A few weeks ago, Mindgruve headed to Online Marketing Summit here in San Diego to embark on some digital education! I participated in the “Scaling Social Brand Engagement” session with Jordan Slabaugh, Director of Social Media at Spredfast, and Michael Bepko, Global Online Community Manager at Whole Foods.

 Studies have shown that majority of customers prefer brands that are active on social media. With this information, many brands are incorporating a social media strategy to ensure maximum, yet tactful engagement with their customers and prospective consumers. In the case of Whole Foods, they wanted to add a personal and local touch to their various stores so they encouraged each store to individually create social media accounts for them to interact with their customers, brand fans, and local businesses. However, as Michael of Whole Foods explained, this strategy soon became increasingly difficult to manage, with unknown accounts floating around the social media networks and not a clear workflow path or organization internally or externally. To scale their social media efforts, Michael explained the need for:

  • Social media policy and guidelines
  • Strategy and planning team (including approval paths)
  • A voice from the executives, managers, and department heads
  • Technology to monitor, engage, measure, and coordinate,
  • Eventual audit of the entire space so that they can figure out what accounts are affiliated with Whole Foods

Whole Foods is currently taking the appropriate steps to scale their social media accounts by taking a closer look at their strategy, team member roles, and assessing the ever-changing nature of social media.

And if you know us, we’re all about strategy.

Here are some key takeaways from the session that you can apply to your social media strategy:

  • Brand engagement involves internal governance, internal orchestration, external content, external community – all working at once
  • Community building starts when a brand actually responds to a comment left behind by a user
  • Build and stick to an editorial calendar so you have a big picture idea of what is being posted on your accounts
  • Determine permission levels for Team Members and establish efficient workflow

What’s your favorite brand on social media? Anything specific you liked about their brand engagement strategy? Tell us on our Facebook page or chat with us on Twitter!