When Ikea wanted to build awareness of a new store in Malmö, they used Facebook as the basis for a viral giveaway campaign. This video provides the details. Basically they posted photos of “rooms” within the store, and then gave away items within each room to the first person to “tag” that item in the photos. Note that this effort was far from free in that they gave away a lot of merchandise, but that cost pales in comparison to the exposure they received, continuing today through blog posts like this.
Here are some factors that made it successful:
- Giving away free merchandise gets people’s attention.
- Many of Ikea’s customers are active Facebook users.
- It leveraged the visibility of Facebook user’s actions (people would would notice that their friends tagged themselves in the photos) and thus leveraged those users to spread the word.
- The photo tags (and the us the visibility they provide) are persistent unless deleted by the user or Ikea.
- Ikea spread the event out over time to keep people engaged.
- Ikea responded to user feedback about wanted more giveaways.
- The contest encouraged Facebook users to keep checking the Ikea manager’s account.
- The contest required relatively little continuous one-to-one interaction, allowing instead a one-to-many use of internal resources.
This campaign provided several long-term benefits:
- The obvious notoriety and visibility.
- Lots of Facebook fans and thus a mechanism to maintain relationships with a large group of customers.
- Tremendous goodwill generated by the giveaway.
These are all factors to keep in mind with any promotional campaign. You might not be able to afford such a large-scale giveaway, but some of these principles may be useful even on a much smaller budget.