LEGO. It’s the toy every kid loves, plays with and adores as they are growing up.
However, how can they make themselves relevant, important and prominent with the older demographic who are more likely to be using social media (and possibly buying the toys for the younger generation)? In this day and age, it’s more likely to be the teenagers and adults who will be reading tweets and checking Facebook, rather than their younger brothers, sisters or children. So, how do LEGO do it for purposes of sales, marketing and branding?
As Christopher Ratcliff mentioned on Econsultancy, LEGO runs social channels to keep a “constant eye on” their feeds and mentions to ensure that they are “super quick to engage“. They always try to “remain personal” to their audience – it’s a common knowledge that you need to be quick to react in this big wide world of social media, and keeping it personal and human really helps people to warm to your brand. Consumers like brands who they can relate to. It’s why LEGO have been around for well over 80 years and are still one of the most popular toys available on the market today.
What do LEGO do on social that makes them so popular, and are they really as good as they could be? Let’s find out.
LEGO’s social media strategy is run by one team, but across multiple time-zones to hit “outside working hours” (which we’ll see later). The European platforms, for example, are run by their team in the US to ensure they hit the core engagement times they need for a maximum ROI.
Their content is tailored to each platform, guaranteeing maximum audience recognition – something that is successful on Facebook will probably not work on Twitter and so on. As Lars Siberbauer, their global director of social media, says in our Vine from Social Media Week London (see below), it all depends on what the audience and consumer’s social needs are and building engagement from there:
With a brand as large and diverse as LEGO, it’s crucial that they create a strategy for each social network they are present on. From here, we’ll look at all the networks LEGO engage on, and explore what they could improve on and what they are doing well. It’s going to be an interesting journey!
On first look, LEGO’s Facebook page/strategy is good. They have over 10 million likes (including almost 20 of my own friends) and mix various types of content whilst making good use of video and relevant hashtags. Although hashtags may seem more suitable to Twitter, they can make content easier to find across Facebook.
As the graph above shows, their Facebook page is most popular in the US with almost 2 million fans – second (surprisingly) is Brazil, with the United Kingdom third. This could be due to the size of the countries, or perhaps more younger fans (who will be more inclined to enjoy LEGO) are on Facebook in Brazil. When you look at the content of the page, it’s a mix (as mentioned) of photos, videos, links and shares. All updates are visual with a heavy emphasis on high quality photo and video content (for example this):
Posts can receive up to thousands of comments, likes and shares which, when compared to the average figures of ‘organic engagement’, is quite a high number.
An interesting thing that you’ll notice is that LEGO share a lot of content from sub-branded pages (example below):
LEGO have truly taken the idea of a community to a whole new level, by not only building their own page but those of their brands and partners too. LEGO have even gone into this image to answer comments and questions any users may have – this type of cross promotion is highly recommended as it increases the engagement rate up from it’s organic level to a whole new community and set of people which may not have seen it yet – the Mixels page only has 100,000 likes compared to LEGO’s 10 million. Cross-promoting these brands will alert fans to the existence of both pages and, in the long run, add to the organic reaches of both pages.
When replying to complaints and questions, LEGO are quick and useful – however their team does disappear for hours on end (as Lars mentioned – they are placed across different time zones)
This image that someone posted on their Facebook wall has over 180 likes with a comment from LEGO – this is what Facebook should be used for:
It’s a great example of how the LEGO demographic are being reached on social media – the parents/siblings are posting pictures of them playing with their LEGO and therefore they are interacting in a secondary capacity. LEGO don’t share these user-generated pictures on their main timeline, however they do acknowledge with likes and comments. It’s a great way to grow a community on their page, who will keep coming back to see how their posts are doing. They’re building communities on their main timeline, on their sub branded pages and on their actual page.
Alongside the official page, there are also ‘fan’ communities on Facebook- with I Love LEGO accumulating 35,000 fans. It’s good to see that fans are so passionate about the LEGO brand that they want to share their creations in an area away from official leadership.
Although Facebook updates for LEGO are only done every few days, they are engaging, high quality and always get action from the community. LEGO are pro-active when managing the outer community on their page, and always welcome positive comments and shares.
Over on Twitter, LEGO can be found at @LEGO_Group. They have over 200k followers, and only follow 631 accounts. The accounts they do follow break down to being located mainly in Europe and North America.
This links back to Lars’ point about timezones. Most of their content comes out later in the day and early morning (outside of working hours) so they can hit their audience when they’re more likely to be tweeting and scrolling (i.e. before/after work or school). The only stat that is surprising, is that LEGO don’t tweet as much on weekends – but I suppose there’s already a lot of noise and it’d be difficult to be heard.
