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Social media is one of the most important marketing channels for brands, as it offers unique opportunities to communicate with customers.
But getting social media strategy right isn’t an easy task, and the brands that are achieving the best results tend to be those that are taking risks and trying new things.
With this in mind, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how major brands use social, focusing on which of the main networks they are active on and how they use them.
And what better place to start that with the world’s biggest retailer: Walmart. Handily Walmart has actually published its own social media guidelines, which include things like 'don't be rude' and 'keep it real'.
So here's a quick look at how Walmart uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
Walmart may be the 800-pound gorilla of brick-and-mortar retail, but gorillas are capable of moving faster than it appears, and Walmart has proven that it's no slouch when it comes to digital.
From its adoption and use of social media to acquisitions of startups and digital agencies, Walmart may not be on the verge of dethroning Amazon, but it's clear that the retail giant believes the internet is a big part of its future.
This week on our weekly showcase of The Dachis Group's Social Business Index we've focused on two widely anticipated events: Halloween and the return of Land Rover's Defender model (for all you car lovers out there).
The Dachis Group has analyzed two well-known brands – Walmart and Land Rover - to see why they are faring better in the social space this week.
We'll also take a glimpse at the top twenty brands on the Social Business Index, a real-time ranking of more than 30,000 global brands based on their performance in the social space, to see how the biggest brands in social are faring.
In terms of the sheer number of Facebook fans, Walmart is one of the top performing brands with more than 21m ‘likes’ to its name.
Last October, when its fan count was a mere 9m, it sought to take advantage of its popularity by partnering with Facebook to launch 3,500 pages for its local stores across the US.
The idea was to build brand loyalty with “enhanced local interaction at an unprecedented scale", an issue we looked at more closely in a post looking at hyperlocal Facebook strategies.
The theory goes that if you give users local content and offers then it will help to increase their affinity with the brand and create loyal customers.
While nobody can deny the massive popularity of Rovio's Angry Birds franchise, there are plenty of skeptics who question whether Rovio's cash cow will remain popular forever.
And for good reason: in today's fast-paced and highly-competitive gaming market, which now includes millions of social and casual 'gamers', producing hits is difficult but keeping them hits is often even more difficult.
When you go shopping online, most retailers are ready to welcome your business provided that you have one thing: a credit card.
Thanks to the wide availability of credit cards in the Western world, online retail has become a multi-billion dollar business. But how much business are online retailers missing out on from would-be customers who don't have credit cards?
It's going to be a big week for Rovio, which has become one of the world's most valuable gaming companies thanks to its ultra-popular Angry Birds franchise. On Thursday, the latest Angry Birds game, Angry Birds Space, will make its way to app stores around the internet.
But for players looking to maximize their Angry Birds Space experience, a trip to the local Walmart may be in order.
Walmart has acquired mobile agency Small Society to join its growing @WalmartLabs mobile team.
Small Society has built several consumer iPhone apps for brands such as Starbucks and Whole Foods, and the team will now be set to work improving the retailer's mobile offering.
M&A is back in full-force in the consumer internet space, but this time around, it's not just the usual suspects -- tech companies -- doing the buying.
Case in point: yesterday, Walmart announced that it is buying social media company Kosmix. Founded in 2005, the company, which raised $55m in investment over the years, "filters social media to connect you to content that interests."
Location-based services like Foursquare saw their popularity increase dramatically in 2010, and along with that popularity came plenty of press attention. To some, location-based services may represent the holy grail of mobile marketing for brick-and-mortar businesses.
But are brick-and-mortar marketers overestimating how much these services can help them?
Amazon.com may be the king of online retail but the king of offline retail, Wal-Mart, may have Amazon.com's throne on its mind. Yesterday, Walmart.com added one million new items to its catalog thanks to the launch of the Walmart Marketplace.
What is the Walmart Marketplace? As the name suggests, it's the Walmart equivalent of the Amazon Marketplace, a program that enables third party merchants to hawk their wares on Amazon.com.
Jim Stengel spent seven years as the global marketing officer at Procter & Gamble and is largely credited for transforming P&G into one of the most admired brand-building companies in the world. He is now president of Jim Stengel, LLC, a think tank and a consultancy that focuses on proprietary research and ways to drive business growth in the current economy. He is also a director of the Motorola Corporation and serves on the Board of Advisors for MarketShare Partners, a marketing analytics firm.
His new book 'Packaged Good', which is set to come out next year, examines the role that purpose driven marketing plays in growing market share for brands.
This week, he was appointed as an adjunct marketing professor at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. Starting next January, he will teach brand marketing to graduate students at the university.
Econsultancy caught up with the marketing guru to see what his plans are at UCLA and what role purpose driven marketing can play in a downturn.