Recommend.ly, a firm that helps companies optimize their Facebook pages, found that Walmart's local pages haven't fared well compared to small businesses' pages. "My Local Walmart," a program started in October 2011, aimed to connect customers to a store near them.
According to Advertising Age, Recommend.ly's research shows that the local Walmart pages haven't garnered the fan base that "mom-and-pop" stores have achieved. Although an impressive 2800 stores have their own fan pages (of Walmart's approximate 3500 stores), the fan activity isn't very high:
"But only 100, or fewer than 4%, have more than 1,000 fans. And 85% of Walmart's local-store pages didn't respond to any fan comments during the study.
"By contrast, in a sample of just under 1,900 local-business pages on Facebook, 22% had more than 1,000 fans. The Walmart local-store pages had an average of 563 fans, 5.2% of them active in some way during the 30 days of the study. Local businesses had an average of 4,207 fans, 12.2% of them active."
Further, the study found that customer engagement on these pages was lacking compared to local businesses' pages:
"But 99.5% of Walmart's local stores scored under 40 on a 100-point CScore scale used by Recommend.ly, which is based on how often a page starts conversations, how many posts the page participates in, how viral the page's content is based on the level of fan response and sharing, and how popular the page is based on fan count and active fan ratio.
"By comparison, only 60% of local business pages scored below 40 on that scale, and Walmart's main page scored what Recommend.ly deemed a 'respectable' 66."
Recommend.ly suggests that Walmart's failings are caused by the corporate-controlled content, while small businesses tend to provide more useful information, such as comments about local events and store promotions, to locals.
- How could local Walmart Facebook pages provide more value to customers? What are other examples of ways to connect to people within a community?
- The Advertising Age article discusses Barnes & Noble's local Facebook attempts, particularly to reach college students. What are your ideas for making these pages more relevant to you?