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How Publix Won The Internet During Irma


Lakeland-based grocer Publix Super Markets took on Hurricane Irma not just by keeping its stores open if at all possible and stocking as many emergency-oriented supplies (such as bottled water and batteries) as possible — it also maintained an active and responsive social media presence before, during and after the storm. 

Publix's Facebook page was nearly as active as its stores as Irma blew through the Florida peninsula, the Tampa Business Journal reports. No matter what the comment was, the company responded to it, generally within a matter of minutes.

The idea was to engage its customers even during a stressful time and be a reassuring presence. For the company, the engagement had the added bonus of re-enforcing loyalty among shoppers already known for their loyalty to the brand.

Last Wednesday, the grocer posted a letter from President and CEO Todd Jones expressing sympathy for those dealing with Irma's aftermath and thanking customers for their business. Within 48 hours, the letter had been shared more than 1,400 times.

Publix has about 1,100 stores and 2.8 million Facebook followers.