In April, Walmart kicked off its “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, in partnership with Feeding America. Walmart has a longstanding history of being a highly charitable company, ranking 2nd on Fortune’s 20 Most Generous Companies of the Fortune 500 list and donating a total of $1.6 billion to charitable causes in 2016.
This year, the social media portion of Walmart’s annual campaign is playing a larger role than ever before. Walmart is not alone in combining cause marketing with social media, a technique we saw in Stella Artois’ social media campaign with water.org. Given that 87% of consumers say they would switch from one brand to another if the other brand supported a good cause, charitable campaigns can aid marketers on both the strategic and altruistic front.
When executing a charitable campaign, social media influencers are one of the most effective vehicles for spreading the word due to the credibility they hold with their audiences as well as their unparalleled reach and engagement. Read on to see how Walmart is using sponsored Instagram posts and branded Snapchat filters, in addition to their in-store campaign efforts, to raise funding for Feeding America while simultaneously generating positive publicity and brand sentiment.
Approach: Walmart partnered with seven influencers and celebrities (listed below) to get the word out about the social media portion of the campaign. Each influencer created sponsored content on their Instagram channel to announce that The Walmart Foundation will donate $0.90 to Feeding America, enough to provide 10 meals to people in need, for every like, share, or #FightHunger comment on their post.
Walmart selected a diverse group of influencers, with a total combined reach of 29.5 million. The social campaign was capped at a donation of $1.5 million over the course of the 30-day campaign window, but this goal was reached in a single day.
Results: To date, the campaign has generated 3,170,000 likes & 216,000 comments through the seven influencers’ Instagram photos.
Engagement Rate: 23%
In addition to its efforts on Instagram, Walmart created branded Snapchat filters to further extend its campaign reach. One filter is available to everyone on Snapchat, but varies depending on what state the user is located in. The other Walmart filter can be unlocked by scanning the Snapcode on Walmart’s website.
Branded filters are one of the most expensive ad products Snapchat offers (compared to Snapchat takeovers and marketing with top Snapchat influencers), but are an excellent way to add an additional layer of brand awareness and messaging to a campaign. By using Snapchat filters in addition to Instagram sponsorships, Walmart ensures that an enormous and diverse audience is aware of their campaign.
The Walmart Foundation is also donating 9 cents each time a participating Kraft Foods, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Campbell’s Soup Company, or PepsiCo item is purchased at Walmart. There are also opportunities to donate directly at the register.