How Walmart Won Its Facebook War Against Target


[credit provider=”Mark Wilson/Getty Images”]

Walmart and Target have similarly large Facebook fan bases. But Walmart gets three times more fan engagement than Target and generates 3.5 times more fan “actions” than Target does, according to an analysis by Expion, a social media management software company.In short, Walmart is winning the Facebook war with a fanbase that sees more of its posts and responds to more of them.

It’s not a coincidence, Expion, says. Unlike Target, Walmart has developed a “secret sauce” for Facebook and is repeatedly executing on the recipe in a way that Target isn’t. Here’s how it breaks down, based on posts published between July 1 – November 30:

  • Fans
  • Walmart: ~25 million
  • Target: ~20 million

Walmart’s fan base is larger, but it is not large enough to explain the better results that Walmart gets.

  • Number of posts
  • Walmart: 738 posts or ~five posts a day.
  • Target: 237 times or ~ less than two posts a day.

It looks as if Walmart is blasting its fans with more spam posts, but that’s not the case, Expion says.

  • Average engagement level
  • Walmart: 2.8 per cent
  • Target: 0.8 per cent

The average engagement rate for a brand page is about 1 per cent. So Walmart is outperforming here, by three times as much.

  • Fan Actions (the sum of comments, likes and shares)
  • Walmart racked up 16.4 million
  • Target: 4.6 million

Again, Expion notes, Walmart has more than 3.5 times the number of fan actions than Target.”There really isn’t a good excuse that Target can put up to explain these vast differences. Walmart’s strategy just works better,” the company tells us.

Turns out, there’s a reason Walmart is better at Facebook than Target. It’s because Walmart writes a lot of posts that have nothing to do with Walmart.

Expion says:

“… the brand has found a secret sauce and is repeating itself over and over again. A large portion of the brand’s most successful posts are not directly tied back to the brand itself but rather are designed to appeal to the broad interests of its customers. They are publishing posts that say, “Happy 53rd Birthday Hawaii” with a picture of a sunset or “Like this if you’re going to miss summer” featuring a picture of a cute dog. Walmart has found that short, conversational and non-promotional posts featuring fun photos is what engages its fan base. They are blasting their fans with hundreds of posts, but they are posts that the people want to see”