It is a well-known fact that tweets sent later in the evening get the highest amount of retweets and CTR – so LEGO are doing the right thing. Additionally, in a similar fashion to Facebook, LEGO’s tweets are always visual – whether it be an image or video. They also include hashtags, which for any brand, especially one as big as LEGO, is exceedingly important. If you’re tweeting, your customers will want to see you being active in the right hashtags – in this case #LEGO.
They use their Twitter mainly as a customer service outlet – fans can tweet them with problems/missing pieces/or praise and LEGO reply or favourite their content, such as this:
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) June 3, 2014
Non-customer service content is very limited, however they do retweet sub brands and share content from across the LEGO family – a fantastic example is the tweet below (sent by the LEGO Movie director when they were snubbed for an Oscar):
It’s okay. Made my own! pic.twitter.com/kgyu1GRHGR
— philip lord (@philiplord) January 15, 2015
When it comes to dealing with comments away from the LEGO Twitter profile, lots of people post about their customer service from the brand – some receive replies, however some are ignored:
— Tracy Klein (@TRK69OK) January 13, 2015
— Emma Wyatt (@emmypops123) January 12, 2015
— Kelly Flanders (@kellyjoflanders) January 11, 2015
If you’ve taken the time to tweet LEGO about a problem or customer service issue, the least you can expect is a reply. They do favourite some content, although they have only posted 2000 tweets in almost 4 years.
LEGO’s Twitter strategy is simple, but could be a bit more creative in some aspects. There is no need to be lazy when managing your community, and you should always take the time to deal with comments you receive, as you never know when that might turn into a possible lead, sale or recommendation!
LinkedIn is obviously very minimal in a social media strategy like LEGO’s. Their Company page is mainly used for official updates and job postings are listed on their Careers & Employment page. Updates are very sporadic, in a number of languages, but always cover professional topics (normally with links to articles elsewhere on the web). There’s nothing much else LEGO can do with LinkedIn on the service to improve their branding – and they are most likely using it under the bonnet to recruit people.
The real place that LEGO do (and should) come alive, is on visual social networks – especially Instagram and Vine. LEGO is made to look good and fans will want to show their creations off. Instagram has a younger user-base than Facebook, so this is truly where the children who are building LEGO will be located.
LEGO lives at @LEGO on Instagram, with a behind-the-scenes HQ account over at @LEGO_Group. They post the same images and videos as they do on Facebook – allowing the audience across the network to engage with their content away from the familiar channels:
A photo posted by LEGO (@lego) on
Last year, LEGO took the step into Instagram Video and Vine – promising that “two videos a week” would be posted to coincide with the launch of their Mixels range. The Vines were created with the help of the 1000Heads agency and can be found over at vine.co/LEGOVine.
The Vines are creative, different and stop-motion style. However, they didn’t take full advantage of it for promotion of the LEGO Movie (as the empty Vine channel shows) and haven’t posted any new content on their channel since October 2014. I don’t know whether they felt the ROI wasn’t right (they do have over 250,000 loops on some videos) or if it was too much effort but it truly is a shame to see them leave it to the wayside!
It’s not only LEGO that have used the 6-second video site well – Mark Weaver created an interesting LEGO Vines Tumblr page here where he created artistic videos using LEGO pieces. The below vine by Jerry Purpdrank has over 22 million loops, and involves LEGO. Although it may have a playful negative image of LEGO, they could at least acknowledge the post, with a revine or like – or even a comment to fight their corner. LEGO are extremely good on the main social channels, but really need to take the step to work alongside influencers such as Jerry, to ensure their brand stays relevant with the young audience he has (and he has millions of followers!) and they want. They need to be clever with the work and content they produce to ensure that they are not wasting the time and making the most of their reach.
When you look at LEGO’s brand and their social presence, both are extremely strong. The toys are loved worldwide and have been for years, with the majority of people having encountered (and most likely enjoyed) LEGO at some point in their life.
Their social brand is also strong – they engage well with the customer base and their direct fans and followers, and have found secondary ways to reach the younger children who are more likely to play with LEGO. On Facebook, they make the most of the features available (i.e. video and hashtags) and cross-promote their other brands through sharing images and engaging across pages. On Twitter, they respond to questions and complaints and are always fast to react. They could, however, do more about the positive responses that come their way – simply by a favourite or reply.
The one thing we want to see more of is engagement on the visual networks – they do great work on Instagram but haven’t done anything on Vine. In this big bad world of social media, if LEGO want to truly survive the years, they need to work alongside influencers and do more on the secondary networks to always be at the forefront of their audience’s minds. LEGO is definitely a brand that follows by example, but they need to always be thinking forward to be the best.