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Identification Of Sainsbury’s Social Media Strategy


Task: You are required to identify and recommend alternative Sainsbury’s social media strategy and techniques that could potentially increase online revenue, and improve customer value and engagement..


1. Introduction
The study developed within the Sainsbury’s social media strategy is focused on the concept of digital marketing which is considered as the component of marketing that makes use of the internet and online-based digital technologies like mobile phones, desktop computers and many others. This technique helps in promoting products and services. Traditional marketing methods are taken over by digital methods. Google and Facebook are generating a large amount of revenue. There are many channels and technologies are used by the companies which help them to analyse the campaigns, strategy and content along with its working in real-time. For this report, the company that will be considered is Sainsbury’s. An analysis will be done on the Sainsbury’s social media strategy for their digital campaigns. It will also include the strengths and weakness of the strategy and the usage of digital analytics.

2. Overview of the company
Sainsbury's is regarded as the second-largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. It comes under the retail industry and was set up in 1869. The founder of the supermarket chain was John James Sainsbury and its headquartered is situated in London, United Kingdom. Currently, there are 116,400 employees in the company and 1,415 shops all over the world. The products that the company is having are convenience shop, forecourt shop, superstore/hypermarket and supermarket. The revenue of the company is 29.007 billion Euros. Some of the subsidiaries of the company are Sainsbury’s Bank, Argos, Sainsbury’s Local, Habitat and Nectar. Sainsbury's is helping its customers to live well for less. The target customer for Sainsbury’s is people who like doing grocery shopping or are in need of groceries each week ( 2020). Some of the competitors of Sainsbury’s are Tesco PLC, Asda Stores Limited, Aldi and Morrisons.

The company is trying to transform the lives of people by implementing some effective Sainsbury’s social media strategy. The company is helping the consumers to shop wherever, whenever and however. Sainsbury's is making online shopping convenient and flexible. They are also expanding a smaller convenience store network. The choices are growing in their supermarket. The company is trying to quickly help the customer along with convenience. They are developing such stores which will be offering food choice, clothing and general merchandise under a single roof. They are intending to become a multi-product and multi-channel retailer. Hence, Sainsbury's have opened 60 Argos Digital stores in the supermarket. They are planning to come up with 200 more. They are having more than 200 digital collection points and 7 mini habitats. There are 1 billion consumers who visit Argo's digital channels every year. Sainsbury’s is using digital marketing techniques and tools like Facebook for attracting and retaining the customers ( 2020). The company is partnering with different companies (Spotify) and using hashtags for marketing their products online. 

3. Analysis of current digital marketing tool used by Sainsbury’s
In today's world, the use of the internet is increasing rapidly. The main enablers of Sainsbury’s social media strategy are technology and ideology. Social media marketing suggests the utilisation of social media channels to get associated with the audience for increasing sales and amplifying website traffic. This is also helping gain the success in the business objectives. For promoting through Sainsbury’s social media strategy, most of the companies are communicating with the third party for adopting a multi-prolonged strategy that will be operating across many social platforms. The main focus of Sainsbury’s is on the current digital tool that is used by them. The company is having a social media account on Facebook. The most interesting part is they have created their own content community online which is known as TrolleyTalk. On this platform mainly the discussion among the stakeholders take place on the issues of supermarket trade.

Sainsbury’s social media strategy

According to the Sainsbury's social media strategy, there are three important elements. They are crisis control, customer service and sales. The most prevalent one is sales across the social media platform Facebook. The company is trying to stimulate sales by promoting competitions and recipes through Sainsbury’s social media strategy. They are also promoting corporate social responsibility activities so those customers get to know how responsible the company towards the environment is. This also helps to improve brand value. They are continuously sharing ideas and celebrating their success with the customer through their Facebook posts. Sainsbury's is having special features on their Facebook page. But first, it is important to know the following and likes on the page of the company. There are 1,708,826 people who have liked the page and 1,644,938 followers. As a part of Sainsbury’s social media strategy, company has tried to make the page quite attractive for the customers. The cover page of Sainsbury’s on Facebook is inspiring the customers to opt for healthy options ( 2020).

