Walmart leverages nonprofit cross-partnership for social media blitz
By Alex Samuely
April 7, 2015
Walmart is engaging in corporate social responsibility with the campaign
Walmart is asking consumers to partake in its Fight Hunger. Spark Change campaign by uploading a photo with six friends onto social networks to prompt the retailer to donate $10 per post to Feeding America, proving that social media is an optimal communication vehicle for cross-partnerships with nonprofits.
Walmart is leveraging the campaign in conjunction with a slew of other brands, including Kellogg Company, Campbells, Unilever and Kraft, to combat hunger and raise awareness of the fact that one in six Americans experiences hunger at some point during the year. Walmart is planning to donate up to $1.5 million to Feeding America via the social media challenge, and is also encouraging consumers to make donations during checkout in-store.
We believe its essential to work with key nonprofit partners, like Feeding America, to create positive social change in our key giving areas of sustainability, opportunity and community, said Tricia Moriarty, a Walmart spokeswoman. For the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign, we are working with Feeding America and six of the nations leading food manufacturers to make an impact by educating and raising awareness about the issue of hunger.
Walmart is also boosting its corporate social responsibility commitment by launching the #WeSparkChange challenge. The retailer aims to provide meals for consumers in need as well as raise awareness of hunger in America.
The campaign, which runs from April 6 through May 3, asks customers to snap a photo of six friends to symbolize the one in six people potentially struggling with hunger across the nation. They are then encouraged to upload the photo to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook via the #WeSparkChange hashtag.
Social media and mobile are excellent vehicles for the challenge because of the virality of social media, said Esha Shah, manager of mobile and strategy at Fetch, San Francisco, CA. The vast majority of people find out about social good initiatives through social media, so the #WeSparkChange hashtag will be a good way to leverage vitality by starting a conversation about hunger in America.
Walmart should see many photos uploaded because social media users love to share content, especially for a good cause. The ALS ice bucket challenge social good initiative was a huge success because of the vitality of social media, so perhaps #WeSparkChange can be successful in a similar way.
Walmart has pledged to donate $10 to Feeding America per each public post on the social media applications, up to a grand total donation of $3 million. Consumers interested in generating the maximum amount of donations are encouraged to prompt their friends and family to post multiple photos, tag more people and challenge them to upload their own pictures within 48 hours.
Social media users are already taking to Twitter to spread awareness
The brand is kicking off the campaign with a $1.5 million donation and hopes to double that with customers participation, in a bid to raise enough money for 30 million meals.
As Walmart is the United States largest grocer, this campaign fits in well with its brand message and its long-term goal of providing four billion meals to the hungry over the next five years. The brand also believes that social media and mobile are optimal ways of reaching the widest audience of consumers possible and fuelling awareness and donations.
Mobile is a very important platform for our customers and it continues to grow, Walmart's Ms. Moriarty said. Mobile accounted for approximately 70 percent of traffic to Walmart.com between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2014 and the traffic coming from our mobile app quadrupled from 2013 to 2014.
Walmart is offering two additional components to the campaign for frequent in-store shoppers. Consumers may purchase one of 240 participating items at a Walmart store in any nationwide location, which will result in the supplier donating to Feed America to secure a meal on a local food banks behalf.
Participating suppliers include Kraft, Kellogg Company, Unilever, General Mills and more. Those interested in more information and a full listing of eligible products can visit the campaigns designated site, www.walmart.com/fighthunger.
Consumers are encouraged to prompt friends and family to upload more photos
One meal per local food bank will be secured for each product purchased.
Teaming up with non-profits like Feeding America can be a great way for Walmart to promote its brand in a positive way, Ms. Shah said. By creating a viral social media campaign showing Walmart's commitment to fighting hunger, Walmart can promote its products (particularly the ones that customers can purchase in exchange for Walmart to donate a meal for Feed America) while also showing that it is a generous organization (donating $10 for every social media upload for #WeSparkChange) that cares about social good.
Shoppers can also make a donation at the checkout counter in-stores to their local Feeding America food bank.
As a long-standing partner of Walmart and the nations largest organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through a network of member food banks, we believe that Feeding America has the expertise, resources and reach to help distribute food to the millions of Americans who struggle with hunger, Walmart's Ms. Moriarty said.
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