Walmart’s use of social media for customer engagement and marketing.
Social media has become one of the main channels of marketing, promotional campaigns and customer engagement for most brands. However, retail brands are also using them for customer service and feedback. The growth of social media channels brought several new opportunities for retailers making it easier to address complaints and engage customers as well as run seasonal campaigns and real-time promotions. Several of the leading physical retailers of the US including Walmart are investing in social media marketing to grow their influence and engage their followers. While Facebook is the leading social media marketing channel of Walmart, the brand is also utilizing other networks like Twitter and Instagram for promotions and managing customer connection. Among the several benefits that social media offers for retail brands, customer service and feedback are of particular importance making it easier for companies to improve their customer experience on digital channels. When used in conjunction with the e-commerce app and blogging, social media is highly effective at engaging customers and running seasonal promotions to drive sales. Moreover, investing in social media marketing helps brands like Walmart improve customer loyalty, strengthen competitive advantage and grow their overall influence in both the online and offline environments.
Facebook is the favorite of marketers when it comes to growing your brand’s influence and branding. Apart from a global reach, Facebook offers several more advantages that can help businesses grow their customer engagement and gain feedback effectively using their Facebook account. However, while using social media for marketing and branding, marketers should focus on consistent marketing or the message must be consistent across all the channels you use. Facebook offers several features that are suitable for running seasonal campaigns. The level of engagement a brand achieves on Facebook however, depends on the type of content you use and the quality of your content. The Facebook page of Walmart has more than 32.8 million followers and more than 34 million likes. Quality of content is important for growing your influence through social media and so is the content mix. Walmart uses multimedia content including videos and images to drive higher engagement and instead of just promoting products or deals also promotes the other aspects of the brands including work culture and CSR.
Overall, Walmart uses the social media account for promotions as well as branding. The number of daily posts is generally limited to 1 to two. Apart from using plenty of videos to engage customers and bolster its image of a consumer-friendly brand, Walmart is using Facebook for one more purpose which is to engage its internal stakeholders – the Walmart associates. A lot of posts mainly feature the employees and several of them highlight their critical achievements. However, Walmart also publicizes its CSR achievements using its Facebook page. An effective social media strategy leverages the reach of social media to bring your fans and followers from around the world face to face with various and most exciting aspects of your business and instead of only promotions engages them on a variety of topics, highlighting your most critical strengths as a brand.
Twitter is another leading social media channel that Walmart has successfully used for promotions and engaging customers. The company has used several Twitter accounts but the main account titled Walmart has 1 million followers. While Twitter is the best channel for real-time marketing and promotions, it is also great for reaching out to users around the world and locally in real-time and to run sponsored ads. The Twitter account of Walmart looks highly cheerful and alive. Apart from images and videos, Twitter also uses small and fun tweets to excite its fans and followers. While such tweets are not directed at promotion or driving sales, they are still great to drive fan engagement higher. However, sometimes the aim of Walmart may also be to gain feedback.
Walmart has made around 557.9K tweets until now. Apart from promotions, which are targeted at driving sales and promote seasonal deals, it also tweets on several other issues as in the case of Facebook. However, Walmart does not post the same content on both Facebook and Twitter. Instead, the content on each of the two platforms is tailored for the audience on each. Twitter’s popularity despite a smaller audience than Facebook is because of its effectiveness in terms of real-time marketing. Tweets have a shorter lifespan than Facebook posts. Tweets have an average lifespan of just about 18 minutes. This also makes Twitter the fastest social media channel. However, making the impact of your tweet last when you have so limited time in your hands can be difficult. It is why Neil Patel suggests tweeting during peak hours. When most of your users are online, tweeting can be more effective at generating results.
Instagram’s popularity as a marketing channel has increased a lot. In the last three to four years, Instagram has acquired a much larger audience. Apart from being visually appealing to audiences of all age groups, Instagram’s popularity is the highest among the youth. According to Statista, the number of active monthly users on this platform has grown to 1 billion in June 2018. The appeal of this social media platform is the highest among the teens and the Millenials. There are hundreds of influencers on the platform, each of which has thousands of millions of followers. Moreover, the popularity and reach of these social media stars can be much higher than the other mainstream celebrity. These Instagrammers can help brands get their message across to their millions of followers easily and help companies strengthen their competitive advantage. Some years ago, Instagram started attracting large brands because of the viral growth potential it offers. Partnering with the social media influencers or the Instagrammers could bring mind-blowing results for large businesses.
Walmart has 2.2 million followers on Instagram. The company has been using influencer marketing on Instagram to spread the word around. As in the case of Facebook and Twitter, Walmart does not use Instagram either solely for product promotions or marketing campaigns for driving sales. A large part of its social media marketing efforts is geared towards branding as a part of which the company showcases its associate stories and CSR efforts. To maximize the returns from its Instagram marketing efforts, the company runs marketing campaigns on the platform from time to time with the help of Instagram influencers. 2019 was the sixth year of its Fight Hunger Spark the Change campaign in partnership with Feeding America. The company used several Instagram influencers to maximize its impact. These Instagrammers together had a fan base of 29.5 million and the result was that the 30 days long campaign achieved its target in a single day. Another major influencer who is a part of Walmart’s social media marketing campaign is Ellen DeGeneres. Her Instagram handle, @theellenshow has 83.8 million followers. That’s an amazing number. Walmart and Ellen have partnered to launch an exclusive fashion line called EV1 which sells across 2300 Walmart stores. Ellen’s social media fan base, on the other hand, helps Walmart reach millions of prospective customers.
Linked In is a social media channel with a large audience made up of professionals from around the globe. However, companies use the platform for branding and to promote their culture and image before millions of professionals. Linked In offers a large user base as well as opportunities to promote your brand and its culture before a unique audience. Most companies use Linked In to attract prospective candidates and to promote a strong image as well as connect with their targeted fan base made up largely of Millenials.
Walmart has more than 2 million followers on Linked In. Most of Walmart’s focus while posting on Linked In is on its social image as a brand and its work culture. The frequency of posts on Linked In is low and the company makes mostly 2 to 3 posts each week. These posts mainly cover associated stories, supply chain stories, media events, as well as, CSR sustainability-related issues. In this way, LinkedIn is also an integral pillar of Walmart’s social media branding strategy.
Walmart has used YouTube also mainly for branding and unlike what most would expect its account is not flooded with weekly promotions. The company uses a lot of video content for marketing on Facebook and Twitter but its official YouTube account has just 948 videos and around 32.8K followers. Most Videos in the corporate Walmart account on YouTube are related to CSR, sustainability and other aspects of the business including supply chain and customer service. The company does not upload videos to YouTube too frequently either. So, overall the main focus of Walmart’s YouTube strategy is branding and to promote the social aspect of its business mainly.
Social media is just one aspect of the marketing strategy of Walmart but a very important one. The online presence and reputation of companies matter more than ever now. Walmart’s twitter magic is especially notable and worth imitating for other brands. Apart from customer engagement and to gain feedback, the company uses Twitter for real-time promotions. Instagram is also an important pillar of its social media marketing strategy where the use of influencers has helped it grow its influence multifold. Apart from increased reach, the most important benefit that Walmart gains from the use of social media for marketing is higher customer engagement which can translate into higher loyalty and growing e-commerce as well as in-store sales.
|APA.||Pratap, A. (2020, February 15). Walmart Social Media Marketing strategy. . Retrieved February 15, 2020, from https://cheshnotes.com/walmart-social-media-marketing-strategy/|
|MLA.||Pratap, Abhijeet. Walmart Social Media Marketing Strategy. . 15 Feb. 2020, cheshnotes.com/2020/02/walmart-social-media-marketing-strategy/. Accessed 15 Feb. 2020.|