Social Media by Leah

Response to IKEA’s Use of Facebook
November 25, 2009, 8:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Mashable featured an article about IKEA’s newest marketing strategy using Facebook.

Essentially, the furniture superstore opened up a new center in Sweden and instead of simply putting up banners advertising the opening, or sending out advertisements in the mail, the company created a Facebook account for the store manager and had him upload photographs of the showrooms to his Facebook account and whoever tagged themselves as a piece of furniture, won that item. The link quickly spread to thousands, and Mashable dubbed it as a genius use of photo tagging.

A genius idea, indeed. IKEA was able to create a campaign out of a technology that already exists. It was most likely inexpensive for them to create, seeing as signing up for a Facebook account is free and the furniture they gave away probably did not cost that much to them. The store also had a limited budget, so their advertising firm had to be creative. They were also able to use one of the best marketing and public relations strategies: word of mouth.

Additionally, Facebook is probably the best platform to use, since most of IKEA’s furniture is cheap and bought by younger people (who are mostly using Facebook). Plus, instead of just announcing on Facebook that some event is occurring, the Swedish company was able to utilize one of the most popular Facebook features and create a cheap contest, which got people to move the message.

However, while in theory Facebook may have been the best platform…one commenter on Mashable points out that IKEA’s contest was actually against the social network’s TOS. Facebook requires official representation, third party apps, etc. and so it has yet to be seen whether Facebook has taken action against IKEA, and whether it will tarnish the campaign.

It is also unclear whether the campaign actually got any more people into the store, but it is still an innovative way to use social media and photo tagging to advertise an event. While other companies may not use the Facebook platform to do something like this in the future because of the guidelines, it has still presented a new way of thinking.


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