A few weeks ago my son and I went to a Lego BrickfestLive Event. We purchased tickets a few months ago through a Groupon deal. While at the event I was able to tweet @BrickfestLive and use the hashtag #brickfest to post pictures of all the amazing things we were seeing and doing. It was a truly integrated event. There’s no doubt about it Lego “gets” social media. In fact, they don’t just get it, time and time again they dominate the world of social media.
But my living room floor is equal parts Lego and Megabloks. I wondered how does Megabloks fair in the brick crushing world of social media? The company has a blog that it posts to regularly on MegaBloks.com. Each of its licensed products, which range from teen favorites like Halo, Call of Duty, and Assassin’s Creed to preschool standbys like Thomas and Friends, Hot Wheels, and Barbie have their own website. It’s worth mentioning that only the sites geared towards teens offer a blog and Facebook. Sites geared towards younger audiences offer games, videos and activities but nothing in the range of social media. On the company site you can “like” MegaBloks on Facebook, and “follow” them on Twitter. They run Twitter promos under the hashtag #MegaMonday, and building contests under the hashtag #SeeitBuildit. In addition, MegaBloks offers a membership site, where you can rate and review products, share custom builds and build a digital collection of all your toys.
If you weren’t comparing it to its social media crushing competitor one might think, “Hey MegaBlocks is doing a pretty good job.” They have an active social media presence with 18.9K Twitter followers, and 229K Facebook likes. They have age appropriate websites for all their licensed product, and as a mom I like the fact that my 7 year old daughter can play a game on the Barbie site and it doesn’t connect to social media.
What separates Lego from Megabloks in the realm of social media is the community and the community’s ability to be engaged. While Megabloks is doing a fine job as a company running a brand social media strategy, Lego brand is fan driven not brand driven. Before Lego had a social media strategy they had fans. Fans that have created 13 million Youtube videos, innumerable image content on Flickr, Instagram and Vine, Tens of thousands of bookmarked Lego fan designs on ReBrick, and thousands of potential projects submitted on the Legos Ideas website. Lars Silberbauer, Global Head of Social Media for LEGO says, “Lego sees its brand as something that is co-owned with its fans, because they also have perceptions about the brand and future direction.” There is never ending engagement with customers, making the Lego online community one of the strongest and most organic out there.
Silberbauer says Lego uses social platforms to: increase sales, improve marketing efficiency, build “brand affinity” and to do damage control. These goals are not that far off from what I think MegaBloks is trying to achieve. They are increasing sales by using social media as a marketing tool, and building “brand affinity” especially with the licensed products like Halo, Assassins Creed, and Call of Duty that already have a fan base that is active on social media because they were video games first. The difference is Lego’s ability to capitalize on crowdsourcing. Through the Rebrick and Lego Ideas communities, Lego is able to get to know their fanbase and get to know what ideas and concepts fans would like to see as future products. Knowing your idea or content may end up as a Lego product, or that your Lego Vine or Instagram may end up as part of the company’s marketing content keeps its customers engaged. Here’s an example of how Lego accomplishes keeping customers engaged all while generating user submitted content.
While Megabloks has all the right players in social media they lack the level of community engagement that Lego has. Sure, I can post my creation to #SeeitBuildit, I can join their membership site, but what my incentive to do that? Their fan base is just not as energized as Lego’s. That’s something to consider when creating a social media plan for your business. How can you get your customers engaged and energized about your product? What features can I add that will make people want to interact and be part of this community? You really want to think hard on that because engaged customers provide content, and feedback. This two way communication helps not only your social media marketing efforts but your business as a whole. Who doesn’t want that?
How do you engage customers in your own social media efforts? Comment below!