Facebook’s news-feed change didn’t catch The Vitamin Shoppe by surprise. The supplements chain was already at work on a new Facebook strategy that will see it adding more influencers to its roster and placing more focus on Facebook Live and groups.
So far, The Vitamin Shoppe, which has 1.3 million followers on Facebook, said it’s still seeing a “great deal” of engagement on the platform, but it’s taking additional steps to ensure its footing there in the future.
The Vitamin Shoppe sees enormous potential in Facebook Live, posting one Facebook Live video every week, but planning on doubling those efforts with the algorithm change, according to Lisa Chudnofsky, head of content and customer engagement. “We know Facebook has always favored Facebook Live from the get-go,” she said.
The main objective of Facebook Live for The Vitamin Shoppe, which has nearly 800 locations across the U.S., is to connect followers with employees at 20 redesigned stores that Chudnofsky describes as its stores of the future. These stores have communal areas where employees host workout sessions, health and wellness classes and taste tests, like with kombucha or protein pizza. These sessions are livestreamed on Facebook Live. It’s all part of the retailer’s strategy to be the authority on everything health and wellness, beyond nutritional products.
The Vitamin Shoppe will also involve more influencers in its Facebook posts. The idea is that since influencers maintain authentic relationships with their followers, content from or featuring them is less likely to get buried in the feed. On Jan. 1, The Vitamin Shoppe launched its largest influencer campaign to date called “Victory is Yours,” according to Chudnofsky.
The campaign features YouTube influencer Cassey Ho, who has 1.4 million Instagram followers and 1.2 million Facebook followers, and Noah Galloway, who lost his arm and leg while fighting in the Iraq War and has followings of 224,000 on Instagram and 137,000 on Facebook. These influencers appear in the retailer’s social posts and Facebook Live videos, which are designed to encourage dialogue in the comments section, according to Chudnofsky.
Chudnofsky said The Vitamin Shoppe is also building a health and fitness community of influencers it can use for future campaigns.
The Vitamin Shoppe is placing more emphasis on Facebook groups, developing between five and 10 groups around niche topics such as sports nutrition, healthy eating and bodybuilding, according to Chudnofsky. The retailer joins other brands that are creating groups because the algorithm that controls Facebook’s feed doesn’t apply to groups. At the same time, brands can serve more customized content in groups.
“Health and wellness is such a broad industry that if we can get it a little more granular, then we can offer specific videos, giveaways and exclusive coupons,” said Chudnofsky. “We all have different types of needs and goals.”