Smart Social: Concluding Our Conversation with Walmart’s Senior Director of Digital Communications, Chad Mitchell

Walmart logoChad Mitchell is Senior Director of Digital Communications at Walmart.  Positioned within Walmart’s  Corporate Affairs division, he and his team are responsible for managing and supporting all aspects of Walmart’s corporate digital presence, including the corporate website, social media platforms, and email communications both internally to associates and externally to customers.  They are charged with managing and protecting Walmart’s corporate digital reputation, both reactively and through proactive influencer outreach.

Chad recently joined Social: IRL Principal Ben Smith, for Smart Social, an ongoing series of conversations with leaders and innovators in social business.

The first part of the conversation can be viewed here, featuring in-depth discussion on approaches to influencer outreach and brand advocacy, including details of a new social media-based employee advocacy program Walmart is launching in 2014.

This second instalment moves beyond Walmart’s corporate programs to focus a more personal conversation with Chad, including lessons learned in dealing with negative comments and attacks, and then stepping back to consider the ongoing theme of the interview series and discuss what “smart social” means to him.

In continuing the interview, Chad shares personal takeaways and learnings from the last 12 months and talks in particular about dealing with negative comments and attacks, the challenge in not taking them personally, and understanding how and when to respond. He also gives a valuable reminder that despite so much focus on social, not to lose sight of the value of your corporate website and of how powerful of a channel that can still be.

In concluding the interview, Chad explains how he defines “smart social” and talks about the importance of truly understanding our audience and being able to deliver the right message, to the right audience, in the right channel, at the right time.

Smart Social: Walmart’s Chad Mitchell on Influencer Outreach and Employee Advocacy

Walmart logoChad Mitchell is Senior Director of Digital Communications at Walmart.  Positioned within Walmart’s  Corporate Affairs division, he and his team are responsible for managing and supporting all aspects of Walmart’s corporate digital presence, including the corporate website, social media platforms, and email communications both internally to associates and externally to customers.  They are charged with managing and protecting Walmart’s corporate digital reputation, both reactively and through proactive influencer outreach.

Chad recently joined Social: IRL Principal Ben Smith, for Smart Social, an ongoing series of conversations with leaders and innovators in social business.

We’ll be sharing the interview in two instalments. In this first instalment, conversation focuses on challenges and opportunities around influencer outreach and employee advocacy.

Part One: Chad discusses how his team defines, identifies and engages influencers in the social media space, and shares valuable insights on creating meaningful influencer relationships and outcomes.

Part Two: Chad discusses the the challenges and opportunities social media brings to influencer outreach, both in terms of identifying potential influencers and in creating the right content and message for the right audience in the right channel.

Part Three: Chad addresses the need for transparency and authenticity in influencer outreach, and to understand the scrutiny a brand such as Walmart is under with today’s outreach initiatives being conducted in full public view online.

Part Four: The conversation moves from influencer engagement to employee advocacy and Chad discusses the tremendous value of employee brand advocacy and steps Walmart is embarking on to engage, activate and empower their associates to fill this valuable yet largely untapped role.

Part Five: In concluding this first instalment of the interview, Chad discusses identifying and overcoming challenges to effective employee advocacy, from both corporate and associate perspectives.

Continue to Part Two of the interview here.