How Walmart Builds a Social Media Strategy to Support Reputation Management

Read the original post on iCrossing’s Great Finds blog, published April 24, 2013.

Without data to analyze and drive your social strategy, you’re just talking to a wall. That’s the main lesson from a keynote delivered on April 23 by Walmart’s Director of Social Media, Umang Shah, at the Social Media Strategies Summit in Chicago.

I was intrigued by Shah’s keynote the moment I saw its title, Building a Social Media Strategy to Support Reputation Management. I know Walmart has a lot of friends but also critics. So I was curious to see how Walmart’s social media strategy addressed its online brand reputation issues. However, rather than focusing on the nitty-gritty of managing negative sentiment for the brand, Shah discussed how he built a strong social media strategy for Walmart that helps provide information and engage with customers in real time.

Shah discussed how, when coming into the company to manage its social media department, he wanted to help spread the word around the “Live Better” part of Walmart’s slogan. Walmart, while being perceived as an “evil empire” (in his words) by some, does a lot of good for its communities and the world, for example providing 2,450 truckloads of supplies to Hurricane Katrina victims and donating more than $2 billion to end world hunger. Shah felt that the company should share its good works and tout its achievements.


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