Social Media Example #23: Whirlpool Corporation

Number 23 on our list of 26 Social Media Marketing Examples is Whirlpool Corporation.

Whirlpool is a Fortune 500 company and the global manufacturer and marketer of numerous major home appliances.  Although Whirlpool acts as an umbrella brand to many other name brands, in this post I will cover how Whirlpool markets itself in the social media space.  

 

Whirlpoolcorp.com

When I first looked at Whirlpool’s website, I was pleasantly surprised at its set-up.  I’ll admit I was expecting a landing page that had links to countless other pages from which you could purchase every kind of appliance available.  This, however, is not the case.  Whirlpoolcorp.com is a hub for finding any and all information you could need regarding Whirlpool and its brands.  That being said, the actual website isn’t very social media friendly.  

The site had quality information like energy saving tips, money saving deals, philanthropic information on Whirlpool’s involvement with Habitat for Humanity, and even helpful buying guides for major appliances, but all of this content was not engineered with social sharing in mind.  

In fact the only area of the site available to follow is through an RSS feed are press releases (and who really wants to keep track of those!)  In my opinion, in order to optimize the other valuable content found on the site, Whirlpool should consider showcasing a blog that will provide this content in an engaging way.  

Whirlpool Facebook Page

Whirlpool does have a Facebook Fan Page, which was fairly well put together— it allows viewers to create discussions about their experiences with Whirlpool products and view videos and photos of Whirlpool commercials from Youtube.  However, it seems as though the brand has invested very little, if anything, in design or strategy.  The page has few followers for such a recognizable brand and there have been only 3 posts from Whirlpool to-date.  This is a missed opportunity to provide helpful content to the fans, to respond to negative feedback and to create real conversation with both brand evangelists and prospects.   

 

While it appears that Whirlpool has at least tried by building the page and adding content, there is one main component missing from their Facebook account, and that is relatable content in the form of continuous upkeep. This can include status updates from the company or links to Whirlpool blog posts (which, would first require Whirlpool to build a blog). It’s a mistake for any brand to simply create a page and then leave it. It can quickly become an anti-brand page. 

And, considering that many of their Facebook interactions consist of reported problems, maybe a few responses or links to helpful articles would add to the page’s credibility too. These types of content will attract fans and create interaction between the company and faithful customers. 

 

This is a single example of the types of posts people write on the Whirlpool Facebook Fan Page.  In this example, a customer has a legitimate problem.  This would be the perfect opportunity for Whirlpool to start a conversation and offer helpful information to this consumer that may resolve their current issue.  

Whirlpool Twitter Page

Whirlpool Corporation’s Twitter page, in my opinion, isn’t being used to its full potential either.  They have a very simple background that looks as though it was thrown together at the last minute.  Twitter is the perfect place to interact with customers/fans by providing them with the latest news, product releases, special offers, customer service and content around the sustainability efforts of the corporation. 

 

 

Unfortunately, the page itself is only updated a few times every couple months, which is causing Whirlpool to lose some of the most beneficial aspects of a Twitter page. Whirlpool should post engaging material that will increase the interaction between them and their customers.  From looking at their Twitter page, Whirlpool rarely responds to those who “@” message them.  They seem to do a good job of following those who are interested in their products and those who are following their page, but they have a very low following, as compared to other brands.  

In order to truly take advantage of Twitter, Whirlpool should make a stronger effort to develop and present buyer-captivating material that will draw in more consumers.  This can be easily accomplished by increasing their output while engaging their followers on a more constant basis. 

For example, the image above displays a few tweets from the Whirlpool Twitter page.  Whirlpool attempts to provide some customer service to those in need, but it seems that they have let the page fall by the wayside due to lack of content and responsiveness.

Final Thoughts on Whirlpool Social Media

Overall, Whirlpool has taken its first steps in social media by setting up their Facebook and Twitter page, but it appears both are lacking the strategy and direction required to make them successful and the resources and content needed to make them beneficial to their potential consumers.

Again, content is still king in the space of social media.  For Whirlpool to get visibility and to establish itself and its products as a thought-leader, it must begin to generate and promote valuable, engaging content on a regular basis. Do you agree?

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4 Comments
  • Amy
    Posted at 15:32h, 25 January

    Interesting recap but I think that any social media look at Whirlpool has to detail the hell they went through when Dooce used her 1 million Twitter followers to rant about a broken machine and the impact that had on Whirlpool.
    Interesting Forbes story about it here – http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/02/twitter-dooce-maytag-markets-equities-whirlpool.html

  • WadeBurrell
    Posted at 01:05h, 26 January

    Thanks for the info! This definitely would have some impact on their social media following.

  • Priyanka Mehrotra
    Posted at 02:47h, 26 March

    Although I agree with the author on the upkeep of Facebook and Twitter pages, it will be interesting to learn what sort of information can be posted with the objective of ‘social sharing’ on the company website. If they manage a blog, what info should go in there, and not on the main site? Enaging the consumer is a key factor here, and a lot would depend upon how Whirlpool chooses to advertise and market this interactive approach, before it can hope to leverage it.

  • Deven
    Posted at 07:35h, 15 June

    Good description and well presented opinion sure whirlpool has lot more to improve on regarding their website.

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