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7 Ideas to Steal from Ikea's Content Strategy

social media strategyIf I were to reveal a hidden talent of mine, I’d say I’m good at assembling Ikea furniture. As most Swedes, I’ve grown up with flat packages and family quarrels around mounting manuals. I’m practically born with a hexagon key in my hand.

Therefore, as a devoted brand advocate, I wanted to check out Ikea’s social media strategy; I was curious to know if it is as innovative as their products. 

Ikea Sweden is not on Twitter. Ikea USA tweets according to a clear content strategy.

I was unpleasantly surprised when I recognized that social media accounts were not specified on Ikea Sweden’s homepage.

When asking via the site’s chat function if there is a swedish Ikea Twitter account, the customer service representative didn’t know immediately. After a polite “hang on”, he returned with the somewhat vague “it doesn’t seem like that”.

At that time, I’d already done the same search. Obviously, Ikea Sweden doesn’t tweet.

(With that said – for those into brandjacking, there’s an almost perfect opportunity here).

social media strategy

Ikea USA on Twitter: excellent content strategy but not social

Ikea USA on the other hand, serves as a blueprint for social media content creation.

They varies offers, seasonal occasions, different themes, special hashtags and focus areas in their editorial calendar.

They cross promotes their Pinterest boards, blog and twitter posts and pics in a rather seamless effort to tell their story over different networks.

It’s professionally done, and a very good attempt to create liquid content, but a bit impersonal and mechanical.

They’ve got an excellent content calendar, but it’s not social.

With their two tweets per day schedule, no interactions and no retweets as far as I could see, it reminds me more of the Ikea catalogue I get in the mail than of social media marketing.

social media plan ikea

Still, as an example of excellent content strategy, I think there are some great ideas to steal from Ikea USA’s editorial calendar. Check out these 7 takeaways:

7 things you can learn from Ikea about social media content creation

1. Embrace the holidays.

Create special content around the holidays. Ikea USA posted fresh interior photos of textiles on the first day of spring, a time when many people want to change their winter curtains and cushions for something brighter. They also built on the color green on St Patrick’s Day while linking to a seasonal post on the Ikea Share Space blog.

Actionable tip: Write a list of all the holidays that suits your business. Think outside Easter and Thanksgiving. There are actually days such as “Save a Spider Day” as well as “National Napping Day” that may be a better fit for promoting your company’s services.

2. Create #hashtags or build on existing ones

Ikea USA uses the hashtags #HowToTuesday and #PickOfTheDay to give their audience helpful tips on how to decorate their homes using Ikea items.

Actionable tip: Create or source Twitter for hashtags that match what you sell.

3. Stick to your core values.

Ikea battles clutter. They save money. They’re innovative. And they sure tweet about it. They uses all different hashtags related to organizing spaces and shares tips and photos of how to clear up troubled spaces like entryways and storage rooms.

Actionable tip: What are your business’ core values? Position your brand carefully by defining some areas related to what you stand for. Be coherent when tweeting and don’t lose too much sight of the field you’re operating within.

4. Cross-promote between networks

Ikea USA links their blog, Pinterest account and Twitter to expand and attract their audience. They aim for the “liquid style” strategy where content spreads and flows regardless of platform.

Actionable tip: Create a presentation from a blog post, nail the images in the post and presentation to your Pinterest board, ask a related question on Google+ or ask for feedback on your Facebook fan page. And when you tweet, build a tangled web of links to all these platforms. In this way you’ll be all and everywhere.

5. Do social good

Ikea raised over one million dollars in the United States in 2012 for Unicef and Save the Children by donating part of their profit from soft toys sales.

Actionable tip: Support a cause, it may not necessary be your own creation. Choose something or someone who’s doing good and help them spread the message.

6. Throw in news and offers, but not too much

Social media etiquette tells you not to talk too much about what you sell. Ikea does throw in special offers, but they keep it on a moderate level.

Actionable tip: for every thing you share about your products or special offers, you should share 10 other types of content. People don’t want to engage with a sales pitch machine, they want a friend that they can trust. Don’t underestimate the power of small talk. It’s not meaningless, it’s what friends do.

7. Feature your fans

The Ikea Save Space blog showcases community members’ homes, and the posts are also linked and promoted on Twitter.

Actionable tip: retweet and share your followers content. Be generous and they’ll be generous to you.

social media marketing

Bonus tip: How to implement a content strategy the right way

1. Interact!

As far as I can see, Ikea USA don’t interact at all with their audience on Twitter. That strengthens the impression of them acting like a digital catalogue or broadcaster. Social media is not a space where you place your ad and leave. Keep in mind that social is a conversation, not a message.

Actionable tip: Don’t do like Ikea, do as one should on social media: hang out, ask questions, give helpful hints, comment and be authentic. 

Photo credit: Ikea

Join The Conversation

  • RogerHarris1's picture
    Mar 28 Posted 4 years ago RogerHarris1 Anna, this is a good post! It's always interesting to learn about a big brand's social strategy, and in this case you have pointed out some interesting gaps in IKEA's efforts. Certainly we can learn from what brands do wrong. Social marketers love to scare clients with tales of how not to "do" social media. (Jeremiah Owyang's series on brands that have been "punk'd" by social media comes to mind.) At the same time, we can also learn from what brands are doing right. It's interesting that IKEA should be investing in creating valuable content but then frittering away that investment by failing to engage. I wonder if that is a deliberate approach, perhaps to avoid controversy or conflict, or an indication that IKEA's communications managers misunderstand the point of social media (or perhaps both!).
  • Mar 27 Posted 4 years ago StillNeedCoffee


    Sorry to be a nitpicker, but it's IKEA not Ikea because it's an acronym.

    I = Ingvar  (first name of founder)

    K = Kamprad  (last name of founder)

    E = Elmtaryd  (name of his farm)

    A = Agunnaryd  (name of his town)

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