Remember Walmart’s much-hyped launch of 3,600 Facebook pages last year for its local stores? Well, it turns out those pages have not had much of an impact. In fact, analytics and social media agency Recommend.ly says that local Walmart pages on Facebook are not even as popular as the Facebook pages of the independent small businesses in those same local areas. Only four percent of local Walmart Facebook pages have more than 1,000 fans, while the Walmart corporate page on Facebook has 19.5 million fans.
Also, Walmart local pages as a group have about two million fans, which is about 10 percent of the total Walmart Facebook fan base. Interestingly, the launch of local pages may have affected the popularity of the Walmart corporate page. Since the local page launch, Walmart’s main page has gained 10 million fans. This is ironic in light of the poor performance of the local pages.
As we told you when the launch occurred last October, Walmart was taking extra steps to be sure that users check their local Walmart Facebook pages for timely pricing, specials and other updates. Unfortunately, it appears that the local stores haven’t necessarily done their part in posting said updates. According to Marketing Land, the My Local Walmart app enables a combination of centralized posting from both Walmart headquarters and local stores. But while the main Walmart Facebook page averages 4.42 posts per day, the local store pages only average 1.24 updates per day – and that’s just not enough effort. Furthermore, local Walmart stores are not doing much to respond to fans on Facebook. Recommend.ly that 85 percent of them never responded at all to fans that initiated Facebook engagement with them.
So while local Walmart Facebook pages may have been a good idea, they were a good idea that wasn’t executed properly. For one thing, the odds of Walmart having over 3,000 local store managers with a vested interest in posting daily updates to Facebook are probably not great. The chance that a majority of Walmart managers will want to perform social media agency duties is, simply, very slim. But the good news is that Walmart appears to be working on a comeback for this. Whether it’s a relaunch or just a few improvements (providing social media training for their local managers would be a good start), they have coyly suggested that something else may be coming down the pike. Just last week, a Walmart spokesperson told AdAge this week that the local pages are “still in their very early stages.”
Do you use your local Walmart Facebook page? If so, that’s great! If not, you’re not alone.