When I talk to my clients about social, I tend to throw around the concept of “21st Century Community”. The idea here is that between working more and longer hours, the two-career family, and over-scheduled children, tools like Facebook have evolved to fill a need that’s been usurped (time-wise) by our busy lives.
We no longer have the time to build the direct relationships with our pharmacists, our grocers, and the other members of our physical communities with whom we would have interacted on a daily basis 40, 30, or even 20 years ago. 80% of commerce is conducted within 15 miles of the home, but it’s done in a largely nameless, faceless manner.
Now that communication and interaction can exist – Facebook allows interaction and participation within your community (for both citizens and businesses), though on a time-shifted schedule, or on-demand, schedule.
Wal Mart wants to lead that charge – at least at the brand level. It has recently announced that it is building a Facebook page for each US location – quite interestingly – in partnership with Facebook. Says Stephen Quinn, EVP of Wal Mart’s US division, “This allows us to make our stores relevant on a local level,” during a media conference call late Monday. “This addresses our `next-generation’ customers who are using a lot of social media. A national message is often not as relevant.”