Sainsbury’s social media strategy

Sainsbury’s social media strategy

Figure 1: Sainsbury’s Facebook followers in the UK between August 2011 and August 2015
(Source: Bekoglu and Onayli 2016)

The company is available on Facebook Messenger so that immediate reply can be given to the customers on their queries. Sainsbury’s always updating on the activities or the initiatives that they are taking for a better future. They have uploaded videos and photos for it. One such example is of Net Zero by the year 2040. Due to such good initiatives and colourful videos the company has gained a positive set of responses. In this particular video, there were 895 comments, 113 shares and 976 thousand views. The company also gained some negative comments related to the issues faced in the supermarket. But Sainsbury's ensured to reply on each comment. They are having an attitude of apologising to their customers. This is helping them to gain customer satisfaction and trust.

One of the best parts of the Facebook page of Sainsbury’s is that they are regularly updating their information and uploading something for the customers so that attention can be gained from them ( 2020). Although they are a retail company or supermarket they are providing delicious and simple recipes to the customers. The recipes are all in the form of videos. These recipes are also available in their magazines. They are having a specific set of videographers and photographers who are helping to maintain digital marketing through Facebook. The links to all the recipes are provided on their Facebook page. In this way, most of the cooking issues are solved by the company. Apart from this, the Sainsbury’s social media strategy is ensuring that they take care of people having vegan food. For example, they uploaded a recipe of vegan pancake on which is quick and easy. Further their page is having a video which states that they are reducing their plastic packaging by half by the year 2025. For targeting a different set of customers like the health-conscious ones the company uploaded the recipe of low-fat cake which looked absolutely delicious (Bekoglu and Onayli 2016).

Sainsbury’s social media strategy ensures that they upload season-specific recipes like for winter it is oranges ( 2020). The company is making use of special has tags so that customers can search for the posts easily on Facebook. There are some recipes of drinks and special symbols are provided in the corner which states whether it is vegan or not (Mouli, Kumar and Kumar 2017). The company is providing all the information related to sales on their products and appliances. The Facebook page is having all the stores location and information. The new feature that is attracting many customers is the jobs that are available in the company. Sainsbury’s has uploaded the various positions that are open for the people in the company. There are unique events that are uploaded on the page of the company. All the details are provided properly for the customers.

One of the best features that Sainsbury’s social media strategy is having is related to the online. At the starting of the page, the company is having an option of the shop now. Through this link, the company is directing the customers to their online shopping page. Currently, there are 3.6 thousand photos on their Facebook page. All this shows that the company is putting a large number of efforts for maintaining their Facebook Page. Further, the planning of the Sainsbury’s social media strategy is to invest more in digital marketing especially on Facebook. This will be possible through Argo's merger. They are going to spend around 1.4 billion Euros for the merger with Argos. This comment came after the company acquired Home Retail Group. The company wanted to spend more because to engage new and existing customers. The director of Sainsbury's is having a belief that digital media channels that are new will be good for the strategies of marketing and advertising of the company ( 2020). Growth will be recognised by using social media platforms. This will be building customer engagement. Argos and Sainsbury’s will be two different entities that will function with their respective head offices and leadership team. All the efforts applied by the company for their page is becoming successful. One of the major advantages of the company is the idea of uploading the recipes and attracting the attention of the customers. This Sainsbury’s social media strategy is highly advantageous for the future of the company.

4. Two relevant journals articles discussing digital media strategies
Journal 1:Lee, D., Hosanagar, K. and Nair, H.S., 2018. Advertising content and consumer engagement on social media: Evidence from Facebook. Management Science, 64(11), pp.5105-5131. [Available at:]

Journal 2:Phua, J. and Ahn, S.J., 2016. Explicating the ‘like’on Facebook brand pages: The effect of intensity of Facebook use, number of overall ‘likes’, and number of friends'‘likes’ on consumers' brand outcomes. Journal of Marketing Communications, 22(5), pp.544-559. [Available at:]

