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Lego’s Social Media Marketing Approach and What We Can Learn from It

Regardless of your age, gender, or nationality, you are probably familiar with the Danish toy production company, Lego. Founded in 1932, this company not only sells their Lego-brand toys but also owns several amusement parks located in more than 8 countries around the world and have partnerships with big movie studios to produce The Lego Movies franchise. With a broad customer audience and diverse product portfolio, Lego was named by Brand Finance the world’s most powerful brand in 2015. However, even such an adored company could only hold this title for so long without a proper social media strategy in place. Fortunately, Lego seems to understand the importance of this new digital environment, as we could witness in an interview giving by its Global Director of Social Media, Lars Silberbauer:

“I think that is the big shift you need to go on as a company from being very old school, traditional on digital to making sure you can move and change at the same pace as your consumers are changing.”

Lego is currently present across most social media channels, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube being the largest ones for the company. It is estimated that Lego reaches over 50 million consumers each month on social media. Of those, about 30 million are reached only through the company’s YouTube channels, with its main channel having over 7 million subscribers.

Lego's Main YouTube Channel

Aware of its big and diverse customer base, Lego tailors its content by audience, creating different posts and campaigns for each platform. Furthermore, the company owns several different pages on the same platforms, to make sure it is narrowing down its fans by similar interests. For instance, there are separate pages on Facebook created for Lego, Lego NinJago, Lego Dimensions, Lego Batman Movie, and so on. This segmentation is also seen on Twitter, where the company owns the accounts @LEGO_Group, @LEGOBatmanMovie, @LEGOMarvelGame, @LEGOIdeas, etc. This helps communicate with fans but also helps identify possible trends or similar needs on that specific audience.

“For us, it’s all about looking at the trends and reviewing the data, and then having people who are able to analyse it all and convert it from Big Data to insights. From those insights, we create content. Also, we depend on people who have the skills to identify great content and amplify it in the right way. So, we do of course have a lot of technology which supports us, but in the end building social media capabilities in a company is all about creating a culture of understanding the consumer, your brand’s DNA, and then empowering people to jump on great content or consumer engagement when they see it” Mr. Silberbauer says.

Although the key for Lego is providing the necessary content to incentivize consumers to engage in social media, strategies regarding the best time to post these contents are also taken into consideration by the company, as Mr. Silberbauer explained:

“The channels are run by one team but from different time-zones. Primetime on social media is usually outside working hours so engagement on European platforms is carried out by my team in the US and so on.”

Lego is also recognized for its highly successful user-generated content platform, Lego Ideas. Through this platform, Lego fans from all over the world can create their own Lego Set designs and put them up to vote on the Lego Ideas website. If the design receives more then 10,000 upvotes it can potentially be produced and commercialized all over the world. Therefore, Lego incentivize its “designer fans” to promote their designs through social media. This not only gives Lego access to millions of potential designers at a free cost but also incentivize them to do free marketing for the company.

“We might have great ideas and great designers, but when we look to the millions of Lego fans, there are always amazing ideas that we would never have thought of that we can then hopefully bring to the market and help showcase.” said Mr. Silberbauer.

Lego Ideas: a user-generated-content platform

In conclusion, it is extremely important for any company to understand their target audience and create specific content tailored to them that will incentivize them to engage with the company’s brand through social media. Nowadays, even to maintain an already established base of followers require proper strategy on when/how to communicate with them and what content to provide.

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The rise of Formula 1 through global social media marketing

Redesigned logo after 24 years.

The fastest motor racing sport in the world, Formula 1 is a world championship of 21 Grand Prix across 21 different countries. It features some of the best drivers in the world, racing for teams with a rich heritage in motor racing like Ferrari. Although synonymous with glamour, big name sponsors and manufacturers, the sport is highly regulated in terms of car technology and TV broadcasting rights. Under the ownership of Bernie Eccelestone, the reach of what goes on behind the scenes of racing was highly restricted. Fans and followers were limited to watching live broadcasts of the race weekends on TV and following news through international publications. With the advent of social media, access to behind the scenes content was still highly regulated, limiting the growth in audience across the globe. However, this changed when Liberty Media took over Formula 1 in 2017. Championing social media as the primary tool to grow its audience numbers, the company allowed teams, drivers and partner TV broadcasters to release behind the scenes content over all social media hubs like YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. Fans and followers had access to more than just watching the race weekends, they could now follow the glamorous lifestyle associated with the sport, gaining more interest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7HazoR2BD4

With more curated content related to behind the scenes, press conferences, podcasts and special events, Formula 1 started gaining a lot of traction across social media platforms. According to a recent Autosport article, Formula 1 has seen a 53% YoY growth across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, with a strong fan following of 18.5 million people across the globe. The top performing markets for Formula I in 2018 were Brazil, China and United States, with India and Europe close behind. Through this extended access and curated content over social media platforms, Formula 1's fanbase had an average age of 40 that was inline with most major sports and leagues like NFL, EPL, NBA and so on.

Liberty Media took the right steps and used the right platform to make Formula 1 the fastest growing sport on social media. With the recent launch of Formula 1's digital subscription offering called F1 TV, the sport has seen a further growth in audience and fan following, taking the overall numbers to 506 million across the world. With new initiatives lined up for the 2019 season, Liberty Media is looking to take Formula 1 to the top spot and further build on the growth it saw in 2018.