Social Media Policy Wal-Mart



Walmart has become the quintessential stop for anything and everything you may possibly need. Some people call it a form of monopoly, but I just call it smart business. They outline a social media policy on their website (link above), and set forth guidelines for their stakeholders that include all forms of social media, and how to engage with them, what to expect from them and where to find more information.


Broken down by social media platform, these guidelines are posted on their website for easy access of information. In their Twitter and Facebook guidelines, Walmart explains their use of these mediums and how they set out to provide information on everything going on with Walmart, from foods to services. They make note that they do not reply to specific store or service issues via Twitter or Facebook, instead they provide a service number and website where individuals can find more information or help. I found this to be very interesting and made much sense to me. Instead of shutting down all tweets, they simply provide another outlet for consumers to head to with questions or concerns.


One thing I did find most interesting was that the bulk of the page is about their use of Walmart sponsored accounts, and not their actual employees, except for one small portion. Within the Walmart associate section, they tell their employees to know the rules, meaning that they cannot post private or confidential information about the company’s operations, services or customers. They also state to remember that Walmart has a full-time staff that works on social media to respond to customer inquiries or criticism. They ask that employees to not attempt to respond to certain tweets or Facebook posts regarding a particular store and a service. Lastly, they write to not post any personal problems or concerns that you as an employee may have about Walmart. If an employee has a problem, they ask to speak directly to store management, rather than post about it online.


Overall these are simple guidelines to follow, and seem to be the same standard guidelines set forth by many other organizations. I thought there would be more content on employees and how to handle social media, but I found most of the page was dedicated to explaining to stakeholders their use of social media and their company accounts. If I were to make a particular recommendation, it would be to set forth more rules for employees of Walmart. This would help employees have a better understanding of where Walmart is coming from in their guidelines. I thought there was not enough information in them, and I believe they should be expanded.


It is apparent that organizations have a social media policy for not only their own company accounts, but their employees as well. This helps everyone involved in the organization, including customers and employees. It is important for employees to know that what they may post online may affect not only themselves, but the company as well. Too many times I have heard a story about someone getting fired over posting a status on Facebook that degrades another employee or boss. It is important in these times because social media is becoming an everyday task and it has a tremendous impact on those who are involved within it. 


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Case Study 2: The International Union for Conservation of Nature campaigning on Facebook


The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world’s oldest and largest network to protect the environment, and has an impressive membership with over 1,200 government and NGO (non-governmental) member organizations with an astonishing 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. This organizations mission is to encourage, influence and help societies all over the world to conserve the integrity of nature and make sure that he use of natural resources is ecologically sustainable. The organization also acts as a neutral forum for world governments, NGOs, scientists, business and communities to find solutions to conservation and environmental development challenges.

                Turning to social media, IUCN found itself utilizing this medium to gather interest from writers, journalists and young fans alike. Taking the form of an essay contest, called IUCN Thomas Reuters Environmental Media Award, participants in this campaign submitted a 450 word essay on relating nature to human well-being to IUCN’s Facebook page to win a trip to South Korea. IUCN’s Facebook page boasts over 58,000 likes and is consistently uploading good content relating to their cause, certain areas of the world that need and help information on endangered species. IUCN is effectively using their Facebook to garner interest in their organization and specifically raise awareness about what they do and how people can help. IUCN posts content several times a week, while never going more than two days without posting pictures, articles, videos and more. You can tell that IUCN takes great pride in their social media marketing tactics, and put a great emphasis on uploading content consistently.


                The essay contest was a success. IUCN’s Facebook page gained a large number of entries and votes, as well as increase the number of Likes on their Facebook page. In terms of numbers, IUCN received 160 entries, 24,037 votes, had 6,932 unique registered users, 24,841 numbers of created stories, and had a 100% growth in their fan base. These are tremendous numbers, and in fact, help reiterate the affect social media can play in garnering interest online. Individuals who are interested in organizations like IUCN are usually passionate about the environment, which in this case can help in creating creative stories and content regarding the environment. Another result of this campaign was a 50% increase in volunteers, with 6,932 registrations and also received over 2.5 million impressions, another statistic explaining the invaluable reach this campaign had.

                Overall, I thought this was a creative and a very well thought-out strategy to raise awareness of the organization. I learned that Facebook can be indeed used effectively when you incorporate engaging with your target. The numbers do not lie, and the numbers show how effective something like an essay contest can do for you when trying to garner interest in your organization. I thought that this campaign could be a model for others like IUCN, who have a passionate fan base that are striving for an ultimate goal. 

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Case Study 1: Old Spice


Old Spice has been a hit on social media for a couple of years now. They broke on the scene with a viral campaign for the ages. They ran on all different mediums including television, radio, and various forms of online campaigning that was extremely effective. Old Spice made use of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and an interactive website that made a website dedicated to a deodorant, body wash and other men’s grooming products fun.

Since then, Old Spice has been still very much active in the social media sphere. All have been of tremendous success and have fostered in great reviews, but the specific campaign that stood out to me the most was “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” Back in February of 2010, these commercials were launched on YouTube and in less than a month racked up nearly 3 million views. The videos are extremely cheesy yet hilarious and are clearly targeted at a younger audience. I feel like they did a great job of incorporating different types of social media and engaging their fans.

Creating content that is interactive, fun and comical is a triple threat in an online campaign. The commercials did extremely well gathering viewership, but they incorporated Twitter effectively as well. As of December 2012 Old Spice has over 222,000 followers, a tremendous reach for a brand that is targeting an audience that is a heavy user of social media. It is not a coincidence that they garner so much interest, as their Old Spice campaigns have created a cult-like following.

