Ah, Walmart. That cute, friendly, neighbourhood store. Wait, what? You know as well as I do that Walmart is anything but a small chain of local retail shops. Yet, this is precisely the image that Walmart wants to project. In order to do so, Walmart has taken to Facebook in order to mesh charity with marketing.
The result is an interesting campaign that has some thinking Walmart has a soul after all. What, exactly, has Walmart done? The retail giant wants to give money to charity this year. Which charities will gain a nice offering from Walmart? Well, that’s up to Walmart’s Facebook fans. If you happen to be one, you can help Walmart execs decide where to get a tax write-off – I mean, where to donate – this year.
How to Participate
Quaintly, beginning on December 12th, Walmart will give away money to one charity every day leading up to Christmas. You can pick from Walmart’s list of charities by heading to the store’s Facebook page. If you really want a charity to win, you will have to vote for that charity more than once. Obviously, this is a marketing attempt to gain Facebook fans (and publicity), but could it be possible that the retailer is actually going to do some good too?
Even if the money is coming from a retailer like Walmart, the fact of the matter is that this company is going to dish out some very hefty funds to some very needy charities this year. Sure, Walmart isn’t the best of companies, but you can make a difference by voting for one charity that Walmart should give funds to. If you are a Facebook fan, you can even post on Walmart’s wall in order to encourage the addition of certain charities you might care about.
Why didn’t I think of this? This is exactly what some marketers are asking themselves right now. The Walmart social media team is a bright one that’s sure to gain a lot of press from this stunt. Everyone knows that you can use social media to further a company’s Internet presence, but few have used sites like Facebook in such as manner. No doubt, other companies will follow Walmart’s lead.
There’s also no doubt that Walmart will get a lot of guff for this promotion. Many people are already pointing out the obvious: that Walmart is just looking to market. But, you can’t ignore the fact that something good is being done here too. Of course, it would be even better if Walmart would donate to charities throughout the year (after all, those in need require support year round), but it’s a good start.
Will You Sign Up?
Will you become a Walmart Facebook fan, so that you can vote for your favourite charity? Many will soon be joining Walmart’s ranks, and it’s simple enough to unsubscribe from the fan page after Christmas. It’s hard for me to support Walmart even if the company is spreading some holiday cheer, but you might see this differently. Do you plan to become a Walmart Facebook fan now?