The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 4th Annual Shorty Awards

Michael Bepko, Global Online Community Manager for Whole Foods Market

Finalist in Social Media Manager


Whole Foods Market is often looked to as a brand “who gets it" when it comes to social media. Revered for its thriving social communities and innovative use of social media strategies, Whole Foods isn’t afraid to try new things in the ever-evolving social media landscape to see what best resonates with their community and drives engagement from their customers. While the organization has gained notable social media success, what might be lesser known is the man behind the scenes who is at the helm of the company’s online network – Michael Bepko. Better known in social spheres as @Bepkoboy, Michael is the global online community manger for Whole Foods and is the person who lives behind the logo that resides among a social community of over 3.5 million friends, followers and fans. @Bepkoboy has brought exuberance, humor, style and a touch of sass to the Whole Foods Market’s presence in the social space. His dedication to maintaining the perfect combination of being a marketer, PR pro, psychologist and community member is what has helped him grow Whole Foods Market’s social footprint to upwards of 5 million across the organization’s 600+ local Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Beyond being the sole employee responsible for managing the @WholeFoods Twitter handle - which entails monitoring, publishing, engaging with and responding to a follower base of over 2.2 million people - @Bepkoboy also somehow finds time to successfully identify new online spaces where Whole Foods Market is relevant and quickly learns how to communicate in the native language. In 2009, he launched a Foursquare campaign that made the Whole Foods Market Flagship store in Austin, TX the second highest checked-in food/drink location in the world. He is also responsible for pushing the organization to jump headfirst into the emerging social network Pinterest. As a result, the Whole Foods page already boasts over 13,000 followers and more than 20 boards ranging from vibrant and mouth-watering foods and recipes to entertaining ideas and cooking gadgets. When @Bepkoboy isn’t busy managing Whole Foods Market’s growing social communities, he enjoys: #Food #Wine #Beer #RollerCoasters #Dogs and #Oversharing and has a tendency to communicate thoughts and ideas in 140 characters or less.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Whole Foods Market