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The Social Playing Field: Whole Foods Hits a Homerun

Marie Rose
By Marie Rose on Sep 11, 2012 3:41:00 PM

Whole Foods are well known for their high-quality organic food, but where do they fall on The Social Playing Field?

When it comes to social media, Whole Foods know what they’re doing – in fact, they have had an active social media strategy in place for the past five years. With over one million likes on Facebook, and nearly 3 million followers on Twitter, it’s clear that consumers are responding well to the friendly personality and brand image that Whole Foods has crafted.

Whole Foods’ Facebook and Twitter accounts each serve different objectives, but both are used to deliver stellar service:

  • Primarily used as a marketing tool, the Whole Foods Facebook page is filled with promotions, recipes, company news, food discussions and health information.
  • Although not a dedicated customer service channel for them, Whole Foods will still answer legitimate complaints that come through Facebook. When customers leave complaints amongst the comments on a Whole Foods post, the social media team will tag the person’s name in their response so as to bring it to their attention and leave a personal touch.
  • Whole Foods operate their Facebook page as a community, allowing fans to engage in conversations naturally – much like their food!
  • Twitter is Whole Foods’ primary social customer service tool. Although they use it to post out images and recipes for interest, the team clearly spends most of their time responding to and solving both positive and negative tweets.
  • There are several niche Twitter handles that are operated by Whole Foods, such as “wine and cheese” as well as a specific Twitter handle for each Whole Foods store, offering targeted and relevant service.
  • Whole Foods have a Community Manager assigned at every one of their stores. This helps to give special attention and care to each Whole Foods branch, and replicates the local service feeling online.

When it comes to social customer service, Whole Foods definitely secure the title of Most Valuable Player! The only improvement that they could make would be to start responding to some positive feedback on Facebook, and not simply the complaints. Although what Whole Foods already does is very effective, this small change could help build relationships with customers and turn people into brand advocates based on positive interactions with the company.

We’re happy to name Whole Foods as our first Social Customer Service MVP – they are amazing at social customer service!

Do you think that Whole Foods is a leader in social customer service? Are there any other companies that you think do a great job in this field? We’re interested to hear your opinions in the comments below.

Got any suggestions for what you’re like to hear from us? Send your thoughts to marie@conversocial.com or @conversocial. We’re always looking for new ideas.

Topics: Customer Service, Retail

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