No stranger to the smart use of Facebook, Ikea is going to try and drive people into its stores using the social network.

On January 14th, the Swedish retailer will ask people to bring themselves and their Facebook friends to locations across the US for “Bring Your Own Friend” events. Attendees will be given freebies, food and product discounts.

Visitors to IKEA’s US Facebook page are asked to ‘Like’ the brand, then simply click on a tab app on the left-hand side of the page. 

This reveals further details about the event, which includes a countdown calendar, information about gift card giveaways and more.

Users are encouraged to, ‘Invite your best friends, or invite the best friends for the job.’

You then RSVP to your nearest store and choose from either The Sweetest Ride, The Accountant, The Interior Designer, The Muscle or My Personal Shoppers.  

However, the invite appears as a wall post on the individual’s own wall by default, so the mechanic isn’t ideal. It’s unlikely that everyone will work out that they need to chose the option to post on a friend’s timeline for it to be flagged. Ikea will still benefit from a post on the newsfeed of the person interested in the event, but this aspect could be better.

After this, people can enter details to register for more information to be delivered via email. 

You’re then shown a page full of vouchers that include a free blue bag, free meals, and money off in-store. A list of reminders also advises you to get directions, plan your event schedule and make a shopping list. 

To top it off, for every friend invited on Facebook, IKEA has pledged to donate $1 to the Save the Children foundation, with a maximum of $50,000.

In 2009, Ikea created a Facebook account for the manager of its Malmo store. Over a two-week period, showroom images were uploaded to his Facebook photo album. Using the all-popular “tagging” feature, customers were able to locate items in the pictures and put their name on it – the first person to tag an object got to take it home.