ISM Episode 16: Walmart's Chad Mitchell, Sr. Director of Digital Communications - Rick Mulready

rick mulready

ISM Episode 16: Walmart’s Chad Mitchell, Sr. Director of Digital Communications

June 30, 2013

Chad_Mitchell_6RWalmart’s Chad Mitchell, Sr. Director of Digital Communications is my guest this week on The Inside Social Media Podcast.

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As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart is regularly recognized as one of the top brands in social media.

With my chat here with Chad, you’ll get an inside look at Walmart’s social media strategy including how they use social to manage their reputation, why they have so many different social media handles and their content creation strategies for each of their channels.

Chad’s team is smaller than you might guess which puts him in a unique position to relate to small businesses while working for one of the largest companies in the world.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Walmart strategically uses social media to manage their image and reputation.
  • How they choose the social platforms to be on and how we can model their strategy for our own business.
  • Content creation and ways to simplify it.  The content Walmart uses on it’s Facebook page, for example, isn’t anything that’s overly produced yet it gets mad engagement.  We talk about why that is.
  • Chad gives his 3 social media tips for a small business just starting out in social media.

And of course, a whole lot more here with Chad.

Chad’s Social Media Strategy Tips & Walmart Social Media Insights

Social Media Is…

  • Have a strategy for why you are even on social media.
  • Social media is all about storytelling. Tell a story about your business.
  • Determine where your audience is hanging out online and you be there too.
  • Social media is a great platform for clarifying misconceptions about your brand.

Customer Engagement, First & Foremost

  • Ask your customers where they hangout.  It’s such a simple strategy.
  • Look for where conversations are happening online where your business is being mentioned and engage with those people talking.
  • Focus on the platforms where your audience and customers are.  Don’t chase the latest shiny objects.
  • If you are interested in a new channel, look at the business case of it.  How might that channel help you get closer to your business goals?
  • Do you have enough content?  Can you truly engage with customers on that new platform?
  • If you start on a channel, be consistent with it and take it seriously.  Don’t jump in half way.  It can do more harm to your brand than good.

Content Creation

  • Great content is key to successful social media.  You have to know what kind of content your customers want to consume.
  • Test different types of content – videos, images, text, etc. – on a particular channel to see what gets the best engagement.  Successful content will differ from channel to channel.
  • Don’t overthink content creation.  Focus on authenticity and being conversational.
  • Use the resources that you have available to you – smartphone, etc.
  • Focus on quality over quantity.  Worry less about having the biggest numbers and be more concerned with having top quality content and engagement.
  • You should be considering what your content is going to look like on mobile devices.
  • Vine can be a cool platform to get creative about how to tell stories about your business in six-second videos.  But does it fit into your business objective? If so, think outside the box and have fun with it.

Social Media Measurement

  • Even Walmart is still trying to figure out how best to measure their social media efforts.
  • Look at how people are viewing your company on social media.  What’s the perception?  Is it positive?  Negative?  What’s the reach you’re achieving?  These are measurable efforts.
  • Use the tools you have available to you through channels like Facebook, Twitter, etc…
  • Measurement systems for one business may very well not work for another business.


  • Don’t overlook review sites like Yelp.  Make efforts to ensure you’re providing the best customer service possible.  Be remarkable.  As a small business, your reputation is everything.
  • If you have different business objectives that target customers, consider having different social media handles for each customer group.  This will allow you to have customized conversations with each group of people.

Right-click here to download the MP3 of this episode

Links Discussed During the Show

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Click here for a PDF transcript of this episode

Until next time, keep rockin’ —




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