Many organizations are beginning to make social media platforms a key in their marketing campaigns. The nature of social media creates conversation and reach, factors that make it a gold mine for marketers. While the benefits to social media marketing can be immense, failing to plan accordingly can lead to failure.
This is exactly what happened to Wal-Mart back in 2007. Feeling the pressure from rival Target, who had recently launched a successful Facebook page, Wal-Mart felt the need to establish a Facebook page themselves. However a lack of planning, and abandoning their brand image lead the campaign to be unsuccessful.
The nature of Facebook, and specifically organizational pages, is for the company to post content and for followers to discuss and communicate about it. Knowing that they do not have the greatest public image, and that an open forum such as Facebook could bring upon countless negative comments, Wal-Mart limited user content. This essentially demeaned the whole point of creating a Facebook page, and frustrated follows, as it completely lacked interactivity and became just another place for Wal-Mart to advertise.
Additionally attempting to be a stylish and hip company is completely out of Wal-Mart’s foundation. This being the case the match with Facebook just felt forced an unnatural.
Wal-Mart is going to be just fine as an organization, social media or not. However, that does not mean that they should simply abandon the idea of it all together. Despite this initial attempt not being a success, it is important for Wal-Mart to establish a social media presence, as it is primary way our generation interacts.
What are some ideas as to how Wal-Mart could create a social media presence without it being a failure such as their first attempt? Or would it be better for the organization to disregard social media marketing all together and maintain their current structure?