1 Good Reason – Social Marketing

Social and Digital Marketing for the New Reality

1 Good Reason – Social Marketing header image 2

How NOT to Market in Social Media

March 25th, 2010 · 8 Comments


All you have to do is, the following 3 things: (taken from the IKEA Facebook page)

1.       Become a friend of IKEA on Facebook. (Ok, I’m not a big fan of businesses I don’t know well, and my one experience at IKEA is recalled as a never ending walk through an endless land of cardboard furniture that all looked the same.  Sort of like “It’s a small world” at Disney World except at IKEA all of the kids were crying.)

2.       Invite all your friends. IMPORTANT: If you do not invite ALL of your friends you may not be eligible. There’s an easy way to quickly invite all your friends, How to invite all friends  This was copied verbatim from the IKEA Facebook Page.

a.       In other words we want you to SPAM ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS FOR US!  Perhaps social conventions are different in Scandinavia but most people don’t like to send spam, or receive it.

b.      Also I think that the beginning of the contest where they say that the first 10,000 people will each receive $1000 (Jeeze that’s a lot of money!) and now they say you become eligible could be considered a bait and switch tactic. 

c.       I also think this contest violates a whole bunch of laws.  Many states require that there be an alternate way to enter a contest and requiring that you be on Facebook to enter the contest may be violation of these laws.  I’m not a lawyer so don’t sue me on this.

d.      I guess they didn’t read the story of Burger King’s unfriend your friends where they were forced to kill the program.

e.      This step makes use of inserting a JavaScript code into the invite a friend feature of Facebook.  I’m not certain but I believe this violates the Terms of Service on Facebook. (Again I’m not a lawyer or JavaScript developer, so please don’t sue or develop me.)

3.       Claim your $1000 by clicking the Claim Here button

a.       When I did this, without notifying my friends, I got a blank page.  It’s perhaps a virus insertion scam, in which case I sure hope my anti-virus is up to date.  Or something went wrong.  It could be that the program is simply choking on my 2,000+ friends.  I’ve seen that happen with Facebook several times before.

Here are the instructions IKEA has for their Facebook friends:
Follow these instructions carefully…..
1. After reading all instructions, click the wall tab at the top of the page.
2. Just below the Profile Picture you’ll see ‘Suggest Friends’, click that link.
3. If you’re using FireFox, Chrome or Safari as your Browser
Just copy this code:

javascript:elms=document.getElementById(’friends’).getElementsByTagName(’li’);for(var fid in elms){if(typeof elms[fid] === ‘object’){fs.click(elms[fid]);}}

And paste it in your browsers address bar and hit enter on your keyboard.
If you’re using Internet Explorer click on all your friends manually.
5. Finally, click "Send Invitations" after all your friends are highlighted.

That’s it! Your done… Return to the Registration tab for the final human verification step.

b.      Piece of cake right?  What could possibly go wrong telling 10,000 people to insert JavaScript code into their browsers?

c.       Thanks IKEA for telling thousands more people exactly how to send spam messages to everyone they are friends with on Facebook.

d.      Hey, IKEA I know that you are furniture people and all, but did you know that approximately 70% of all of the people on the internet use Internet Explorer?

e.      OH, and BTW Internet Explorer is looking even more lame, I’m sure Microsoft is going to be happy with you on this one.


This is simply a stupid way to try to market.  The people who send these things to their friends will lose friends because of it.  They will then grow resentful of IKEA for being used as a stupid pawn.  The people who receive these stupid messages will resent IKEA for it.  IKEA will gain a short bit of PR (public relations not press, unless this goes horribly wrong- wait for it.) but the overall long term effect will most likely be very poor.  Did I mention that it’s likely to build resentment?  If not, I think you should consider that it’s likely to build resentment. (I’m feeling a little resentful myself.)

All in all this is another ham-handed blind thrashing about in the dark uninspired foolish let me use you and abuse you social marketing scheme cooked up by people who simply don’t understand relationship marketing.  I don’t know if this is the work of the new Ogilvy & Mather team or the old Deutsch team because IKEA changed agencies this month according to the New York Times.  But I can’t imagine a better reason for IKEA to find a newer new agency.

I’m breathlessly awaiting the rolling in of the invitations from all of my Facebook buddies.  Who will be the first?  Oops it’s too late, someone already did it…

Give me 1 Good Reason we shouldn’t deport the idiots who thought up this stupid idea?

Posted via email from ckieff’s posterous

**UPDATE** The page was identified as a fraud perpetuated by scammers who were trying to gather names and addresses. The final page of the form, which I noted above didn’t work for me, was a form which you were to fill in with your name and address. I’m very glad to see that neither of the advertising agencies for IKEA were involved in this. See this http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/03/facebook_snagged_in_ikea_promo.html article in New York Magazine which details the fake page. I am troubled that it took Facebook a couple of days apparently to discover and remove the page. It was reported at 7PM on the day before I wrote this article in NY Magazine. And apparently IKEA has been fighting this issue since 3/8/10 so apparently it keeps popping up with minor variations on the theme.

Tags: Reasons For Net Marketing

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nater Kane // Mar 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

    oh yeah, you’re right chris. this IS a really stupid campaign.

    does anyone know who/what agency thought this was a good idea? they should (and probably will) get fired.

  • 2 Chris Kieff // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Thanks for your comment.
    I don’t know if this is the work of the new Ogilvy & Mather team or the old Deutsch team because IKEA changed agencies this month according to the New York Times. But I can’t imagine a better reason for IKEA to find a newer new agency.

    See the article above for the link to the NYT story.

  • 3 Jen O. // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I have been reading that this campaign is actually a scam not endorsed by IKEA: http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/03/facebook_snagged_in_ikea_promo.html

  • 4 uberVU - social comments // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ckieff: You still have a chance to win $1000, only 500 left. AKA How NOT to market social media: @IKEA http://bit.ly/90uYyr…

  • 5 Chris Kieff // Mar 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

    The page was taken down by Facebook about noon today ET.
    The NY Mag article reports it was fraudulent. I’m trying to verify that.
    I’m hopeful that it was fraudulent because that would mean the big agencies involved with IKEA aren’t as big and dumb as one would expect.

  • 6 Chris Kieff // Mar 25, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Interesting that the NY Mag article was written at 7 PM yesterday. And that it mentions that IKEA became aware of the scam on March 8th. Wonder why they let it run so long? That’s not very friendly to their clients.

  • 7 Charles Thomas // Mar 25, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I’m sure the delay was so that the article could be translated into IKEA’s language, which is not Swedish. Rather, the entire article had to rewritten using little pictograms and charts. WAPOW!

    Sorry, for the joke, but as an auditory learner, the little pictures give me such agita. I have an IKEA kitchen island that was put together backwards because I couldn’t translate the images in my head.

  • 8 John Smith // Mar 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Maybe there wasn’t a rush to publicize it because it’s practically self-evident that this was a scam, considering the countless other groups out there where “If you become a fan of X, you get [insert money or giveaway here]” that all contain the same exact language and steps including spamming friends via javascript. This has been going on for months and I can only shake my head in disbelief at the people who fall for it.

Leave a Comment