Walmart, social media and change management

Walmart’s Lisa Thurber presented her internal social media platform called mywalmart.com

numbers

More than a million of registered employees engage on that platform and the site delivers something like 12.3 million page views a month and rising and mobile accounts for 50% of the traffic. Associates are talking on this platform “24/7” Lisa added.

answering questions

Healthcare and coverage is one of the very hot topic on the platform. Subject matter experts respond to employee questions online and Walmart has witnessed a 20% drop in calls to the call centre. Lisa adds that she is not certain that this programme is the reason for 100% of these drops in calls but she is sure that it did contribute to it.

not as negative as expected

Walmart was anticipating a lot of negativity but in fact it wasn’t the case, unless responses don’t come fast enough. Walmart does not edit anything that is negative when it’s posted by an associate. The team is trying to engage with the associates when they are at work if they have a very serious issue.

Mobile usage doesn’t have to be encouraged, it happens most naturally because everyone’s got mobiles and in the retail industry it’s so much easier to use the mobile phone than sitting behind a desk.

best practices?

having open conversations with the parties involved is seen by Lisa as the best practice. Besides, Lisa’s partnership with her internal legal teams proved very profitable and they raised the threshold of acceptability in order to make things possible.

selling this management

Walmart has a media team of 9, of those 9, 2 are moderating on a daily basis, including Lisa herself. Because Walmart is not filtering negative comments, there are no particular requirements to have more people. As to selling  this to management, Lisa said that the fact that opinions were expressed more openly was actually a selling point to management as opposed to finding these conversations posted somewhere else. Users are only recommended not to post personal content, but this is for privacy protection purposes.

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Yann Gourvennec

CEO & Founder at Visionary Marketing
Yann has a long-standing experience in marketing, information systems and Web marketing. He created visionarymarketing.com in 1996 and since then, he has practiced Web strategy, e-business and Web communications in the field. He was a member of socialmedia.org from 2008 till 2013. He is a lecturer, a keynote speaker, an author and blogger. In early 2014, he went from intrapreneur to entrepreneur when he founded his digital marketing agency Visionary Marketing.
Yann Gourvennec
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