November 21, 2011, 4:50 PM

Wal-Mart’s Facebook page is a relative hotbed of conversation

And that engagement is likely to lead to Black Friday success, says a new report.

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. leads the pack among online retailers in hosting conversations with shoppers on its Facebook page, according to a new study by social media and digital analytics provider Socialbakers.

In part, that’s thanks to Wal-Mart's 10.57 million Facebook followers. Wal-Mart lures shoppers to Like its page by offering a slew of relevant content to consumers, such as daily recipes and a tool to help consumers plan their meals for the upcoming week.

The world’s largest retailer, No. 6 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also launched a Facebook application in October that is designed to connect consumers with their nearest Wal-Mart stores. The My Walmart application aims to deliver to shoppers distinct store-specific information, such as in-store events and promotions, as well as region-specific products for its more than 3,500 stores.

Those robust efforts have led to 7,656 posts by consumers in the past 30 days, according to Socialbakers. With the average Facebook user having 130 connections on the social network, the amplifier effect from those posts means that those comments will lead to more than 995,000 impressions, says Jan Rezab, Scoutbakers CEO. “While only a small portion of consumers post comments, the number of people who see those posts is huge,” he says.

The number of posts on Wal-Mart’s page is almost double the 3,877 posts on the Facebook page for Target, No. 22 in the Top 500 Guide. Target’s Facebook page has giveaways for consumers who Like its page, as well as featured promotions.

Because of their engaged fan bases who respond particularly rabidly to posts about promotions,  both retailers are likely to see Black Friday success, says Rezab. “Savvy retailers are combining traditional banner ads and web pages dedicated to Black Friday specials with Facebook posting and tweets about deals, coupons, merchandise and hot tips,” he says. “This enables them to interact and respond to consumers instantaneously—offering them a massive competitive advantage that converts to increased sales and loyalty at Thanksgiving.”

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