefits of signing up for emails: News, Free Friday Downloads, and other promotions.
There are countless social media campaign options for Kroger, which is exactly why it’s most important for Kroger to focus a majority of its digital attention on social media. Whether the goal be driving traffic to the website or sales, social media can do almost anything and reach almost anyone. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social sites all contain different audiences, giving Kroger lots of power on the web.
The last piece of Kroger’s social media strategy is continuing to build a strong YouTube page. An understated form of social media, statistics say that over 5 billion YouTube videos are watched daily (fortunelords.com/). The main point of creating intriguing videos on YouTube will be to post them on Facebook. Videos catch the average Facebooker’s eye, as over 8 billion videos are watched on Facebook daily, according to buffer.com. A large part of having strong social media isn’t just frequency, but content. If the content is interesting and enticing, the shares and views will go up.
Digital marketing is a fast-paced world that is constantly growing and changing. While you do a great job, just staying active isn’t enough. Brands must stay relevant, with interesting content, unique campaigns, increasing engagement. These are all goals of the prior strategy that will take your social media from good to great.
An Aspiring Social Media Expert