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Walmart's local store Facebook Page network a flop?
Almost a year ago, Walmart announced the launch of thousands of local store Facebook Pages to enhance local interaction. Recent research by social analytics provider Recommend.ly has found that this tactic has not yet paid off for the retail giant.
When Walmart's main Facebook Page reached 9 million fans last year, the retail giant decided to go local by opening up 3,500 individual Facebook Pages for their local stores. The idea was to further build on the company's brand loyalty with "enhanced local interaction at an unprecedented scale".
However, this move appears to have failed spectacularly, according to Recommend.ly's research. Just 4% of the local Pages have attracted more than 1,000 fans in the last 11 months. The failure is further illustrated by the fact that 22% of small businesses on Facebook have managed to attract more than 1,000 Fans.
Meanwhile, Walmart's not-so-local main Facebook Page continues to do well at engaging consumers, with almost 22 million Fans.
Could the lack of success of local Pages be due to Walmart's centralized approach to content creation and distribution? Small, local businesses need local teams to provide local content and communication. Instead, it appears Walmart are too controlling of their brand messaging and aren't allowing local store owners to guide the conversation.
"Essentially, the content they are using on the local pages does not resonate with local fans," said Venkata Ramana, CEO of Recommend.ly. "And their number of Fans is really small, and also we are finding, unlike the main page, that comments back from Walmart that address Fan inquiries are really low."
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