I logged onto Facebook this morning to find an update from my Whole Foods Fan Page offering me a $5 coupon on any $25 purchase. And, as anyone who has ever shopped at Whole Foods knows, it's pretty easy to spend $25 in one visit.
But what Whole Foods – whose high prices may be threatening its Prom King status- did, was the sort of maneuver more brands need to do in the social media space: they gave something of value to their customers.
Here’s what they did right:
1. They offered a somewhat sizeable coupon to their Facebook fans… and their fans friends… and anyone else who came along. How? The coupon is also hosted on an external site.
2. They also have a separate web page on their own (non-Facebook) site for their offers because even though they are a Prom King brand with a well done Facebook page, they realize that Your Brand Is Not My Friend™. (They also realize that these sorts of web coupons get passed around a lot, so that trying to isolate it on Facebook is likely futile.)
3. Their Facebook page is well done and provides utility for the customer base. It mostly links to their external resources (the well-done corporate blog and a corporate charity foundation page) and provides video recipes for customers to follow.
4. The Facebook group message is signed by Winnie Hsia, an actual person who works at Whole Foods and who often comments in an official capacity on the corporate blog. Not some faceless corporate entity, which is the way too many brands approach social media in general, not just Facebook.
5. They did not try and upsell me. Just “here’s the coupon” and they got out of their way. (NB: By "upsell" I mean they did not try and push a useless Facebook app at me (you know one of those apps half the brands on Facebook seem to have, apps that merely replicate something that exists elsewhere in a superior, unbranded form) nor did they try and push me to share my favorite recipe with my friends or any other "engagement" tricks users ultimately find annoying.)
Excellent use of Facebook all around. Even if they are moving the store.