Wal-Mart owns a history of social media blunders spanning over a decade.While initial fopauxs are expected in social media spaces as their qualities are being defined, Wal-Mart seems to take the cake as one of the worst Fortune 500 Company’s presence on social media. Wal-Mart is not only a Fortune 500 Company but THE Fortune 500 Company, ranking in at number 1 in 2010, according to CNN.com. Their poor history overshadows any current strides – making Wal-Mart one of the number one companies wishing to purchase the “Last Night Never Happened” App to erase social media blunders.
Wal-Mart’s Disasterous Social Media History
2006 The Hub Social Network only lasts 10 Weeks – Wal-Mart’s attempt to compete with then giant MySpace where actors, models and famous for something people populated the space and pushed Wal-Mart products, according to SocialMediaReinvention.com.
Sept. 2006 Media Reveals Wal-Mart’s Fake Blog – An indie success blog portrayed a couple’s cross country travels in an RV using Wal-Mart parking lots as their rest stops and travel experiences. Fraud. Turns out the whole scheme was cooked up and supported by Wal-Mart as a business venture. Result – Consumers felt betrayed and Wal-Mart suffered significant negative news coverage.
- Fall 2007 A Facebook group Misaligned with Target Audience – Intended as a Facebook group focusing on college student back-to-school shopping. However, Wal-Mart pushed a fashion message instead of low-prices for necessary college items – creating a disconnect. A futher fail – Facebook comments turned on the company by protesting Wal-Mart’s labor practices.
- 2010 Facebook Restrictions – Wal-Mart’s Facebook account restricted comments and feedback. This restriction created negative feelings toward the company and posters began to post anti-Wal-Mart comments all across the social media space. Another blunder – Wal-Marts Facebook message was directed toward 40/50 year-old people – at the time this was not the correct space, according to TechProne.com.
I’m hardpressed to attribute Wal-Mart’s attempt at social media as anything but a fail because their past overshadows their currently 2011 success. Wal-Mart’s Facebook page had 4,653,556 likes and 36,837 followers on Twitter today. A grand following on both accounts, however Wal-Mart just recently “got” with the program on how social media spaces should be used. Rarely do consumers like to be lied to or censored. Hopefully Wal-Mart’s future dealings on the social media space will result in a more cumsumer friendly approach.