Currently Old Spice creates content that is hands on in a way as, creating ridiculously fun games that are random and somewhat obnoxious. With the ever approaching “end of the world,” according to the Mayan calendar, Old Spice has played nicely off of this myth and has created an online interactive game that followers can play. Linking their website to their Twitter profile, fans can play a game called “Dikembe Mutumbo’s 4 ½ Weeks to Save the World.” It is content like this that makes Old Spice campaigns so much fun to follow. They not only integrate good television advertising and social media copy, but also creating fun games that have followers connect to the brand while giving their brand a good image too.


What started as a popular Super Bowl commercial has now turned into a user generated brand experience, where fans and internet goers can go to laugh and play, and all-around have a good time. Old Spice is the number one example of effective social media based on their resume. Their campaigns are well planned and executed, which shows in their data. Old Spice is the number one most viewed sponsored YouTube channel with over 312 million views, has 320,565 subscribers and continues to make content on a weekly basis. It is sharp, timely and boasts millions of views. Right now their spokesman is Green Bay Packer Greg Jennings, who is funny and a surprisingly good actor. Funny videos are posted, and it seems like Old Spice is constantly making new videos. They overall do a great job.





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NFL Rallies via Twitter After Tragedy Strikes League


Yesterday morning, Kansas City Chiefs player Javon Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself at the team’s stadium. After killing his girlfriend, Belcher drove to the team’s facilities and fatally shot himself. This was a tragic and sad event for both party’s families and the Chiefs entire organization.

Twitter was in complete and utter shock when hearing the breaking news. Current and former players took to twitter to show their condolences, and offer support and prayers in this tough situation. Teams from across the league sent tweets  offering thoughts and prayers as well, showing support. It is great to see twitter can be used as a means for both information, and a way for individuals and companies to have a voice.   

Players such as Tim Tebow, Chad Johnson and Knowshon Moreno tweeted that they were praying for Javon and his girlfriends families. This is an eye-opening experience for the entire league, not just its players and coaches. Many people are affected by situations like these. It is saddening and heartbreaking hearing these kinds of stories. Twitter is just another outlet for brands and individuals to speak their minds and offer support. I love seeing how twitter has brought people closer together in such a short time, and I find it to be very valuable. 

Here are several articles relating to the topic:

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Pope Benedict XVI to Create Twitter Account


Pope Benedict XVI will be getting his own Twitter account by the end of the year, according to an article. I stumbled upon this week. It is interesting to see that Twitter is become so mainstream, and so intriguing that even individuals such as the Pope are joining. It speaks of the magnitude of what social media has become, and the way in which it gives people like the Pope another medium to express his views, opinions and teachings.

In my opinion, I believe that this is a great way for the Pope to reach a younger audience, as well as share his voice with Christians and others a-like. Not only is it smart for the Pope and the Vatican, but it is great for Twitter as well. The Pope will surely have a large following, as he is a man of great stature and popularity.

The article does explain that the Pop will not be the writer of the Tweets, but will read them and make sure to sign off on them before publishing. Although that may deter some of the authenticity, having his teachings and texts published via the internet on Twitter will be interesting, and help the Pope as well.


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Ann Coulter’s Twitter mistake causes major stir.


Attention Ann Coulter: Using the R-word in a tweet is probably not the best idea.

During the last presidential debate on Monday the 22nd of October, Ann Coulter decided she would tweet the word “retard” to her 200,000 plus followers. Not only was this a major mistake for her own reputation, but the use of hateful language as a way to tell a point is something that can hurt people deeply.

The repercussion of her actions was a major backlash on Twitter, with thousands of people responding in a not-so-nice manner. Many people took offense to her tweet, which is just one example of people who misuse Twitter, and do not think before they click the “Tweet” button.

Ann Coulter should, and probably does, feel ashamed for her actions on Monday night. Special Olympics advocate, John Franklin Stephens, blogged an open invite to Coulter to the next Special Olympics, and challenged her to not feel moved after witnessing such a great event. The blog has quickly become a hit, and is just yet another example of the effect the Tweet has had, and the reaction it has brought out by individuals who were offended.

This is a good lesson for individuals who are in the public spotlight and are openly using Twitter. The amount of followers, and most importantly fans, are a great asset to have on Twitter. People will have an emotional reaction to the things you put out on Social Media. Hopefully an action like this will not have to happen again with the use of hateful language on Twitter, but it sure will not be the last mistake taken by a well-known person on Twitter.

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Red Bull Stratos Space Jump a Social Media Hit


A new YouTube record was announced today in response to Sunday’s Red Bull Stratos Space Dive by Felix Baumgartner of Australia, which at its peak had over 8 million viewers. The record was for a live stream with the most concurrent views ever on YouTube, which was broken before the jump even started with more than 7.1 million tuned in to watch the jump on Red Bull’s Stratos YouTube channel

The jump was broadcasted in its entirety in the United States on the Discovery Channel only, but over 40 channels in 50 countries had the live feed also. It also was a great marketing tool for Red Bull, which seems to position itself with extreme sports, and having millions of viewers on their YouTube channel at one time is a step in the right direction for YouTube and its marketing capabilities.

The space dive was also a major hit via Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, half of the world’s trending topics had something to do with the jump, surpassing tweets about seven NFL games that were being played simultaneously, and even many celebrities and athletes were tweeting about the event. On Facebook, a picture taken of Baumgartner on his knees post-landing was posted by Red Bull, and the picture was shared over 29,000 times, generated 216,000 likes, and was commented on more than 10,000 times. This says a lot about the success the jump had on Red Bull’s interaction with its audience on social media.

The Australian diver also set a serious of other records including highest jump from a platform at 128,100 feet, the longest distance freefall at 119,846 feet, and the maximum vertical velocity at 833.9 miles per hour. 



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