Not many people gain 100 new friends a minute. Publix did on the first day the grocery chain launched a Facebook page.
From the launch at 7 a.m. Friday to 11 a.m., 3,078 people friended the Publix Facebook page which – for now – is somewhat basic for the Facebook commerce world.
There aren't ways to purchase anything directly through the site, nor are there special deals for only the Facebook friends.
What the page has are lists of the signature Publix BOGO deals, recipes from the Publix Aprons cooking brand and places for the food-curious to learn about the Publix store brand products.
If people feel the need, they can vote in polls about their favorite sandwiches: Chicken Tender, Ultimate or Cuban.
The Facebook page is actually Publix's first venture into social media, and "we are excited to have a new way to communicate with and engage our customers," said spokeswoman Shannon Patten.
Such corporate Facebook pages have become almost mandatory in the retail world as a way to promote a company and offer a secondary customer service connection for shoppers.
Sweetbay Supermarkets already has a Facebook fan page, as do Target, Walmart, Winn-Dixie and The Fresh Market. The Whole Foods store in Tampa has its own Facebook page just to promote news and events at that particular store.
On the most personal level, the pages offer a place for loyalists to profess their love.
For instance, Lyn Hoyt of North Carolina took to the Publix page to profess "Yeah Publix!! Glad you are in my Facebook stream now. I'm a fresh pizza dough ball fan BTW!"
Jesse McMillan of Lakeland declared "Me n my family loves ur cookies from the bakery there sooo soft n mmmm delics."
Some fans become so enamored, they create their own fan pages. For instance, the Publix Subs page now counts more than 176,000 fans. Its stated mission: To celebrate "The best cold sub ever. The bread is amazing and if you don't like Boar's Head you are unAmerican√."
A few other grocery Facebook pages:
Publix Super Markets -- www.facebook.com/publix
Publix Subs -- www.facebook.com/pages/Publix-Subs/77109909804
Sweetbay -- www.facebook.com/shopsweetbay
Whole Foods Tampa – www.facebook.com/wfmtpa
Winn-Dixie -- www.facebook.com/pages/Winn-Dixie/106076286089754
Target -- www.facebook.com/target
The Fresh Market -- www.facebook.com/TheFreshMarket
Walmart – www.facebook.com/walmart