The World’s Best Brand in Social Media Customer Care.

You need to be on [social media] to be competitive in any kind of business, whether you’re mowing lawns or selling dresses.” – Lorrae Madge, owner and social media manager of Amaryllis Boutique. *(1)

Q&A – Question: Select an organisation from the Retail Sector and discuss their use of social technology.
 note-to-reader: * represent items as referenced.

Outline for blog/functional ares of discussion:

  1. chosen organisation = Tesco.
  2. social technology(ies) implemented by Tesco. (twitter, facebook, google+, pinterest)
  3. successes of social integration by Tesco.

Chose organisation – Tesco:
The UK’s biggest food retailer, offering a variety of services for food and nonfood products. This includes insurance, entertainment, electrical goods and many more. They employ over 440,000 people around the world with over 280,000 in the UK. It has over 2,000 stores in the UK and a growing number of stores abroad in countries such as Thailand, China, Hungary and the United States. *(2)

Social technologies used by Tesco:


Pinterest, A quick overview:

Pinterest is an online site where you can save (pin) and organize images and videos into different groupings called boards. You can upload images and videos yourself, or you can add images and videos that you’ve found on other web sites. You can also “re-pin” pictures and videos that other people have added to their Pinterest boards. – businessproductivity. *(3)

screenshot of the official home of Tesco on Pinterest.
Caption of the official home of Tesco on Pinterest.


Tesco promotes recipes, healthy living and gardening ideas amongst others on its Pinterest account. The use of Pinterest is something new for most retailers. Tesco have a decent following on Pinterest. 4,133 followers, 4,726 likes with 35 boards and 3,025 pins. The volume of Interaction if not as high compared to Tesco socail presence on facebook or Google+ for example. However, take notice that Pinterest hasn’t been around as long as facebook and the average time spent on Pinterest is 15.8 minutes…

The Demographics *(4) of Pinterest are interesting to say the least. 68.2% of users are women. 1.36 million visitors everyday. 3.6% referral traffic compared to Google+’s 0.22%. Average time spent on Pinterest 15.8 minutes compared to facebook’s 12.1 minutes. Divurge on this information as you like, but this is very compelling evidence of how promising Pinterest is.

Tesco’s use of Pinterest correlates to the marketing and sales functions in relation to McKinsey (2012). It appears to be leveraging from numbers 5 (use social technologies for marketing communication/interaction), 6 (generate and foster sales leads) and 7 (social commerce).


In 2013 Tesco following on Google+ exceeded 2,294 followers. Today (2014) they have 65,124 followers (2738.88% increase) in a year. Quite impressive!  The content published on this page are duplicates from their Facebook page. I see nothing wrong with this. However, google+ demographics suggest that if you are targeting Google+ audience, it is essential to create high volumes of multimedia content to drive the most positive outcome. *(5) Why? Demographics present that Google+’s female audiences are most likely to be 25 to 35 year olds. Largest majority of people on Google+ are potentially IT Engineers with a stronger male audience. I see evidence that suggest Tesco are tailoring the content to support the user-base of this platform. The image below supports this.

Prototype grocery shopping app for #GoogleGlass.
Prototype grocery shopping app for #GoogleGlass.

Tesco’s use of Google+ correlates to the marketing and sales, and customer service functions in relation to McKinsey report (2012). It appears to be leveraging from numbers 4 (derive customer insights), 5 (use social technologies for marketing communication/interaction), 6 (generate and foster sales leads), 7 (social commerce) and 8 (provide customer care via social technologies).


Tesco has a large array of twitter accounts. @TescoMedia@Tescomobile@Tesco to name a few, which provide regular updates about books, dieting, kitchens and its stores in across the world. *(6). Too many for my liking, but at least it’s made abundantly clear to customers what business unit they are communicating with. However, having this number of Twitter accounts certainly dilutes the potential for any one account to build up a large following. Good-thing or Bad-thing?

Twitter these days is the perfect companion for any customer. It’s quick, interactive and to the point. Got an promble with your local store? tweet to @Tesco. Found a insect in your apple? Tweet to Tesco. They will do their upmost to find a solution to your query/problem. Funny thing about Tesco social strategy on twitter, is their tone = light-hearted & cheeky.

Students, a word of advice, before you head back to uni: mixing bowls are for mixing. Not for Coco Pops.

— Tesco (@Tesco) September 7, 2014

An huge retailer being, well human! is unusual.  They’re not usually funny, they’re not their to make you smile. They’re just  there to make a hefty profit out of your expense. So when Tesco surprise customers with this light-harted cheeky tone, it adds an more personal 1 to 1 experience for customers. They get the feeling of speaking to a real person, and not a machine.

