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Walmart Loves Facebook

10/24/2012

Walmart, the love ’em or hate ’em world’s largest retailer, has found a lot to like (or love) about Facebook.

Duncan Mac Naughton, Walmart’s chief merchandising and marketing officer, has nothing but positive things to say about how they are leveraging the platform to engage with shoppers and drive business results.

And the numbers are indeed impressive.

With over 23 million Facebook followers Walmart has the largest fan base on the social media network.

The company was definitely not an early adopter of social media. It wasn’t until the fall of 2009 that Walmart established its presence on Facebook. Now the company has individual Facebook pages for each of its stores and is looking to leverage the platform, as well as other social media, to drive sales this holiday season.

Walmart’s success with social media comes from sound business principles. One, give customers what they want – in this case special deals. And two, be consistent. The company has purposefully aligned marketing and merchandising seamlessly between all channels – in-store, online, digital, social media. And it’s working.

How does Walmart make it happen? They involve their customers directly in their business. One example is a program called Toy Land Tuesday that features roll back prices based on Facebook fan votes. On Saturday and Sunday Facebook fans vote what toys they want a rollback on and then new prices are implemented on Tuesday. Brilliant.

How important is Walmart’s 23 million Facebook fan base? There isn’t a single person in the U.S. who doesn’t have at least one friend who is connected to Walmart. That puts the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon to shame.

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