On October 28, 2018, Walmart ($NYSE:WMT) had 34,667,343 likes and followers on Facebook. As of this week, that number has sunk to 34,399,593, a loss of 267,810 engaged social media users.
Walmart hasn't always been moving in the wrong direction on Facebook. From December 2016 to that October 2018 high, the company picked up a massive 1.6 million followers.
The retail giant has been at the center of recent news following a tragic mass shooting followed by a gun-control controversy that pitted Walmart squarely between gun activitists and detractors. The company has since publicly stated that it would not cease selling firearms in reaction.
Somewhat strangely, chatter about the brand has not increased in the shadow the recent events.
Facebook "Talking About" count for Walmart had been seeing a up-trend thoughought 2017 and 2018, moving from a daily average of around 75,000 in 2017, to 300,000 in 2018, and trending as high as 500,000 by July 2019. But in the first week of August, conversations about Walmart somehow sunk to 260,000 from 419,000 on August 1.
Over the same time period, the brand lost 8,334 likes on Facebook.
Losing likes on Facebook is significant, in that it requires a user to actively go to a brand's Facebook page and click "Unlike". Sometimes declines in likes can be related to Facebook removing bots used to inflate engagement numbers, but given the stready attrition we're seeing for Walmart, this loss of love on the world's largest social network appears to be organic and very real.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.