Walmart’s New Social Strategy Boosts App Downloads 50%

A more conversational brand voice and increased social media engagement is building Walmart’s visibility in the customer lens.

Need to Know

  • Walmart revamped its social media strategy, shifting to a more conversational tone and increased customer engagement via platforms like Twitter. 
  • The retailer’s social media strategy pivot has resulted in mobile app downloads increasing 50%, week-over-week.
  • Walmart’s mobile app is currently the number two shopping app in the Apple app store, trailing only Amazon. 
  • The two huge retailers have been battling for the top spot. On Black Friday, Walmart saw 113,000 new app downloads, which led Amazon.


Walmart’s efforts to revamp its social media strategy are paying off in the form of app downloads as the retail giant saw a 50% increase in week-over-week downloads. 

The new strategy focuses on more real-time interaction with other brands and customers on social platforms like Twitter and an overall more conversational brand voice. Walmart kicked-off its strategy during the Super Bowl. An in-house creative team then set to work on Twitter, engaging with 171 other brand accounts. 

“This was a first for us and the social team’s role in that was bigger [than ever before],” Jodi Durkin, director of brand social at Walmart told Digiday. “The ‘bantering’ is part of our on-going strategy. We know that when brands talk to each other in a fun and playful way that does really well on social.”

The efforts all point to making the brand a more accessible part of the customer’s daily lives, leading to more app downloads. Walmart has been doing all it can to increase the ubiquity of its app, and it had been working: on Black Friday, Walmart beat out online giant Amazon for most app downloads. But recently, Amazon retook the top spot, prompting Walmart to reinvent its social strategy and capitalize on the new fame.

Walmart’s digital push expands beyond its social media strategy. The retailer recently opened a cashierless Neighbourhood Market store in Florida, featuring same-day grocery delivery and online grocery pickup options, a Check Out With Me feature, expanded self-checkout lanes. Walmart also partnered with Digimarc over the holidays, making its toy catalog come to life with scan-and-shop barcodes. 

While brand interaction on social media is nothing new, it marks a big change for a brand like Walmart, who until now, has been missing from the conversation. Walmart’s updated social strategy and tech-focused approach to customer service places the retail superstore in a strong position to dethrone e-commerce giant, Amazon.