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Date Created: 11/13/15
Running Title SOCIAL NETWORKING WITH WALMART Social Networking With Walmart Eileen Stafford Ashford University BUS600 Dr Carolyn Broner December 19 2013 Social Networking with Walmart Abstract The topic I chose for my research paper is social networking and Walmart I chose to take a look at Walmart and how the company uses social networking for recruiting employees research promoting business and various other purposes I am interested in this topic due to the various controversies surrounding the use of social networking Some think the use of the intemet s social networking sites by businesses is a waste of time and money that could be spent on other things They feel that products should be able to sell themselves through consumer use and word of mouth Several social networking sites are used by Walmart They use LinkedIn for recruiting new employees Facebook for displaying Walmart39s history recruiting and getting consumer suggestions for products Twitter for posting questions to consumers Pinterest for product ideas and promoting green living Google for posting updates YouTube for showing off products and many other social networking sites They are also using smart phone applications ie ShopyCat Walmart etc to catch the attention of those who are smart phone savvy Social media has become a great way for brands to reach out and communicate with their customers Walmart has more customer connections than any retailer in the world Walmart engages with customers and stakeholders beyond the walls of their stores you can find them on Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr and Foursquare Walmart also uses email for collecting questions complaints and suggestions from consumers as well as emailing consumers Walmart advertisements coupons and surveys on a regular basis Email is also used at the company level for communicating with employees other retailers and company stores all over the world Walmart has social networking guidelines for the use of certain sites by employees and COHSUIDCIS The use of social networking sites has been successful for Walmart as well as with their competitors quotThrough the use of their Twitter account they aim to provide information on Walmart39s major activities and initiatives from sustainability to diversity from healthier foods to charitable givingquotWalmart39s Social Media They welcome your thoughts on any and all of those topics Walmart39s Facebook page has 29267523 likes Walmart has put a lot of time and effort into developing its Facebook presence and has embraced the timeline to display how the brand has grown over time Walmart s Facebook page is a place for customer servicerelated questions complaints concerns or ideas from customers Walmart has put a huge amount of effort into developing its Facebook presence and has embraced the timeline to showcase how the brand has grown over time Walmart is currently experimenting with instore promotional campaigns for users of locationbased services like Foursquare and Facebook Places Walmart launched l2days of giving campaign giving 100000 to 10 nonprofit organizations The winning nonprofits were selected from more than 21677 nominations submitted in November by Facebook users who felt compelled to enter and describe the community impact made by their favorite nonprofit The Walmart website promotes weekly advertisements provides coupons and free product samples corporate information donation and scholarship information store locations ways to track online orders and much more On any given day it will post between two and five updates including weekends and most achieve an impressive number of responses from its fans Most of its posts achieve tens of thousands of likes and hundreds of comments with pictures of pets and children proving to be particularly popular Moth 2011 Moth states that Walmart has two Pinterest accounts One Pinterest account is aimed at product ideas with over 12000 followers and the other is aimed at promoting quot green livingquot with over 2000 followers 2011 In 2012 they had their first contest on Pinterest The community was given the chance to win a 500 Walmart Gift Card by sharing which store products inspire them to live better and more ecofriendly in their everyday lives Walmart mainly uses Twitter to post questions with topics ranging from sports caption contests and requests for retweets if users agree with a certain statement Walmart39s main Twitter account currently has over 300000 followers Walmart also operates several other Twitter accounts that focus on its sustainable initiatives healthy food and charity and community programs However these are far less popular than its main account and all have around 10000 followers Walmart uses YouTube to advertise new products introducing employees to the public introducing new store grand openings etc Many businesses fail to use YouTube correctly to their advantage but Walmart does a great job with their videos They seem to have a knack for getting people engaged in their products and their business through their videos Gursharn states quotIt s evident that Walmart is leveraging the knowledge that women make up the bulk of social media users and have catered their page to this demographic specificallyquot2012 The Moms videos