How to Master Social Listening: Lessons from IKEA

This guest post comes from Marcus Beard at Brandwatch. Read on for a case study on the company's work with IKEA.  

The best solutions to company-wide issues are unavoidable and impossible to ignore.

With the ability to break down a bedside table into three slot-together pieces, IKEA appear to possess the engineering prestige usually reserved for NASA and CERN. One might imagine their ingenuity with beds and wardrobes is mirrored for all parts of the business: from human resources to customer services to social media marketing.

However, while IKEA has been known for engaging social campaigns, the enthusiasm for social media has traditionally failed to spread across the business.

Social media holds a treasure trove of data about customer experiences, opinions and demographics. Hans Gartner - part of the digital development team at IKEA - knew the value of listening to this data, but had no way to communicate it with other departments.

A social media command centre is a multi-screen, minority report styled social dashboard made for big displays and big impact. It makes a focal point for social data, allowing passersby to ogle at the heaps of insights it generates.

Together with The Socializers, IKEA addressed the stockpiling of social data and brought the entire organisation up to speed with social listening.

Utmaningar - Challenges

  • IKEA is already a very successful business - it’s hard to call for a total revamp of business techniques when you’re already killing it.

  • Usage and investment in social media varied widely across different departments.

  • The approach to sharing and governance meant data often remained within departments without making an impact across the business.

The best solutions to company-wide issues are unavoidable and impossible to ignore. By deciding to create a prominent physical space for social, everyone in the company could have a peek at the power of Twitter and Facebook.

IKEA’s Listening Hub is a massive social command centre. Powered by Brandwatch Vizia, screens illuminate mentions from across the globe and show who is talking and what’s being said. Are British Tweeters angry about the ease of construction of the latest Bekväm step stool? Are bloggers anticipating the release of the new catalogue in the US?

Once these conversations were captured, they could be sent to the relevant department right from the Hub. Even without notifications, the glanceable data gave stakeholders a deep understanding of what customers thought of IKEA minute-by-minute.

Framgångar - Successes

  • IKEA learned the differences between regions of customer behaviour online.

  • Social data was shared routinely and automatically within the company.

  • Tangible social wisdom spread through the organisation.

Equipped with a brand new way of dealing with social data, IKEA can now optimise their (already impressive) campaign further, proving their worth to stakeholders with ease.

Lektioner - Lessons

  • No matter how innovative you are, you can always innovate more.

  • Sharing is caring: your data can (and should) be used by everyone.

  • If you’ve got it, flaunt it: by giving data a physical space, everyone can benefit from it.

The Brandwatch case study on IKEA’s social shake up details exactly how the organisation could listen, segment and make decisions with such ease, along with words from Hans Garter himself.

IKEA mastered social listening for their needs - but there’s so much more you can do with it. Campaign management, crisis response and lead generation are all possible when you can listen to and analyse conversations across the web.


A big thanks to Brandwatch for this post. You can check out the full case study here

Get blog posts via email