Walmart's PR Team Uses Twitter in Unique Way

By Kristina Florio
If you have ever tried to follow Walmart on Twitter, you have probably realized that Walmart has a different approach to Twitter than most corporations.

Walmart has seven Twitter accounts.

“As you can imagine, we talk about quite a few things at Walmart, and our biggest fear in using just one handle was audience fatigue,” said Chad Mitchell, senior director of digital communications for Walmart, in an interview with Arik Hanson. “With initiatives ranging from veterans hiring to domestic manufacturing to sustainability, we simply couldn’t manage an editorial calendar covering so many topics.”

Deciding that one Twitter handle would not work for the corporation, Mitchell and his team created the following seven accounts:

  • @WalmartNewsroom: issues press releases and other announcements; the official “corporate spokesperson handle”
  • @WalmartGreen: addresses sustainability issues.
  • @WalmartGiving: highlights the corporation’s philanthropic efforts.
  • @WalmartAction: focuses on public policy and supports their efforts in the communities where they serve.
  • @WalmartHealthy: shares news about ongoing efforts to get customers fresh and healthy foods at great prices. Some of their best content has been recipes, Mitchell said.
  • @WalmartVeterans: focuses on the corporation’s support of veterans hiring and other veterans-related issues
  • @WalmartHub: the “parent” hub; “utilizes a retweet strategy where all of the best performing content pushed out from the sub-handles mentioned above is surfaced with our biggest following,” Mitchell describes.

Additionally, the corporation has the account @Walmart that is managed by the marketing team with more of a focus on product and store related news.

Mitchell describes that such an approach takes team effort, a lot of work (they manage approximately 60,000 mentions a day), flexibility and willingness to experiment. They believe that multiple accounts facilitate their effectiveness in sharing news, giving updates, protecting/enhancing their reputation, responding to criticism and preventing crisis.

As PR professionals, we are always trying to find new ways to be innovative and effective. Do you think that this innovative idea is a good strategy for Twitter relations?