Walmart Employees Shine as Influencers

The social-media-savvy team members leverage the brand with on-the-job Instagram and TikTok posts.

December 16, 2020

BENTONVILLE, Ark.—Walmart has enlisted about 500 employees to serve as influencers in the company’s Spotlight program, which the retail giant kicked off this fall, Modern Retail reports.

The program essentially expands Walmart’s My Local Social initiative, which allowed volunteer staff to post for their location. Spotlight takes it further with each employee being the brand and giving permission to post about the company on personal social media accounts. Spotlight members have permission to post snapshots of life at Walmart.

One pharmacy employee, Lauren Castle, posts about grocery delivery via Walmart+ on Instagram, while others post on TikTok, which has become quite popular for Spotlighters. TikTok posts have encompassed associates teasing their managers, participating in a Walmart cheer before a shift, or joining with other staff across the country in a Walmart dance party.

Walmart has big plans for Spotlight, eventually bringing in its nearly 1.5 million U.S. workers.

“Our vision is to grow this into the world’s largest employee-influencer program,” Jeff Zilberman, the vice president of client services at Brand Networks, which manages the program for Walmart. “By giving a voice to its front-line associates, Walmart is humanizing its brand and giving customers authentic, relatable content that they actually want to see and engage with.”

Other retailers have also seen the wisdom in tapping into staff for soft promotions. Dunkin’ compensates four retail workers to create TikToks while working. Amazon has FC ambassadors—warehouse employees paid to disseminate corporate talking points related to working in a fulfillment facility on Twitter.