An Introduction to the Business
Walmart is a company whose headquarters are out of Bentonville, Arkansas. This company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 with a vision of helping customers in the communities they live in help save money in order to live a better life. With an ever changing face of retail, he saw that with lower prices and great service, people would come back based on that great experience. He succeeded with this philosophy and now today social media keeps that vision alive. From Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram and more, Walmart continues to help people save money to have that better life by staying connected to everyone.
Walmart’s Facebook account has over 32 million followers. Their Facebook page includes a link to their website www.walmart.com. The activities shown on their Facebook page include shopping, videos, photos and posts. The shopping area showcases items with links to them on their website to actually buy these items. This is a great method of directly being able to purchase an item from their website. Below the shopping area, there is a video area. The video area has a link that will allow the viewer to see the latest Walmart circular. Viewers can see what items are on sale for the week from this handy video. This is an excellent marketing tool to keep followers up to date with the latest sales information from Walmart. The area below videos is an area of photos provided by the company. The photos depict employees helping customers, views from inside and outside their stores, delicious food items that can be purchased and even pictures from the holiday season with Santa. These are all positive, friendly looking photos that make their followers feel good.
The area below photos is the posting area. Walmart seems to use this area to post news items related to their company. The most current post shares news about the company raising the minimum wage for all United States employees to $11.00 per hour. Plus additional benefit information and bonus information is provided. Their use of posts like this shows a very forward looking company willing to help employees and their families. Another post from Walmart shows young children eating healthy snacks purchased from them. With a smile on a toddler’s face, it lets the viewer know these taste good. Since they post almost daily, followers can immediately react and comment. This particular post shows in interaction with “thecoffeemom0617” letting Walmart know her children enjoyed these healthy snacks purchased from their store. It is posts like these on their Facebook page that put the company in a positive light.
Walmart’s Twitter account has 918,000 followers and they in turn follow 4,139. They have over 492,000 tweets and joined Twitter in November 2008. Under the company logo, they state “Save money, live better. Follow us to learn about tips, solutions and limited time specials.” This keeps in mind with Sam Walton’s philosophy for his company. The most current post is about Walmart holding a wellness day complete with free blood pressure screenings and blood glucose screenings. They are encouraging followers to join them so they can stay healthy.
Their whole wellness day promotion shows a company being proactive in keeping their customers happy and healthy. As with Facebook, this showcases the company in a positive light. Other tweets from Walmart include beauty items, bedding, food and company announcements such as Walmart raising their minimum wage. With the use of their digital platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, they have been able to get this message out to the public.
In Walmart’s Twitter replies, they do respond almost hourly to questions and comments from followers. Various replies range from thanking customers for their comments, to answering questions about problems and issues and showing appreciation for customers doing their grocery shopping at their stores. Walmart often retweets news items from the separate Walmart news Twitter account. The news account showcases news worthy announcements from the Walmart public relations team. A resent retweet from the Walmart News account showed how the corporation is taking a stand on opioid disposal. Proper disposal is important for everyone and by Walmart posting this information on the social media accounts, they are hoping to help the cause. This is a positive step in helping the fight against opioid abuse in the country.
Overall, Walmart’s Twitter account is an effective and prompt way of getting their news announcements out to the public quickly and effectively. Their social media team responds quickly to comments and questions. For the company, they are able to see immediate response to their posts and whether or not the public likes or dislikes them. It keeps them connected to their customers.
Youtube is another social media platform that Walmart uses to connect with their customers. This account only has 21,000 subscribers so it is not their most popular social media account as compared to Facebook and Twitter. The videos on their Youtube channel exhibit company initiatives like internship highlights, hurricane emergency help, and how they are making slow and steady progress in Puerto Rico. This is a nice medium for illustrating through video what the company is doing to help and improve the lives of employees and customers.
Much like their YouTube account, Walmart uses Instragram to send videos and pictures out to the followers. Their Instagram account has 1 million followers and 1,255 posts. Theses posts are mainly videos and picture which customers can comment on and like. This account is not so much used as a corporate messenger but depicts real people enjoying food, beauty items, their pets, and just having fun. The pictures and videos show happy people laughing, playing and enjoying life. From the cute dog sporting a sweater to keep him warm to delicious party food, all this make the viewer know these can all be purchased from Walmart. This Instagram account seems to be an effective product marking tool using visualization.
One way Walmart stays connected on social media with its employees is with Linkedin. Walmart has over 282,000 employers on Linkedin. These employees help play an important part is shaping the company and other industries. Employees are encouraged to share their profile resume with the company and through them other links can be found and formulated. It is these connections that give Walmart over 1 million followers on Linkedin. This is a good medium for Walmart to promote jobs within the company and connect with others for career opportunities.
As with Walmart’s other social media platforms, Pinterest highlights an abundant amount of pictures and content. With over 140,000 followers, there are posts from shared recipes, Christmas ideas, clothing choices, beauty favorites and more. These posts provide a great visual to see products, ideas and give the consumer the feeling that they too can also participate. The posts are colorful, fun looking and pleasing to view for all kinds of ideas.
When running a Google search of Walmart, the first result that comes up is www.walmart.com. This is expected as the corporation would want any person searching them to have quick access to their website to shop or look around. The next result shows Walmart in the news. The most current media announcement regarding Walmart’s recent stance concerning free opioid product disposal. Following any Walmart news items, a link to their Twitter account is the next item shown. It too showcases the most current Tweet regarding Walmart having a wellness day coming up. Immediately after the link to Walmart’s Twitter account, is the link to its Facebook account. It is clear that Walmart’s two favorite links to their social media accounts for Twitter and Facebook. This is not surprising given that they have the most followers of the company. By having these links right under their website search, people can gain access quickly and promptly to both popular social media forums. This is very effective planning on Walmart’s part.
All social media platforms that Walmart uses support the activities in conjunction with the company’s branding. This branding, which focuses on the improved overall value of goods to the customer, has been a winning strategy for the company. This keeps within line of Sam Walton’s vision of helping customers save money in order to live a better life. With Walmart advertising their goods as low cost to the consumer, they are able to reach out to the public via all social media platforms to deliver their message. Whether they are showcasing a product or promoting an initiative, they use every platform they are on to get the word out quickly and effectively.
The company has worked very hard to promote a positive image across their social media formats. All products are shown in a positive, healthy and fun manner that the consumer would want. Initiatives like having a wellness day for screenings makes people feel they really care and want people to be healthy. Also taking a companywide stance in raising their minimum age shows they care about their employees to have a better life. Walmart at times had not had the most positive image. They were often seen as paying their employees low wages. Through feedback on social media, they have worked to turn this image around. The most recent announcement of the employee wage increase is a result of social media pressure.
One area of social media they could improve on is watching to make sure they are not over promoting. While Walmart wants to use every social media platform there is, they do run the risk of lacking an understanding of how to be a brand on social media. They need to understand more of how customers want to really engage a brand on these platforms. The content they post should connect with their customers. Thinking of their social media platforms as a way the community can help customers connect with each other is important. Of course, they want to sell items but heavy promotion doesn’t always work. Social media is formatted so people can participate and connect. This is where Walmart needs to use this approach to their fullest.
In conclusion, overall Walmart does a very good job across their social media platforms. They keep true to Sam Walton’s vision to help customers in communities live in help save money and have a better life. By presenting products, community initiatives and company news, they get their message across to the customer. Social media is every changing and they will need to keep pace with it across all their platforms. In doing so, it will help keep Walmart in a positive light.