This twitter conversation bring this to life. *(7)

Tesco’s use of twitter correlates to the marketing and sales, and customer service functions in relation to McKinsey (2012). It appears to be leveraging from 5 (use social technologies for marketing communication/interaction) and 8 (provide customer care via social technologies).


Tesco tends to post two updates each day, and it is at most times related to the brand or its products its sells. Exceptions I’ve seen are charity fundraisers such as the #ALSIceBucketChallenge.

ice bucket challenge by tesco
ice bucket challenge by tesco.

Tesco encourages conversation by posting food recipes and short video clips to their page. Additionally offering incentives to customers, by hosting chances to win gifts/prizes by asking them participate within the community on facebook.

This has proved to be a clever tactic for driving up customer satisfaction for the Tesco retailer. They’ve even won awards for how well they have used social media. As of Q3 2014. Tesco had 1,439,741 followers via facebook (at the time of writing this). Yet, they had still managed to answer a whooping 2,185 questions at an average response time of 417 minutes during with a response rate 91.97%. *(8)

Tesco is for sure, a #sociallydevoted organisation.

Tesco’s use of facebook correlates to the marketing and sales, and customer service functions in relation to McKinsey (2012). It appears to be leveraging from numbers 4 (derive customer insights), 5 (use social technologies for marketing communication/interaction) and 6 (generate and foster sales leads).

Successes of social integration by Tesco [News Articles]:

  1. Tesco’s innovative social media strategy puts customer service at the heart of every interaction, a shrewd move that has resulted in the retailing giant being named best in the world for social customer care.
  2. Tesco Awarded CCA’s Most Effective Use of Social Media Award 2013




Social technology can and does influence consumers and their buying behaviour and the actions retailers such as Tesco put in place to create an advantage over their competitors can be crucial. Despit Tesco’s efforts in social technology, they have suffered their worst sales for decades (30 years) and experienced one million fewer customer visits a week at Tesco (as from 25th May 2014).

Question: How do you think social can help Tesco in their time of trouble?



1) ATKINSON, K. (2014, August 18). Retrieved from

2) Case studies in Business Case Studies. (n.d.). Retrieved from

3) A quick overview of Pinterest. (2013, January 28). Retrieved from

4) 3 ‘Pinteresting’ Facts About Pinterest Users [INFOGRAPHIC]. (2012, January 1). Retrieved from

5) THE REAL GOOGLE PLUS DEMOGRAPHIC. (n.d.). Retrieved from

6) Patel, M., & Blakey, A. (n.d.). HOW DOES TESCO USE SOCIAL MEDIA? Retrieved from

7) CLENCH, S. (2013, November 15). Tesco Mobile triggers the best Twitter conversation ever. Retrieved from

8) The World’s Best Brands in Social Media Customer Care on Twitter. (2013, January 1). Retrieved from

9) Tran, R. (2013, November 27). Tesco Awarded CCA’s Most Effective Use of Social Media Award 2013. Retrieved from

Pinterest – Quick Overview. (2013, February 27). Retrieved from

Chu, M., Manyika, J., Bughin, J., Dobbs, R., Roxburgh, C., Sarrazin, H., … Westergren, M. (2012, July 1). The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies. Retrieved from

7 responses to “The World’s Best Brand in Social Media Customer Care.

  1. Strong research there, Andre. It’s a very interesting article and pretty much sums up everything about Tesco. In regards to your question, I reckon they will need to come up with some other interactive campaigns online to actually make people buy their products, just like Coca Cola.

  2. Great post Andre,

    in regards to your question, first I agree with Syed Muhammed Ali suggestion. Second, I think they need to use the advantage of smartphone apps to enhance their brand and social media.

    I wrote about Walmart and how they have used the social networking to reach its customers, please have a read and feedback at


    • Thanks Said!

      Yes, I agree with you.
      Tesco haven’t taken a strong lead into utilising smarphone apps to enhance their brand and social media as well as some other retailers have.

  3. Great post! It’s so great to see multiple benefits that social technologies have on businesses, big or small. As an avid Pinterest user for an exceptionally long time, it’s awesome to see Enterprises getting their presence out there through this new platform. Pinterest is really a great tool for marketing and sales. Hopefully Tesco continues to utilise this social technology!

  4. Hi Andre, great post. I have also recently written about Tesco and their social technology usage. It’s interesting you are getting comments about implementing more social campaigns. I discovered that Tesco recently partnered with Buyapowa. This allows customers to join in on a ‘co-buy’ for a Tesco Direct product. In my opinion, these sorts of campaigns the answer to your question – they will enable Tesco to harness the customers voice and give them some control in terms of getting the products they want for the price they want to pay. Something I believe will be increasingly powerful in the near future.

    You may be interested more about this and you can read about it here:


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