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Social Media Marketing Example #9: IKEA

Lisa Braziel.
By: Lisa Braziel  |   March 4, 2009  |   View Comments

Continuing with the series, ”26 Social Media Marketing Examples in Detail” we will now look at IKEA’s efforts within social media. Lets just say that this particular example took longer than expected, since I just purchased a home, and needed to do some in-depth research :-) Additionally, I decided for simplicity sake to review just the United States efforts, as IKEA is all across the globe.

What are they doing?

  • Live Support Chat
    • The avatar “Anna” is a customer support chat available 24/7 in the US.  Just to test it out, I asked a question and was highly irritated at her creepy smile and methodical head motions while she found an answer.  After being disappointed with her consistent unhelpful answers, I felt like I wanted to wipe the smile off her face, and pick up the phone and curse customer support.  In my opinion, there is a lot that IKEA could do to improve this and cut down on customer frustration.  (If you want to see the creepiness that I’m referring to, here’s the link.)

  • Virtual Planners
    • IKEA has virtual planners for kitchens, bedrooms, and offices.  By downloading a program to your desktop, you can plan an entire room virtually, down to the specific square foot.  The great part about it was that at the end of your design, you have an entire room design, estimate, and all of the specific product numbers to purchase everything you need at IKEA.  This is a very useful application for home design, and it ties directly to purchases.  I think this would be even more useful as a web-based program that users could share their latest designs with others who may be working with the same amount of square footage.  (Unfortunately this was also not available for a Mac, which is a little strange considering IKEA’s demo)
  • Social Networking
    • On Facebook, IKEA has an official fan page , that is frequently kept up-to-date with photo albums and pictures from IKEA and fans themselves that have me hooked and coming back for more. Part of my love affair with IKEA is seeing the set-up and use of their products, and by continually updating the page I have the feeling that I can keep coming back to this page for more applicable decorating ideas.  To improve this effort even further I’d like to see a presence from IKEA responding to user feedback and reviews, or even suggesting discussion topics.
  • Twitter
    • I couldn’t find an active IKEA twitter page, although I did find one profile set up for “ikea” with 26 followers, despite a page that had never been updated.  This shows that people are willing to follow IKEA if it decided to have a presence.
  • Online Catalog
    • At first I was expecting IKEA’s online catalog to be a standard PDF that I could download and print, but instead I found it to be much more interactive.  Basically, the PDF has functionality to place sticky notes on pages, circle items, and even zoom in to get a better view.  In addition to this, readers can send and print specific pages to themselves or friends - which enables customers to virtually rip out pages and share them.

What are some of your thoughts on IKEA’s efforts?  Do you know of any others to add?  Please share in the comments below!”

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  • Maria Reyes-McDavis

    I love the strategiesthat Ikea is using, the online planner is a great tool.
    This is an excellent example of social media put to good use :-)

  • Pratibha Rathore

    Hi Lisa,

    I faced the similar problem. I wanted to know if Ikea was o twitter or not.I didn't find anything worthwhile. Actually i am just doing a study on how top US based retailers are using social media.

  • Erin

    I am in love with IKEA right now. I just bought a King Size bed and mattress. I could have bought so much more, and plan to throughout the year. I was so excited with what I saw I went to sign up with them on Facebook and Twitter and I am so disappointed they aren't on Twitter! I hope they change that soon!

  • crockstar

    I would quite like to know if they have a Twitter account. Have had a fairly unhappy experience with their "trusted service providers" that I think they might like to hear about... any thoughts on best way to reach them?

  • MediaQmood

    The other day I came across with a really nice social media idea from IKEA employees, to a new store opening in Malmo, Sweden... basically they created a facebook account for the store manager, uploaded some pics of the new showroom, and created a campaign, where people had to 'tag' (facebook tool) items in the picture, within a period. The winners would receive these items. It was simple and really effective on creating awareness about the new store.
    For better understanding check the video...