Facebook’s Future Rests on Lessons From Wal-Mart Campaign

Facebook’s stock is up more than 50% from its September nadir. But whether the company can keep wooing back investors will depend on deals like its Black Friday experiment with Wal-Mart Stores.

On Thanksgiving, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg sent Wal-Mart’s marketing chief Stephen Quinn a text, “Good luck!”

After months of planning, Wal-Mart’s social-media team was in the command-control room of the retailer’s Bentonville, Ark., headquarters, which is typically reserved for natural disasters. Ms. Sandberg and other Facebook executives were on standby in New York and California.

Over the next 72 hours Facebook and Wal-Mart rolled out the social network’s biggest mobile-advertising campaign ever, consisting of 50 million ads.

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