Walmart’s new social media strategy increased app downloads by 50%

Walmart is using a new social strategy to be more responsive in real time with a new, more conversational brand voice.

It’s not just about being part of the online social conversation, it’s about helping the business. The retailer implemented this social change with the recently launched “Famous Visitors” campaign, which touted the ability to order what you need online and pick it up curbside, but the effort to be more conversational and responsive will continue as the brand aims to transform its social presence. This increased mobile app downloads for Walmart by 50% week-over-week (the retailer declined to share from what it grew and what it grew to). Currently, Walmart is the second shopping app in the Apple App Store (Amazon is number one).

The new approach to social media kicked off during the Super Bowl as the retailer spoke to 171 other brand accounts on Twitter. Some of the conversations were planned, like those with Lego or Pepsi, because the brands featured in Walmart’s 60-Second Super Bowl spot, which was the retailer’s first time advertising during the game. Others, like Mexico’s avocados, performed on-site, and Walmart’s in-house six-person creative team worked to craft quick responses to unexpected responses from the brand’s account.

It was a first for us and the role of the social team was more important [than ever before]said Jodi Durkin, director of social branding, Walmart. “’Gossip’ is part of our ongoing strategy. We know that when brands talk to each other in a fun and playful way, it works great on social media. »

Overall, Walmart’s internal social team is looking to figure out how to take advantage of real-time social trends in a way that makes sense to the retailer, according to Durkin, adding that Walmart recently participated in the “broom challenge viral earlier this week. . “We started posting proactive tweets using popular internet language,” Durkin said. “We also did a ‘summoning circle’ tweet which was related to a meme a lot of people were using at the time.”

As the brand strives to be more responsive and engage faster with online trends, Walmart is training more of its internal talent to understand its brand voice so they have more people who can write texts in real time, Durkin explained. The retailer is also looking to use the local social footprint of its various stores – each store has a Facebook page run by that store’s associates – to boost its online responsiveness.

Being “nimble and nimble” online isn’t exactly a one-size-fits-all strategy, according to brand consultant and Metaforce co-founder Allen Adamson, adding that most brands have used a similar social strategy over the past five years. “It’s become an expectation that if I tweet at Walmart or any other brand they need, they have to tweet me,” Adamson said. “As for talking to other brands, I don’t know if that’s relevant, but talking to consumers is important. If they don’t, they are considered insensitive and disconnected.

However, working to increase mobile app downloads is necessary for the retailer, according to Adamson. “Most people have the Amazon app on their phone, and most people are doing more and more e-commerce on their phone,” Adamson said. “No one uses a web browser on a phone, so they have to go there. Downloading the app is one thing, but getting people to use it is another and consumers are increasingly reluctant to cluttering their phone with five or six pages of apps on their phone.

Along with the new push to engage more with consumers and trends on social media, Durkin said paid social networks are now part of nearly every campaign the retailer runs. The paid social channel depends on the campaign objectives. For example, Pinterest and YouTube campaigns are considered more “upper funnel” outreach campaigns while other channels can be used for higher performing social pushes to drive conversions for consumers to purchase and collect near their location. place of residence, Durkin explained.

Walmart’s new social media strategy has boosted app downloads 50%

Sam D. Gomez