5. Strengths and weaknesses of the strategy in relation to Sainsbury’s
Sainsbury’s social media strategy is making use of Facebook for promoting their digital marketing activities. Some of the strengths of this strategy are given out here. The Facebook page has been successful for the company in identifying the needs of the customers (Phua and Ahn 2016). They are providing an overview of the various initiatives that they are taking for the betterment of the environment. The company is ensuring that excellent customer services provided through this digital platform. There is a positive influence on the customers through the active reply of the company on a social media site. They are having a high level of cross-platform cohesiveness in the messages they are delivering. All the content generated by the company is related to food. This is reducing a large amount of confusion and conflicts across this social media platform. The company is available on Facebook Messenger which is an added advantage (Lassen, la Cour and Vatrapu 2017). They are replying to all positive and negative comments on their Facebook posts. However, this is not discouraging them to upload new content each day. According to Sainsbury’s social media strategy, online platform is allowing them to reach around 4,000 people each week (Chen et al. 2016). This allows them to gain rich insights on the issues that are concerning the customers. The company is taking effective actions immediately for further betterment. The content that Sainsbury's is uploading on a daily basis is actually increasing the number of followers, likes, comments, shares and views. Special hashtags are increasing traffic on their Facebook page each day. There are unique events on Facebook that is catching the attention of people and they are actively taking part too.

Sainsbury’s social media strategy is having some weaknesses by using a Facebook page for their social media promotion. The most important issue of the company is their Sainsbury’s social media strategy is not matching with the business strategy. Although there is a great opportunity for knowing the customers better but the page is not emphasising on promoting the values of the company. The corporate-based values are not mentioned on the page. The complete set up of the page is not a formal one (Rao et al. 2018). There are issues on the updates and compared to other competitors the company is having less number of followers. This also reflects that the engagement of the customers is less. The content is engaging the customers but the current beings are not promoted on the main page (Lee, Hosanagar and Nair 2018). The notifications to the customers are not regular and there is need more people in the digital marketing team. There is a lack of visibilities by the CEO of the company on social media. The company is unable to strengthen their relationships through Sainsbury’s social media strategy. There is no feedback system on the Facebook page. It is essential for the CEO to gain some knowledge of digital marketing strategy. Some strategic changes were not being introduced by the company and this was not helping to exploit opportunities. The company is not coming up with some unique posts apart from the recipes. This is making customers feel bored because similar posts are getting repeated.

6. How Digital Analytics can be used to measure success of Sainsbury’s social media strategy?
The Facebook page success of Sainsbury's is possible through Facebook Analytics. Facebook is being used for the purpose of business. However, it is essential to opt for a structured Sainsbury’s social media strategy that will be tying social media efforts to real business. Analytics will be providing tons of information which will help the company to track and measure their results so that some strategies can be redefined. The two major tools of Facebook analytics are Page Insights and Audience Insights(Chen et al. 2016). The page insight will be providing information on the Facebook page. Sainsbury’s will be able to track their work, learn on how people are interacting with the content of the company and improve the results over some time period. The audience insight helps in understanding people better so that more relevant content can be created for targeting advertisement. The overview part in Facebook analytics will be providing bird's-eye view of everything that happens on the company's page (Maintz and Zaumseil 2017). There is a facility for viewing the data for 7 days or 28 days. There are three main sections in the overview portion. One of them is the page summary. The next one is 5 recent posts and lastly, there are pages to watch. The company shifted its ads into a separate ad analytics page known as Ad Center.

There is a detailed analysis of the posts on the analytics dashboard. This is providing tons of important information depending on the activities of the company. There are three main tabs. One of them shows when the fans are online, then there are post types and lastly top posts from the page to watch. Sainsbury’s is trying to reach the customers and improve engagement (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick 2019). They are trying to check the demographics of the people who visit the page. It is important for the company to schedule their post at the best times by the help of Facebook Analytics.

7. Recommendations
Some recommendations are being provided to Sainsbury’s social media strategy so that they proceed with their digital marketing campaign using Facebook.

