Walmart’s Local Facebook Strategy Isn’t Working, Study Says
Walmart’s launch of 3,500 Facebook Pages last year for its local stores has had “very low consumer impact,” and the pages aren’t as popular as the Facebook pages of competing small businesses in similar local areas.
Those are some of the findings from a new study by Recommend.ly, a social media tools/analytics company.
Walmart launched the “My Local Walmart” campaign last October, which involves a Facebook app that stores can use to communicate sales, specials and other updates with fans in the local area. But, according to the study, local stores haven’t been using their pages effectively (if at all), and shoppers aren’t warming to the idea of friending their loca store, either.
Recommend.ly studied about 2,800 of Walmart’s local Facebook pages and found the following:
Only four percent have more than 1,000 fans, while about 22 percent of other local business pages (in the same markets where Walmart has stores) have more than 1,000 fans. The distribution chart below shows that local business pages are more successful at attracting fans.
Also, Walmart local pages as a group have about two million fans, which is about 10 percent of the 19.5 million fans that Walmart’s main corporate page has. Since the My Local Walmart program launched, Walmart’s main page has gained 10 million fans — five times as many as the local pages combined.
Recommend.ly’s own “Conversation Score” metric also shows how poor the local pages have performed.
Walmart’s corporate page has a score of 66, with 19.5 million total fans and seven percent “active fans.” By comparison, only three of the 2,800 local pages had a score above 50 and about 54 percent had a score below 20.
As I understand it, the app that Walmart uses for this program allows for a combo of centralized posting (i.e., from Walmart HQ) and local store posting, but it’s unclear how much effort local stores and store managers are putting into the management of their pages.
While Walmart’s main page averages 4.42 posts per day, the local store pages only send 1.24 updates per day. This is one area where the Walmart pages are outdoing competing local businesses; they average only 0.92 posts per day.
But Walmart’s local stores aren’t good at responding to fans on Facebook. Recommend.ly found that 85 percent of them never responded at all to fans that engaged with them on Facebook.
Ultimately, the study seems to show that even Walmart isn’t immune from many of the same challenges that small businesses have with Facebook (or any social channels). While millions like and engage with the corporate Walmart page, far fewer are interested in doing the same with their local store.
A Walmart spokesperson told AdAge this week that the local pages are “still in their very early stages.”