Publix: Is “Where Shopping is a Pleasure” Prevalent on Facebook?

publixIf you’ve ever been in the southeastern part of the U.S. you’ve probably seen a few Publix grocery stores. Publix was started by George Jenkins in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida. Jenkins wanted his stores to be revolutionary. He designed stucco floored stores with air conditioning, electronic sliding doors and superior customer service. Jenkins wanted his stores to be “where shopping is a pleasure” and have a family feel. When I walk into the stores I get this feeling, but does this culture translate on Publix’s social media pages?

I follow Publix on Facebook and in my opinion they do an excellent job of expressing their tone on the network, they even say so on the “About” section. The grocery store’s page is filled with recipes, saving opportunities, family-based content (i.e. images), and employee praise. Publix does a great job of responding to comments, both negative and positive as well. While looking at some recent comments I was very impressed to see that most posts were addressed within an hour and employees running the social media page even signed their name in the response. This correlates with the Publix culture. Anytime I’ve ever had a problem, it’s quickly been addressed and always in a friendly and welcoming manner.

Capture2That being said let’s take a look at two examples of how Publix effectively employed their welcoming tone to their Facebook audience. Timothy is pretty upset. He’s been having issues with his local Publix and feels as though his voice isn’t getting heard, so he did what any disgruntled customer does nowadays and took to social media. Even though Timothy’s message got a little heated Publix responded in a calm tone. They apologized, reinforced their mantra (premiere customer service), asked for more details via a private message, and apologized again. They could have ignored this post but instead addressed it within the hour it was posted. They want Publix to be a place “where shopping is a pleasure” and are making it right for Timothy.

CaptureIn this post Publix is reinforcing their belief that they are a family oriented store. Everyone who shops there is special to them. This post received a lot of attention and positive feedback and a Publix employee responded to every single comment, including comments from other Publix employees. Recognizing the people on the frontlines making Publix stores a success reiterates the respect Publix has for ANYONE who walks through their special sliding doors.

Ultimately I believe it is the content Publix posts and the way they respond that make their Facebook page very effective at illustrating their brand. I wish more companies (cough*CitiBike*cough) would take the initiative to connect with their audience, and loyal followers like Publix has on social media.

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10 thoughts on “Publix: Is “Where Shopping is a Pleasure” Prevalent on Facebook?

  1. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to shop at Publix. It’s one the best supermarkets around, and it’s mainly due to their approach to customer service. So it’s no surprise their Facebook presence would be any different than their in-person presence.

    I really like how they addressed the negative issue in your example. They quickly – and calmly – took control of the situation and did their best to diffuse it publicly while asking to take it privately.

    When a company does this, it’s a nice gesture to show others they are working on the issue.

    Obviously Publix’s social team doesn’t shy away from negativity. They don’t sweep things under the rug or ignore complaints. I think getting in front of an issue and taking control of it puts the organization in a position to better handle any subsequent posts.

    This is exactly what Publix has done in this example, and it shows they care about customers, the business and the reputation for having great service.

    • Dave,

      I also like that Publix does not sweep things under the rug. They acknowledge their customers and give them a voice. It’s very reassuring as a consumer to see a company actually embrace customer feedback, both negative and positive. I’m glad to see we are all loyal shoppers!

  2. Great post. When considering what voice you should adopt it is sometimes useful to think if the company were a person what sort of person would they be. What should of person would Publix be?

    • Hi Justin,

      Personally I think Publix is more than just a grocery store. Competitor stores like Wal Mart and Target offer the same products. Their employees and culture make them different…I think this is what kind of “person” they are. If Publix was a person they would be kind, generous, positive, and willing to go the extra mile. I feel this is adequately evoked in their social accounts.

  3. Hey Alexis,
    Seriously, if you don’t LOVE Publix after shopping there, I can’t be friends with you … just kidding (sort of)! Like Dave said, I’m so lucky to be able to shop there. I’ve lived in the Midwest as well as in the South and can say without a doubt, Publix is the best grocery store experience, not just for customer service but for store design and selection. Are they perfect? No, but they are very customer-focused. In their stores, they go above and beyond to help people, and that desire to help customers translates to social media. Last semester, I did a critique of Publix’s app. I Tweeted about it, mentioned them, not thinking they would ever respond. But they actually did and said they would pass my suggestions along! To address Justin’s question, I think if Publix were a person, they would be a friendly customer service specialist.

    • Hi Amanda,
      My parent’s spend a lot of their time in North Georgia…there is no Publix there. When I go grocery shopping with them it just feels weird not to be in a Publix! I actually really like the Publix app. It saves me so much time and money when I go grocery shopping. I also believe if Publix was a person they would be a customer service expert!

  4. Alexis,

    I started putting together a post on Publix until it made me miss them too much so I moved on to Nike. Great post! Publix’s social media presence is just another reason they are a brand/store worth missing. They are welcoming in all aspects and try their best to address issues you may have.

    • Hi Casey,

      I’m sorry there’s not a Publix in VA…maybe you should suggest that! At least we know they would respond in some aspect! Nike is a great brand too. I talked about them for a class last semester. Their brand is so big! Look forward to reading what you have to say about them!

  5. I LOVE PUBLIX SUBS!!!! haha Ok, now here’s my real comment: It looks like Publix is doing a really great job. Like others have mentioned, they did a great job of addressing the negatives and I really like the way they encourage employees to interact with the main page, giving that family vibe. You know, I’m gonna go back to Publix subs for a second haha. I recently Tweeted an article about Amazon adding “#AmazonCart” as a way of getting someone to make purchases on social media. Publix recently added the ability to order Publix Subs online and I guess my question is, why not combine the two for Publix? Would you order a Publix sub on their Facebook? What if you could go on their social and watch your sub be made live as you order your toppings? Ohhhh this is getting fun! Then, what if a drone could deliver the sub you just watched them make? Ahhhh! Publix subs at least 6 times a week that equates to for me….. Great post, I’m headed to Publix for a lunch sub!

    • You are not alone with you love of Publix Subs! I actually heard they are opening seperate Publix sub shops to be able to better compete with Subway and Jimmy Johns…this would be the best thing ever!!!

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