When brands are present in social media there are a few things that you really need to get right. They aren’t complicated or expensive – they are simple basics – and they start with the customer.

Over Easter there are 2 days when most shops are closed, including supermarkets. This seems to incite an unheard of level of panic in the NZ public who clearly think they will starve to death on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This is confirmed by the crushing bedlam present in stores on the other 2 days during Easter when the supermarkets are actually open.

The Countdown website

So, this brings me to Countdown. Now, I like Countdown, I shop there as my supermarket of choice several times a week and they relieve me of a significant portion of my salary each month. But on visiting their website to find out about Easter opening hours, it wasn’t obvious. The information is actually there (first find the store you wish to shop at using the store locator, then clicking on the Holiday Hours link) but it is hard to find. As a customer visiting the website during the Easter holiday period I want to know where I can shop and when (or when the Easter deliveries will be if I shop online).  First tip: Don’t make me think! Push that info to me on the homepage.

Second tip: make your campaign accessible to everyone – think about where they will be when you post. Countdown also launched a Facebook campaign on Easter Monday giving away $500 of groceries each day for 7 days. Who wouldn’t want that? The problem was that the campaign was posted to the Facebook page but without a link to the Facebook application. Anyone using the Facebook apps for iPhone or iPad can’t see Page Application tabs, so therefore they can’t enter unless they go to the full Facebook website (eg using a computer/laptop).  Countdown has over 95,000 fans on their page, many of who will be travelling over Easter (so will be using mobile devices for accessing Facebook). What a missed opportunity. A quick look at the comments shows a large number of people have not entered the competition correctly using the Application tab as there were over 200 comments on the thread after 3 hours, and another 70 on the Timeline Cover Image promoting the campaign (each with a number of shares). The Facebook Pages Terms do not allow competitions to be run on the Wall/Timeline (brands must use an app) which means that all the people who think they have entered this competition by commenting on the post or photo will be ineligible. The Cover Image itself may be a breach of the Facebook Terms as well but that’s another story.  There didn’t appear to be a Countdown response to the people who commented that they couldn’t access the tab – the campaign has been launched and just left to run which is a mistake – launching the campaign is only the half way mark!

Lastly, looking at the Posts By Others, customers have been asking if the Countdown stores are open on Easter Monday. These haven’t been answered despite the post with the campaign being posted during the day (possibly the Page admin who posted the campaign can’t answer questions about opening hours) but it looks like these customers are being ignored. Last tip: check your page before and after a campaign for any comments that need addressing. Any good community manager should be present before and after any campaign post since just being visible in the Facebook Newsfeed will encourage other conversations. Remember, put yourself in the shoes of the customer and this improve your interactions, and the community will feel looked after.

These are simple tips, but often hard to do in a sizeable organisation which is why the ones who get this stuff right really shine.


Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. And Countdown is breaking Facebook rules for advertising or any offers in the header, yeah?

    • Well… the Facebook Pages Terms state:
      “Covers may not include:
      i. price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
      ii. contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
      iii. references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
      iv. calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

      So I guess there are a couple of areas where they may be sailing a bit close to the wind (a URL is also included in the image).

  2. Great, thanks for the roundup, hadn’t see the campaign before – some of the supermarkets really have been great at bridging the divide between their store and social, but with mobile apps there seems to be a whole world of functionality they’re yet to tap into, or haven’t yet made mainstream. An interesting space for sure.

  3. […] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } simonemccallum.com – Today, 3:41 […]

  4. […] as well as some reviews and insight into how other NZ brands are using social media. Check out her tips for Countdown Supermarkets as an example. Finally, Simone also sometimes summarises social media events by putting together […]

  5. I have to say, Woolworths here are doing a credible job of aligning their customer service and social media offerings. I was driven to complain about an issue with my online order, and was so impressed with the speed of response and the way in which they addressed the issue that I felt compelled to post again, this time praising them for a job well done…

  6. […] wrote a previous post about Countdown here Share this post:Email Pin ItMoreShare on TumblrDiggLike this:LikeOne blogger likes this […]

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Brands, Community Management, Facebook, Social Media


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