Lego are well known for their excellent use of social media, utilising it to engage their core customers in the creation of new products. Such intensive usage demands that managers throughout the company are comfortable operating in a social business.
It was a view echoed by Lars Silberbauer, Lego director of social media, at a conference recently. He revealed the importance of everyone within Lego understanding what it is to be a social business.
He revealed that managers have to go on a day-long course into social media, at the end of which is both a theoretical and practical exam.
The practical part was relatively simple, yet nevertheless one that statistics reveal would be beyond many executives. It required executives to post a status update to the companies Facebook page.
"You see the nervousness around the room when they see they need to communicate with customers," said Silberbauer. "But when they get 500 likes, that’s when they realise what social media’s all about."
The course goes to great lengths to stress that social media usage at Lego is not done for vanity purposes, such as securing likes.
"We have four ways of creating value out of creating engagement," Silberbauer said. "Increasing sales, becoming more efficient in our marketing, building brand affinity and protecting our brand via social media."
Silberbauer cited a trial Lego ran on Facebook to see if a promotion on the social media platform could drive sales. Rather than use a pack-shot, Lego asked a fan to create an image, which was used in the promotion.
"Within six hours we’d reached about 1m people and around 8,000 visited our ecommerce site and drove $10,000 of sales – 15 minutes of work without any adspend.
"My boss asked: 'Can we do this four times an hour then?' Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way."
He went on to explain how at Lego, the important part of their social media work is to create the connection with customers. That is their ultimate aim, and it's an aim that many organisations would do well to replicate.