ISM 049: Whole Foods' Winning Pinterest & Hyper-Local Social Media Strategies with Natanya Anderson - Rick Mulready

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ISM 049: Whole Foods’ Winning Pinterest & Hyper-Local Social Media Strategies with Natanya Anderson

April 18, 2014

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In this episode of the Inside Social Media podcast, I welcome Whole Foods Market Director of Social Media & Digital Marketing, Natanya Anderson. 

I’ve had a lot of requests to have Whole Foods on the podcast and Natanya and I have been working on scheduling this interview for quite a while.  So, I’m psyched to welcome her to the show today.

Whole Foods is in a unique position in that not only do they market on a brand level but they also have 350+ individual stores which each have their own community and social media marketing presence.  And, their social strategies at the brand and local levels are unique.

In this episode we get into how Natanya and her team handle these hyper-local vs brand strategies and the challenges that they present.

We also dive deep into Whole Foods’ industry award-winning Pinterest strategy, covering exactly how you can model and apply their strategies to your small business.

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Specifically, In this Episode You’ll Learn…

  • You’ll learn how Whole Foods differentiates the value it provides on social media at both the brand and local store levels.
  • Natanya shares how she and her team are quantifying their efforts and trying to determine a value for their social media.
  • We talk about how small businesses can overcome the frustrations that come with the recent changes to Facebook’s organic reach.
  • And we dive head first into Whole Foods’ award winning Pinterest strategy and Natanya really breaks it down for how small businesses can model and apply these strategies.
  • And a whole lot more with Natanya!

Episode Resources

Natanya on Twitter:

Natanya on Facebook:

Whole Foods on Facebook:

Whole Foods on Twitter:

Whole Foods on Pinterest:

Shorty Awards:

Whole Foods web site:

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Insider Show Notes: Whole Foods Social Media — Hyper-Local vs Brand Level


  • The importance of establishing and connecting with your customers on a community level for greater retention and brand trust.
  • How to present your brand in social media the same way you interact with your customers in person.
  • Whole Foods’ keys to successfully leveraging their social media communities to drive that audience to their web site.
  • Three questions to ask yourself when choosing which social media platform is right for you and your business.

On Leveraging Social Media Engagement for Greater Web Site Traffic…

  • It’s absolutely critical to create a plan to engage your audience on social media and then to create a plan to move them from Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms and get them to your own site so you have their undivided attention.
  • When you move your audience into your owned spaces, it gives you a chance to have extended conversations with them. You can share a blog post or a video with them, something that provides value and furthers your relationship with them.
  • It’s really important to be thinking about not just having a relationship with a customer on a social network, but how are you then bringing that person into your own spaces? Have a contigency plan.
  • As organic reach drops, you have to remember you don’t have 100% control and ownership of the online space where you are creating your community; you will always at the mercy of the people who do have 100% control & ownership of that social media platform.

On How to Choose The Right Platform When You’re Getting Started in Social Media…

  • Ask your customers: where do you like to hang out and be social online?
  • After you know where your audience is, do some work to understand the audiences in those channels. How do people interact on this particular channel? What is said, what is shared, what isn’t acceptable?
  • Understand the channels that fit your business well. To do so, look at the kind of content that’s posted in each channel and ask yourself how does my story fit in that channel?

On How to Partner With Other People, Companies and Organizations as a Small Business…

  • One of the first things you can do is gather a group of 5-6 people together, all of whom share a passion and then build a “board” around that passion. You’ve now created the foundation for additional bigger partnerships.
  • Consider whether partnering with local non-profits would be relevant for your business. Is doing so a way to be exposed to that non-profit’s audience in a different and beneficial way?
  • You can also find local bloggers, preferably ones who compliment your business. Find those you have shared interests with and invite them to pin on your Pinterest board or create another mutually beneficial way to work together.

On The 3 Things To Do To Leverage Social Media on a Small Budget…

  • Ask yourself: what stories do you have to tell? And what kind of social media community do those stories resonate with? What do you have to offer that community and how are you going to make that useful for your social media audience?
  • Decide how much time you’re willing to commit every day & every week to social media. and be honest with yourself about it. Then choose accordingly. If you only have 15 minutes a day, don’t choose 4 social media platforms!
  • And finally, listen before you talk on your platform. Before you join a social channel or run a campaign, listen to who is on that channel, how they are speaking and what are the kinds of conversations people are having? What’s the vernacular people are using? Be sure you know so you can fit in and connect with ease.

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