Weis Facebook Efforts Bear PL Fruit, Points Way for Others, Expert Says

April 26, 2011
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Weis Markets is celebrating its 10,000th Facebook fan by offering private label coupons via its Facebook page. The digital couponing is the latest move in a social media strategy that emphasizes community building, recipe sharing and, most importantly, fun, Steve McFarland, online marketing coordinator for Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets, tells PLBuyer's eReport.

"We wanted to create a page where people felt comfortable sharing opinions," says McFarland. Another part of its social media plan, he adds, has been to create a median in which Weis can listen to the needs of its consumers and concentrate on creating growth for its private label items. It has held a series of “liking” contests that encourage its fans to get their friends to like them in return for private label coupons.


Weis Markets was able to increase its fan base from 2,000 to 5,000 in November and from 5,000 to 8,000 in March with this effort.


Weis also is seeing much success by using FourSquare, an online game that lets people tell each other where they are, McFarland says. The grocer is currently running a promotion in which the mayor, or the person with the most check-ins at a Weis store, gets a free coffee every time he or she shops at Weis; if he or she is there on a Friday, he or she gets a sandwich for half price.


Weis’s success with social media can point the way for other private label retailers to build communities with their shoppers, increasing shopper loyalty and presumably sales in the process, notes Jim Wisner, president of Wisner Marketing Group.

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