Sainsbury’s social media strategy

  • The company should advance its efforts so that participation can be increased. For this, the company should improve its weaknesses. They can use internal marketing methods so that employee retention can be improved.
  • It is essential for the CEO of Sainsbury’s to become an active user on social media platforms like Facebook. All the core branding values should be introduced by the CEO on the Facebook page. All the ethical values must be introduced by the CEO as this will be attracting the attention of the customers.
  • It is important for the company to come up with fresh content apart from the recipes so that all set of customers can be targeted. It is because only recipes will make the page boring and dull for the customers who are not much into cooking.
  • Sainsbury's should take advantage of Facebook Analytics for improving the value of the customers. The company should hire more experienced employees in the digital marketing sector. This is because they will be able to provide more different ideas for generating sales through the Facebook page.

8. Conclusion
This report is focusing on Sainsbury’s social media strategy of digital marketing. Firstly an introduction was provided on digital marketing. After this, the overview of the company was given. The current tool that Sainsbury’s used for digital marketing was Facebook. The page on this social media site was a quite attractive and large amount of followers. The company provided videos, photos, hashtags on the posts. This attracted a large number of comments, likes, views and shares. A discussion was done on Facebook Analytics and on how it is being used by Sainsbury’s social media strategy. The strengths and weaknesses of using Facebook by Sainsbury’s were given in details. Lastly, some recommendations were provided for the company.

Reference List 2020. Business strategy of Sainsbury’s. Available at: [Accessed on 2nd March 2020]

Bekoglu, F.B. and Onayli, C., 2016. Strategic approach in social media marketing and a study on successful Facebook cases. Sainsbury’s social media strategy European Scientific Journal, 12(7), pp.261-274. [Available at:] 2020. Digital marketing strategy. Available at: [Accessed on 2nd March 2020]

Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F., 2019. Digital marketing. Pearson UK. [Available at:]

Chen, C., Iglasias, J., Lin, X., Li, J.J., Morreale, P. and Ness, L., 2016, August. Facebook traffic pattern analytics. In Proceedings of the The 3rd Multidisciplinary International Social Networks Conference on SocialInformatics 2016, Data Science 2016 (pp. 1-5). [Available at:]

Chen, G.J., Wiener, J.L., Iyer, S., Jaiswal, A., Lei, R., Simha, N., Wang, W., Wilfong, K., Williamson, T. and Yilmaz, S., 2016, June. Realtime data processing at Facebook. In Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Management of Data (pp. 1087-1098). [Available at:] 2020. Sainsbury’s Page. Sainsbury’s social media strategy Available at: [Accessed on 2nd March 2020]

Lassen, N.B., la Cour, L. and Vatrapu, R., 2017. Predictive analytics with social media data. The SAGE Handbook of Social Media Research Methods, p.328. [Available at:]

Lee, D., Hosanagar, K. and Nair, H.S., 2018. Advertising content and consumer engagement on social media: Evidence from Facebook. Management Science, 64(11), pp.5105-5131. [Available at:]

Maintz, J. and Zaumseil, F., 2017, June. Using Web analytics for content marketing performance measurement. In 5 th International Conference on Contemporary Marketing Issues ICCMI June 21-23, 2017 Thessaloniki, Greece (p. 515). [Available at:]

Mouli, G.C., Kumar, M.A. and Kumar, P.C.P., 2017. Facebook & Societal Marketing: A Strategic Assessment of Social Media Influence on Eco-Friendly Products Promotion. Sainsbury’s social media strategy In National Conference on Marketing and Sustainable Development October (Vol. 13, p. 14). [Available at:]

Phua, J. and Ahn, S.J., 2016. Explicating the ‘like’on Facebook brand pages: The effect of intensity of Facebook use, number of overall ‘likes’, and number of friends'‘likes’ on consumers' brand outcomes. Journal of Marketing Communications, 22(5), pp.544-559. [Available at:]

Rao, K.S., Lakshmi, J., Sahyaja, C. and Dimple, G., 2018. A Study on Marketing Strategies using Social Media in Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest. International Journal of Engineering & Technology, 7(2.20), pp.114-118. [Available at:] 2020. Sainsbury’s to increase investment on Social media marketing. Sainsbury’s social media strategy Available at: [Accessed on 2nd March 2020]


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