Walmart Goes Local on Facebook, Launches Store Level Messaging

By: Sirisha Pochiraju

Long before the digital age conventional way of advertising a product into the market is through newspapers, radio, magazines, word of mouth or television. A local-social strategy by Walmart to make more accessible to their communities is by launching store level Facebook page.

The recent advent of social media has created a platform for companies to market their products. However, there are various social media presently in the market. Wal-Mart chooses face book as a media to market its products because face book has 165 million users and it is considered to be the best platform for advertising.

Walmart has committed for a social local strategy to attract online customers. It has launched thousands of face book pages. Facebook timeline provides the online opportunity to interact with customers and to the nearest Walmart stores. The users can enter a zip code in the Facebook page and this would direct to the nearest Walmart stores. This strategy would help lower the advertising expenditures and more engagement with customers. Walmart gets about 150 million shoppers monthly whereas Facebook has 160 million users. Walmart found a great potential to reach such a large volume of Facebook users and thus launched a Facebook page. They realized that having a local Facebook page is better strategy for marketing.   Now, they have about 9.4 million fans on Walmart local Face book pages. It lets users to find deals, coupons promotions online, and black Friday-discounted merchandise in the local stores.

Designated store employees who have received special training on social media are responsible for maintaining the face book pages, respond to customer’s questions and issues in timely fashion, and evaluate their social media marketing based on social media metrics. The analytics is done by several different ways:

  • Likes/dislikes, Shares and Comments about particular products in a page
  • How far the content is reaching the community?
  • Responding to the positive and negative conversations accordingly
  • Measuring popular impressions.

Social media is enabling Walmart to go back to the future by providing an authentic customer service. They outreached the local communities by sharing targeted local promotions, and discussing town news or events.

As technology continues to shape the retail experience, the “My Local Walmart” Facebook application now allows shoppers to use social media to track exactly what’s in their Walmart stores and when including:

  • New Products:From the latest LED-TV to organic dog food, customers can now get updates on products available in their local Walmart.
  • Rollbacks:Fans will be notified of additional savings on already everyday low prices for items ranging from popular hair care products to favorite cereals.
  • In-Store Events:Information will be shared for family-friendly events and product demonstrations. For example, in the next few weeks, customers planning their holiday shopping for one of the busiest shopping days of the season – the day-after-Thanksgiving – will be able to print their store map via the “My Local Walmart” application.

Apart from Facebook, Walmart uses integrated marketing communications tools to ensure that all users in different social media such as twitter, youtube, and google plus can also be reached.

Walmart continues to put people at the center of their marketing, in this case by bringing relationships to life locally. This could be one of the reasons that Facebook Walmart Page is generating more popularity than the corporate pages.

Given a choice, do you prefer Walmart Facebook page or the corporate page?

Link to the article: http://adage.com/article/digital/walmart-local-facebook-store-level-messaging/230327/

Blog originally posted at: http://sirishamarketing.blogspot.com/

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4 thoughts on “Walmart Goes Local on Facebook, Launches Store Level Messaging

  1. Domenica Fuller February 19, 2015 / 4:05 pm

    Walmart creating local pages is a great idea; it is such a large company and this is a way for them to target more customers by addressing those that shop at individual stores. By focusing more locally, Walmart can run specials specifically designed for each local store. Running specials for snow shovels and ice melt may not be as profitable in California right now, but the Walmart in my town would be able to target what customers will be looking for this time of year. This gives Walmart a chance to follow any purchasing patterns and run its specials and rollbacks when it would be most beneficial to customers. Having the specials on Facebook make them more accessible to users on a daily basis instead of in the weekly flyer that comes in the Sunday Globe. Another feature available through these local Facebook pages is being able to inform customers right away of any new products that are available at their local stores. Furthermore, with these social media accounts being actively managed by in store employees; if anything ever ran out in the store, they could promptly let customers know when stock of the item has been replenished. While I may be biased as a weekly Walmart shopper, this is a great way for a large company to reach out to its core customers with local specials and some Facebook users who may not shop at Walmart normally, but are looking for a good deal.

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  2. Kyley Murphy February 19, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    Sirisha,

    I think a company using Facebook, especially a company as large as Wal-Mart, is very smart. Facebook is free, so you are able to advertise for free to keep costs down and since most people have a Facebook, it is very easily accessible. Also, as you stated with Facebook keeping track of Likes and Comments, it is very easy to keep track of how many people visit your page and what problems or requests they might have. I know when I want to find something quick, if I am already on Facebook I will just Facebook search for a company instead of going to Google. Convenience keeps customers happy!

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  3. Yafen Liu February 22, 2015 / 11:12 pm

    Hello, Sirisha

    Good presentation! I think it is a profound strategy that Wal-Mart markets its products through social media such as face book, twitter and YouTube. These social media provide customers a convenient, timesaving and straightforward method for purchasing. People will choose the more familiar products or the products they used before. However, when they choose something they never knew before, they would follow the mainstream: the products that are the most favorite among consumers or the products with great comments. On the one hand, by marketing on social media, Wal-Mart not only saves the costs for advertising but also lower the labor and inventory expenses. On the other hand, consumers would be more familiar with Wal-Mart’s products because of the popular of social media. Thus, consumers will be likely to choose War-Mart when they are shopping.

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  4. McGee Hines March 14, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    Personally, I don’t think that Facebook is the best way for Walmart to get out to it’s customers. I think that it’s a completely different platform for the type of business Walmart runs as. Plus, it adds the aspects of lots of extraneous training and hiring for Walmart employees, which require them to have more qualifications than the typical Walmart employee might have. On Walmart’s actual website, it gives options to enter your nearest Walmart store to see what is in stock, reviews, sale items, etc. Thus, I don’t think it’s necessary nor convenient for the costumer/Walmart to have individual Walmart Facebook pages for each store (which, is a lot).

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