Walmart Biltzed Facebook Mobile News Feed During Black Friday, Cyber Monday

By David Cohen 

Facebook users who noticed an unusually strong presence by retail giant Walmart on their mobile news feeds over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, including Black Friday and through Cyber Monday, weren’t imagining things: The Wall Street Journal reported that over a 72-hour period, Facebook and Walmart rolled out the largest mobile campaign in the retailer’s history, consisting of 50 million ads on the social network.

Walmart Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn told the Journal results were mixed, saying that the company “never saw this level of engagement” with a digital advertising campaign before, but adding that the Walmart Facebook page fielded many user comments complaining about unwanted ads.

Quinn told the newspaper Walmart bought a total of 2 billion ads on Facebook during this holiday season, tripling its 2011 total, but he would not say what the retailer spent, nor how much of its $2.3 billion annual ad budget goes toward social media.

The Journal added that the two companies worked together throughout the holiday weekend, with Facebook providing reports and statistics on the performance and engagement of the campaign, and Walmart adjusting on the fly, providing an example of posting about an $88 pair of sneakers that was not selling well on Black Friday as a “special buy” on its Facebook page, leading to those sneakers selling out across the country.

Readers: Did you notice a heavy Walmart presence on your mobile news feed or elsewhere on Facebook during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend?