Facebook Marketing: IKEA’s Genius Use of Photo Tagging

facebook-ikeaWe talk a lot about how big brands are embracing social media as a mechanism to connect directly with customers. Still, it’s much easier to talk about integrating social media into your brand than it is to actually do it.

That’s why IKEA’s recent Facebook campaign is so awesome. The Swedish furniture company opened a new store in Malmo, Sweden and rather than spread the word the old-fashioned way, they decided to go directly to the people using Facebook.

This video describes the campaign in detail:


An account was created for the store manager at the 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.

The word spread through FacebookFacebookFacebook and users started embedding links and images in their own profiles and across news feeds. In turn, thousands and thousands of users willingly promoted IKEA and its new store to others, creating a big win for IKEA.

[via CNET]

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  • Jeremy Bronson
    Unfortunately, this is a blatant violation of Facebook's new promotional guidelines, available at this link:
    http://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php

    In particular, this section:

    "3. All promotions must be hosted on a third-party site and through an opt-in application developed specifically for the promotion. Promotions using general Facebook features such as photo uploads, wall posts or discussion boards are not acceptable."

    Indeed, this is a brilliant use of Facebook's built in viral capabilities ("kidnapping the news feed," as they cleverly put it), that many smart companies have managed to use to benefit their business. It's a shame that Facebook is spitting in those companies' faces now by requiring official representation, third party apps, strict age limits, and so on, making what used to be fun, spontaneous, and clever now cumbersome, slow, and expensive. Because Facebook has decided to overregulate (and try to monetize) the success of people who have figured out how to use Facebook well, articles like this are just applauding cheating. Either get Facebook to change it or stop encouraging these violations.
  • That's a pretty ridiculous statement. Mashable is not the Facebook Policy Patrol nor are they here to be the moral police for their readers.
  • Flowsion, if Mashable is supposed to be THE source on social media (and generally they are), then it very much is their job to point out that it violates the Facebook TOS.

    It's not their job to be the "moral police" as to what that means, I agree, but totally their job to know it and say it...
  • Oh, I definitely agree with that, article should have mentioned that it violates Facebook's ToS, though they are human and sometimes miss things. The way Jeremy Bronson wrote it, it sounded as if he thinks the article should not have been written or should have condemned the idea because it violated the article.
  • Jeremy Bronson
    Flowsion, I'm saying that the positive attention directed at IKEA should instead be negative attention directed at Facebook for discouraging and disallowing such contests. And as Jim pointed out below, worth noting that this could result in your Page being deleted before anyone feels inspired. Nothing against IKEA, just Facebook (and a little bit toward Mashable for its tacit support of flagrantly prohibited contests).
  • Just a misunderstanding by me, then :). I agree with what you're saying!
  • Party pooper. Consider yourself uninvited to my holiday party at the YMCA's community room in December.

    I say encourage the violations!
  • Appreciate the heads-up, we put a request into Facebook to see if this is in violation of their rules or not. In this case, I don't think that the promotional aspect was something encouraged by IKEA, it was something users did and started to virally pass along. I don't know if the mere use of photo tagging violates that provision or not, and Adam Ostrow contacted Facebook and we'll update the post if they let us know it is in violation of the rules.

    I'll openly admit that I don't follow the Facebook rules with absolute scrutiny but in this case, it isn't clear to me if this would be a violation (blatant or otherwise) or not. Not knowing the intricacies of the campaign, I don't know what elements of how it spread were viral, what if any elements were violations (or if they were violations at the time the contest was run) or if IKEA had any contact with Facebook regarding the campaign.

    Posting about something we think is cool -- all potential violation stuff aside -- isn't an open recommendation to any other company or brand to take on the same tactics. And posting about something that is cool -- again, violation or not -- does not mean we are endorsing or encouraging people to break any Facebook rules.
  • Jeremy Bronson
    Thanks for the follow-up, Christina. I'm very interested to hear what Facebook thinks of this. From what I've read about the new rules, "Kidnapping" Facebook's built-in virality is now a violation. Basically everything has to be done through a third-party app. Winners can't be notified through status updates (nor wall posts nor comments), nor can they enter to win a contest through photo tagging. The wiggle room here may be in that if IKEA did not notify anyone on Facebook at any point, and just *happened* to send these items to the winners without any mention of it all on Facebook. I think this is a great story and a fantastic example of organically using the viral capabilities of a social network to benefit a company - and a total shame that Facebook seems to be strongly discouraging these types of contests now.
  • Facebook only changed their promotion rules recently (3 weeks ago) so I think this campaign was executed to Facebook's previous TOS.

    As I recently blogged, the takeaway I got from this campaign is that it will be increasingly difficult to find creativity not supported by a big budget and the recent changes in TOS continue to influence that. The new requirements of Facebook are making the global social network giant more media than social. To me that is a huge story that has been overlooked in the hype of celebrating this effective campaign.
  • dNz
    I've been in contact with Facebook over the past few weeks regarding this, and it boils down to:
    - You MAY NOT administer any contests/promotions/giveaways through the native tools (hence must use 3rd party, e.g. through FBML)
    - You MAY however promote the same through the native tools.

    The main violation here (according to the guidelines) is that it is a competition administered through the native tools (you tag a photo and you win). This is a no-go according to Facebook (nonetheless I see many contests all over FB doing this).

    I do agree with the comments above that it's a shame that FB discourages these viral and social media friendly engagements.
  • Promotions that use the viral tools upon which Facebook is build are a violation of Facebook's TOS - talk about la FB crew wanting to have their cake and eat it. I am amazed anyone is able to keep up with what is / isn't "permissable" anymore - I can't see Facebook having a position on this anymore than any of us can.. invariably they will have changed again anyway by the time they get to this.
  • I just absolutely love what they did... And.. hey @tedbradford2 - this is the link I owe you from that FB wall post :) xo
  • Wow, that's really brilliant. I'm going to have to steal this idea ;).
  • tonybrowning
    Copyright Laws
    Computers and sites is like microsoft word,once the dates there,noone can change it but the owner and only if he updates the same document.Best to start a new document and leave the old one alone.
    But look at the ones that started the site for coke but still yet got rewarded by coke,thats not stealing.Always proof of who starts what first (idea) in the web incase one wants to cash-in leaving the original owner's idea out..lol
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