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Does Your Favorite Grocery Store Use Twitter? Should They?

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An article in today's touts the recent adoption of Twitter by British-based Tesco's Fresh & Easy grocery stores. Although the article focuses on the rarity of a Brit business using what's more popular with American businesses, F&E's web-watchers Fresh & Easy Buzz point out that the Tweets are coming from California, not England:

Fresh & Easy's presence on isn't being maintained by a Tesco Fresh & Easy company employee based out of its Southern California headquarters or by a Tesco PLC employee in the UK. Rather, the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Twitter site is maintained on a regular basis by SallieB, who is a social marketing expert with Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's public relation's firm, ABCO International.
Regardless of where the Tweets originate, the fact is, businesses using Twitter to reach out to consumers is becoming a popular trend:
Though perhaps not gripping correspondence, Twitter does help to establish loyalty by giving customers an active way of communicating with the company's management. [...] This may be because the technology is in its infancy - the site only opened in 2006 - or because it started life with a different aim in mind - to enable friends to tell each other what they were doing by answering quick, simple questions.

Nevertheless, a recent survey - the Cone Business in Social Media Study - found that 93pc of those questioned expected to see companies online.

What's the point, though, of grocery stores using Twitter? What do they talk about? An
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article from August 2008 on What Makes U Click? posed the same question, and took a look at what people said on Twitter in conversation with Whole Foods Market. Mostly it's just shop talk--product talk, really--about what flavor of tea a Tweeter likes, or how great the salad bar was on a given day. From a business perspective, mining Tweets for corporate feedback is a wise thing to do; service reps can intervene and solve problems and answer questions and gauge how well a product is being received. And producing Tweets can alert customers to sales, recalls, events, or store openings.

So what local grocers use Twitter? Not Vons or Ralphs, and Albertsons' gets a big FAIL for their one-Tweet wonder. And Tesco--parent to Fresh & Easy? Nope. Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Fresh & Easy (and the unaffiliated Fresh & Easy Buzz), yes.

Do you follow any grocery stores on Twitter? Or should the whole idea just head for the checkout line?

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