When IKEA first entered the social media space they had a huge fan base, but lacked a clear strategy or management for it. However, since 2009, when they first started launching campaigns, these furniture giants have fully embraced many of the popular social media channels and used innovative campaigns and tools to engage with their customers.
Overall, IKEA are not using Facebook as one of their main channels for customer engagement or CRM. Due to being such a global brand it would be very difficult to manage this huge area in one central location on Facebook. Instead, IKEA have played to Facebook’s strengths, using specific campaigns to achieve specific objectives.
IKEA utilised one of the most popular actions in Facebook – photo tagging. One specific campaign was to create a Facebook profile for one of their store managers. They held the campaign for a short amount of time to create a high intensity buzz, but long enough to take advantage of the viral nature of Facebook, which resulted in high levels of IKEA catalogue subscriptions and Facebook fan page ‘likes’ (objective achieved). During this 2 week period they uploaded different photos of the store into his photo album; the first one who tagged him/herself on a product would win the product.
The photos were uploaded at random times during the day, this kept a high level of engagement and interest on the campaign and led to huge numbers of ‘likes’ for the Facebook fan page, even though this was not where the competition was being held.
It enabled viral WoM through friends seeing others tagging themselves in photos, friends status updates about the competition and becoming involved in discussions around the campaign.
This campaign was successful because IKEA exploited the native actions of Facebook, without using any complex third party tools to encourage participation. The fixed time for the campaigns created a sense of emergency in people and the nature of it gave people an opportunity to win something from the campaign.
It led to a huge number of catalogue subscriptions, generated product exposure and drove traffic to their website.
In August 2011, IKEA launched a new social experience through YouTube. This campaign firstly showed a video which showcased some of the products that were in their latest lines, it then went on to launch a personalized 3D showroom. The YouTube video extracted information from the visitors Facebook profile and then built them a room based on this information.
The functionality of this feature allowed users to hover over the items in their personalised, virtual room and then read about them on IKEA.
The campaign plays on the personalised nature of social media marketing that is essential to successful engagement. Its creative nature generated the viral WoM spread that the campaign needed to kick off. The objective was to drive traffic to the main website, having already inspired the customers and gained their interest in the products.