“supermarkets on social media”

I noticed on social media analytics platform SocialBakers that Lidl Belgium currently is in the top 3 of fastest growing Facebook Pages in Belgium, meaning that their number of Fans is increasing rapidly. That made me curious to find out what they, and their competitors are doing social media wise:

1. Lidl Belgium

Lidl Belgium is active on Twitter since December 2012. They had a bumpy start with this social media channel. Their first tweet was about a charity action with the hashtag #luxevooriedereen meaning “Luxury for everybody”. Lidl announced that they would give away 5 food packages to the poor for every tweet with that hashtag. However they underestimated the number of reactions, and only a few hours after their tweet they already had to give away 4000 meals + they had to stop the action earlier than planned. Since then their social media handling clearly has matured a lot. Their Twitter is mainly used by clients as a customer service channel, and by Lidl itself to spread news. The number of followers on Twitter is still very limited though.

A whole different story on Facebook where they are heading towards 190.000 fans! On their Facebook Page Lidl Fans can vote which product should be in promotion the week after, they can participate in contests, are informed when they are Lidl Events such as pre-tastings for CupCakes, they receive food inspiration, and much more. Lidl is using good mechanisms to stimulate interaction like “Share vs Like” => Facebook only shows posts of a Page to a limited amount of fans, and tactics like these have a positive influence on reach so it really looks like the Community Managers of Lidl know what they are doing 🙂

Just one tip for Lidl: please delete the other  “Lidl Belgium” Facebook Page that was created as a natural person (= category “People”): https://www.facebook.com/lidl.belgium.1?fref=ts

Lidl on Facebook - Share versus Like

2. Delhaize Belgium

Lidl Belgium might beat Delhaize on Facebook, but on Twitter Delhaize Belgium is King when you look at the number of followers they have, compared to the other Belgian supermarkets that I review in this blog post. What I especially like is that in their Twitter Bio (= description) they are managing expectations by indicating when they responds to Tweets.

Delhaize on Twitter

I find this very important since otherwise people expect to get an answer 24/7, and not all companies have crazy people like me that are willing to be ‘connected’ all the time (except when sleeping)  😉 Their tweets are very informative, and if you go through them you immediately see  that you’ll benefit from following them on Twitter if you are a client.

The posts on the Delhaize Facebook Page might be a bit too neat => all images are layouted in the same oldfashioned picture frame containing the Delhaize logo in the middle . Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against branding since it fulfills a purpose, but I have seen much better examples, and come on: is it really necessary to put the logo on 90% of the images? Try to only integrate it in pictures that people really WANT to share, and integrate it in a subtle & more elegant way.

Delhaize posts

3. Carrefour Belgium

Carrefour Belgium also joined Twitter in 2012, but unfortunately after 4 Tweets they threw in the towel in May of the same year… Unfortunately I can only give them bad grades for Facebook as well. They are really making it too complex, and just launched 3 different Facebook Pages: one for Carrefour Hypermarkets, one for Carrefour Markets and one for Carrefour Express (and to make it really confusing they keep on posting on the original Carrefour Facebook Page as well):

Carrefour: 3 different Facebook Pages

I go to all 3 kinds of Carrefour stores, and I would have preferred that they sticked with indicating with the specific store type logo if something is only applicable for one type of Carrefour. I’m really not willing to follow 3 (let alone 4) of their pages. Maybe this is just me, so please don’t hesitate to leave a reply if you disagree 😉 Content wise I have the feeling that they don’t know the 60/20/20 content rule that says that only 20% should be ego content since most of their posts are about promotions or at least look like promotions, and the inspiriational posts are less prominent.

4. Colruyt Belgium

I must admit I was very disappointed when I found out that real ‘Belgian’ supermarket Colruyt is not active on Twitter. They tried it in 2011 but just like Carrefour they quickly gave up. They are a very innovative supermarket in certain areas, but definitely not in social media :-(. Last August I was in charge of ordering a barbecue package for a weekend with friends. I always use the online ordering service “Collect & Go” that Colruyt offers to save time. I went to pick up the package and everything looked fine. Once we started our barbecue (miles and miles away from the Colruyt where I picked up the package) I noticed that they forgot 3/4 of our meat 🙁 Addicted as I am to my device I immediately tweeted to Colruyt. Of course I didn’t receive an answer and I quickly discovered that their account wasn’t monitored since 2011. Just to give you the complete story: I also emailed them, and was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call afterwards from the butcher from my personal Colruyt store to apologize, and to make it up to me. So happy ending, though I would have been happier with a response to my tweet. People are more and more using social media as a customer service channel, and they are expecting companies to be active there, and that has become ‘normal’. Even the journalists from women’s magazine Flair are now reachable via their Twitter handles which are announced directly in the magazine, right under their articles!

To find the Facebook Page of Colruyt Belgium I first had to go to their website. I think that (and the number of Fans) says it all. Ok, they are posting on Facebook but it’s not done in a professional way. The page title is weird, the categories are not filled in, and the posts are really too long: you’ll see a lot of “see more-buttons” appear. For a lot of people Facebook is entertainment, it’s a moment of relaxation so keep your messages short, playful and to the point. When you post images, optimize them for Facebook so people can see what’s on it:

Colruyt on Facebook

What I do like are their behind the scene pictures, and to be honest they also have some good posts but overall I have the feeling that Colruyt thinks that it doesn’t ‘need’ social media, or that it doesn’t bring added value. This is just a ‘feeling’ that I have, if anybody knows why Colruyt isn’t very active on Social Media please share!

Colruyt Team on Facebook

I hear you think: and what about Aldi Belgium? Well folks, either they don’t believe in social media at all…or they might think it’s too expensive 😉 In general I’m a bit surprised that none of the Belgian Supermarkets discoverd the power of Pinterest yet, ideal for inspirational food pictures, and it’s also a great tool to send traffic back to your website (when you pinned the photos from your website in the first place). But maybe it’s a wise decision to first focus on Facebook & Twitter, and only when they master those to expand their social media presence…

As always looking forward to your comments & replies!