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Marketing on social media can be a lesson in frustration, since each social network has its own strengths and limitations. But really effective campaigns use those rules to their advantage. And Ikea's most recent Facebook campaign did just that.

By turning Facebook's tagging system into a contest, Ikea achieved one of those elusive social media goals — they got their campaign to go viral. For the cost of a few items, the company raised awareness, engaged with consumers and helped publicize the launch of a new store.

To advertise the launch of Ikea's new store in Malmo Sweden, Ikea's ad team, Forsman & Bodenfors, "kidnapped the most popular function" of Facebook. They created a profile for the store's manager, Gordon Gustavsson, and over a two week period the team uploaded 12 pictures of store showrooms to his profile page.

Swedish Facebook members were encouraged to add Gordon as a friend and tag themselves to products in the showroom. The first person to tag an item then won that Ikea product.

Facebook users that tagged themselves then shared the action with their friends via their news feed. But also, people excited about the contest publicized it themselves. The pictures spread to thousands of profile pages, newsfeeds and links.

Beyond the creative, it only cost Ikea a few free items. And by using Facebook's existing functionality, Ikea and its marketing team were able to achieve that elusive social media goal — consumer engagement and promotion without the cost of an expensive TV, print or digital campaign.

Meghan Keane

Published 25 November, 2009 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

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Comments (12)

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Liina

Brilliant! 

over 6 years ago

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Tom Ollerton

I love this idea and will promptly steal it at every opportunity!

over 6 years ago

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Anonymous

This is a brilliant example of how social media can work in the right context.

over 6 years ago

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Andrew Liddell, Ecommerce Business MGR at Personal

Hmmmm, it would be good to know if this exercise has added anything to the bottom line. Social Media is great in the right hands and when the ROI is higher than proven and 'conventional' channels. 

over 6 years ago

Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson, Director eCommerce at Goldmedal Travel part of the DNata and Emirates Group

Great work. Good for awareness buildng and engagement with the brand.

over 6 years ago

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Anonymous

Great idea, but Facebook in the UK has updated T&Cs to say that companies/brands cannot promote or adminstrate competitions on fan pages... I guess it depends how strictly they police it...

over 6 years ago

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Andrew Liddell, Ecommerce Business MGR at Personal

On fan pages? Or Profile pages?

over 6 years ago

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Anonymous

we saw it in the T&Cs when we created our fan page

over 6 years ago

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Andrew Liddell, Ecommerce Business MGR at Personal

Really?  I thought the whole point of Fan pages was to promote your company and products. Will need to look back at the T&C's

Thanks

over 6 years ago

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Anonymous

i don't think there is a problem with promoting your brand and/or products... we do... it's just competitions

over 6 years ago

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Andrew Liddell, Ecommerce Business MGR at Personal

I see, well we are running one at the moment, i guess i need to check the T&C's quickly! 

over 6 years ago

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Guillaume

Do you have any information on what happened next? Facebook shutting down the profile, etc.

Thanks

over 6 years ago

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