Trader Joe’s; Antisocial??

Trader Joe’s as you all know is a famous quirky privately held chain of specialty grocery stores headquartered in Monrovia, California. As of January 2013, Trader Joe’s had a total of 395 stores. In short they are HUGE.

They have an amazing website that highlights new items in its stores and recipes. They have really done an awesome job.

Trader Joe's Homepage

The surprising factor is that when you look close at their webstite, there is no “Follow us on Twitter” or “Like us on Facebook”. As Todd Wasserman said in his article 4 Huge Brands That Sill Aren’t on Social Media, “Like many things about Trader Joe’s, the company’s social media marketing strategy is a mystery”(Dec 03, 2012). But all of this seems to not hurt the brand, their reported 2011 revenue was 8.5 billion USD.

This makes me question, is even social media important for a company to survive?

Deeper research must take place to answer this question. We must know first, who are their customers? Do they need social platforms in order for them to go to the store? Will it motivate them? If yes, what is that motivating factor? Will social media drive more traffic, more new customers, or more visits from existing ones? If they already have a loyal customer base, how will social media add to that? Or is social media simply not for Trader Joe’s? But is it really not for someone?

I came across a couple of their emails that I think they are doing well at:

(Email Marketing):

Email Marketing
TJ Email

As I mentioned before their social media is lacking. Firstly, They have NO official Twitter account whereas their competition does. Secondly, they have no official universal Facebook page, or consistent store by store pages. Thirdly, they have no official blogs, just a couple of unofficial blogs:

Cooking With Trader Joe’s

What’s Good at Trader Joe’s

I found a fan-based Twitter account, Trader Joe’s List, that is pretty much what they should be doing (my humble unprofessional opinion).

The tweets are engaging, funny, educational, and informative.

Here are some example:

Pepper Time

This tweet link followers to his/her Tumblr account – link social platforms together, check!

Here are other tweet examples I think created buzz (good/bad), engagement, and retweets.

Trader Joe's Tweets

When I compared Trader Joe’s fan-based follower to Kroger and Whole food, I got an answer for my earlier confusion. TRADER JOE’S FANS WANT SOCIAL MEDIA!

Trader joes list followers

If 34,940 are following a fan-based page this must mean that an official Twitter page will do the company good and the 3,317,383 Whole Foods  followers will not be so scary anymore, or at least we hope.

Whole Foods obviously are doing a great job on their Twitter account. They offer incentives for engagement.

Whole food tweets

But I think if you tweet something you know your audience will want to read or comment about, incentives are not necessary, they will just because they simply want to.

Although Kroger has 24,025 follower, and I am not sure if it’s an official page or not, but their tweets are engaging. They reply to their customers, which is always a nice feeling to any fan.

 Kroger Tweets

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