IKEA is known for connecting different components to make something practical, right? In 2009, they connected with customers via Facebook to create a brilliant marketing campaign that engaged their customers for a store opening in Sweden.
To promote the opening of a new store, a Facebook page was created for store manager – Gordon Gustavsson. This effort immediately created a ‘personality’ to the store and allowed and individual (Mr. Gustavsson) to engage Facebook members with the national IKEA brand.
Immediately (and with minimal expense), there was a ‘face’ to the store that allowed customers to connect on an individual level – bringing them closer to the organization.
A 12-day campaign was launched during which time Gordon uploaded images of display rooms. The first person to tag themselves on a picture of the specified item won that piece of furniture. This ingeniously simple ideas quickly went viral (utilizing the mass of Facebook users as a virtual sales force) and had furniture aficionados watching the page like cyber-hawks.
Why it worked
This campaign went for a specific time period that proved short enough to maintain hype, but long enough to take advantage of the popularity of social media and traditional ‘give-away’ marketing. It achieved accessibility by using a tool (in this case – the ‘TAG’ function in Facebook) that nearly all Facebook account holders are familiar with.
Better yet, it kept people coming back! Unlike traditional giveaway promotion, users could ‘win’ at any time over the 12 day campaign which kept users coming back to the profile. Additionally, the talk of the campaign in countless status updates increased the exposure by utilizing Facebook users as the mouthpiece of the organization. Brilliant!
Gordon’s profile was visited by thousands of virtual customers who begged him to continue to release new winnable items. Everyone then knew about the store opening (the original objective of the campaign) and – as a bonus – IKEA’s online catalogue was distributed between thousands of Facebook friends for free.
As a brand, IKEA discovered the power of social media to launch store openings, reinforce their brand and create customer loyalty.