feature great entertaining tips care package ideas and money saving tips The Our Stories pages have great examples of how Walmart is relating to the community how generously Walmart donates and changes lives across the country and interviews with employees Gursharn 2012 The Walmart cell phone application is the most recent type of communication promoted by Walmart Customers can now use the application to make purchases scan and check out view a mobile version of their website etc With more than half of its shoppers using smartphones Walmart is trying to make shopping more convenient for shoppers who embrace mobile technology Shoppers scan bar codes on items they want to buy using the Walmart app on their iPhone iPod touch or iPad to keep track of the planned purchases and the total cost Then they pay at a selfcheckout screen bypassing the typical registers People look up prices online while they39re inside a store In 2011 Walmart launched its Shopycat application which uses information on the interests of friends on Facebook to make recommendations on gifts for them from Walmart stores and other sites While the obvious goal is to encourage traffic and purchases via Walmart s e commerce website the company has taken a unique approach by not making it a Walmartonly application So if Walmart doesn39t stock the desired gift suggestions for its purchase will then be made such as Barnes amp Noble Sears etc Not only has Walmart been successful in using social media but the brand also wants to help other businesses use this great marketing strategy Companies that are struggling or want to start using social media as a marketing strategy may want to look at Walmart as an example of a brand that has thrived on social media platforms With more than a million Walmart Stores employees nationwide the company uses a blogforum for communicating with employees from all over the world There are over a million users that post questions and receive real time answers They are open to both positive and negative posts in order to understand the needs of employees In 2009 the communication team at Walmart launched a new social networking site designed to be accessed by employees known at Walmart as quotassociatesquot from their home computers Walmart Introduces2012 Walmart has found that despite their great efforts and successes using social media such as Twitter Facebook Pinterest and LinkedIn product reviews are still by far the best way to reach customers and receive feedback While photos and comments about new products can be placed on the social media sites customer reviews come in different forms varying from blogs emails letters comment sections etc What we know for sure is that retailers feel like they have to create a strong social media presence Analysts and stores talk frequently about how they must reach shoppers at every touch point brick and mortar mobile tablets PC screens etc and clearly it s necessary to use social media to hit several of these points In a Deloitte survev nearly half 48 of consumers said they expected to use social media to help them make decisions regarding holiday shopping researching ideas gathering info about discounts and so on When a survey from w asked retailer chief marketing executives how they d be promoting their holiday campaigns 99 said they d be using Facebook The experts at Adobe Digital Marketing meanwhile have predicted that social media referrals to retail sites would double this holiday season compared to that of 201 lor even 2012 One thing is sure Social media will continue to expand in the days and years to come In conclusion as the penetration of social media grows the channel is moving from in uence to operations The social media focus is going to and in some cases has already moved to customer engagement and satisfaction enabled through customer care organizations It is also quickly growing as a dynamic tool to provide feedback and proactive inputs to companies on their products Social media can clearly impact and improve the decision making process in a company Capgemini Survey Reveals the Rising Importance of Social Media to Customer Care 2011 References Capgemini Survey Reveals the Rising Importance of Social Media to Customer Care 2011 Bloombergcom Retrieved December 18 2013 from httpWWWbloombergcomappsnews pidnewsarchiveampsidaTI6kB Xj 2rjk Gursham July 30th 2012 YouTube Best Practices Walmart httpmeetshamcom20120730youtubewalmart McBride Jessica June 14 2012 Walmart Uses Facebook and You Tube to Publicize Upcoming Tosa Neighborhood Market httpWauwatosapatchcomarticlesWalmart takestoyou tubetopublicizeupcomingopeningof neWtosa neighborhoodmarket Moth David How Walmart uses Pinterest Facebook Twitter and Google 10 January 2011 httpeconsultancycomusblog61 827howwalmartusespinterestfacebooktwitter andgoogle Walmart Facebook Retrieved on May 20 2013 from httpsWWWfacebookcomwalmart Walmart introduces 3912 days of giving39 Facebook campaign 2012 Entertainment Close Up Retrieved from http searchproquestcomdocvieW 1 238805 280accountid3 2521 Walmart39s Social Media Guidelines Retrieved on May 17 2013 from httpcorporatewalmartcomsocialmedia guidelines Why Walmart Took Over Facebook for 72 Hours TIMEcom httpbusinesstimecom20121220WhyWa1marttookoverfacebookfor72 hoursixzzZnyg QStFmE
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