Social network marketing can be complex, but a reader commenting about an earlier post on this blog, Tesco Twitters Its Way to Family Success at Fresh & Easy, demonstrated how store employees can come to the rescue even when the marketing department falls short.
In fact, it demonstrates that, as they expand participation in social networks, retailers might want to rethink how they look at factors like worker loyalty, initiative and rewards if they are to gain the maximum benefit. The blog Fresh & Easy Buzz, which attests that it has no relationship with the Tesco-owned retailer, chronicled the search of one iKristen for a particular reusable Fresh & Easy shopping bag she coveted. To locate it, iKristen, who has a personal blog where she has chronicled her affinity for the retailer and its bag, contacted Fresh & Easy via Twitter and another social network the retailer has joined, flickr, asking where to get the bag. The Fresh & Easy marketing person charged with responding to such inquiries told her via Twitter she could get one at any store, but, when she got to her local Fresh & Easy, it had another version of the bag. iKristen wasn't entirely disappointed. She bought two of the bag available but still missed the one she really wanted. Fresh & Easy Buzz chronicled her quest, suggesting that someone from the retailer should get her a free bag. And it seems as if someone did. A store employee using the name F&E Gal responded to iKristen and reported that she could expect the bag of her desires.
Turns out that, even if they represent a business, social network participants can be pretty social. Responsible, too, even if they aren't necessarily going to get any credit for their actions. But, thanks to another social networker, Mike the Food Broker, who commented on Bnet's earlier Twitter-related posting, F&E Gal is getting a little recognition here. And hopefully, Fresh & Easy will extend some, too.