Talking About IKEA

I recently accompanied a friend to IKEA to help him pick out some bedroom furnishings. While he perused the aisles looking for the perfect ceiling lamp, I noticed that there were still a good number of shoppers in the building. I know that IKEA is generally the go-to place for affordable furniture but I had not realized that sales would still be brisk during weekdays. It is no wonder that the furniture giant continues to expand its empire worldwide.

Each year, Interbrand (a brand consulting firm) puts together a list of Top 100 Best Global Brands. In 2011, IKEA ranked 31. I then wondered: what is IKEA’s popularity amongst the web community?

I used a tool called Twitalyzer to help me get a snippet of the brand’s activity on Twitter. I focused my sights on IKEA Canada.

Here are the results that the tool returned:

IKEA Canada has an average Twitalyzer Impact score in the last 30 days of 7.3% (putting them in the 93rd percentile of all Twitter users) and is classified by Twitalyzer as a Everyday User (having a small circle of influence but great potential.)

When we last looked about 0 minutes ago, IKEA Canada had 16,411 followers and was following 928 other Twitter users.

Note: impact refers to “a combination of the following factors: the number of followers a user has, the number of references and citations of the user, how often the user is retweeted, and how often the user is retweeting other people, and the relative frequency at which the user posts updates.

Although numbers usually tell a splashier story, I have a bias toward qualitative data because I find that the results offer a deeper insight on what is actually going on. I wanted to use Twitalyzer to look at tweet content but was disappointed to find that the free version of the app only shows a list of the most recent 10 Twitter users who have @mentioned IKEA Canada; the app does not show me the actual content of their conversations. To get around this, I manually browsed to each of the individual Twitter accounts to hunt for the specific tweets.

Here is where qualitative data can get interesting. How do you determine the meaning behind the content? First of all, you need to code the content based on the emotion of the conversation. A typical scale used in marketing is to code negative comments with -1, neutral comments with 0, and positive comments with +1.

Here are 10 recent mentions for @IKEACanada along with my coding noted within parentheses:

eleenie @eleenie
@MaybellineCAN #BBCream Shopping spree at @IKEACanada. Seriously in need of some organization solutions in my home.  (+1)

Jenn Petrichenko @JPetrichenko
Well, slept in until 1500 today, so mot much done. But I DID have a successful shopping trip at @IKEACanada #Coqutilam. Hurrah shelves! (+1)

HoTtawa @its_hottawa
Why are @ikeacanada carts so impossible to maneuver ? Everyone’s carts are horizontal to their forward-facing bodies. (-1)

Ryan Kirkpatrick @Ryan3yyc
When @IKEACanada screws up and doesn’t put critical parts in their boxes they should have to deliver missing parts. #wastedafternoondriving (-1)

Eileen Fisher @YMCbuzz
Love these decor finds from @IKEACanada that @SarahGunnStyle loves. I’m all inspired now 🙂 http://ht.ly/dzGx6 (+1)

Jeff Leiper @jleiper
Thanks to @IKEACanada for taking my word on non-functioning lamp bought last weekend, lack of receipt, no packaging. Easy exchange! (+1)

Theresa @tsacreations
Thx @IKEACanada for addressing my issue & generously compensating me. Much appreciated! Now my place will look more like your catalogues 😛 (+1)

Sarah Gunn @SarahGunnStyle
My top decor picks from the new IKEA catalogue….what’s your favourite? http://ow.ly/dA4KL (0)

Nicole Nielsen @nicolernielsen
I have so much respect for @IKEACanada , in their new store in Richmond, they reserve all front row parking for hybrids! #livinggreen (+1)

Jay Gee @Rozzy80
@elmeebaterina @IKEACanada Can we just have a freezer stocked full of their meatballs? (0)

The result of this activity:  a +4 rating.

Although Twitalyzer shows a low Impact score for IKEA Canada, it seems as if the overall sentiment expressed about the brand is generally positive. Of course, a sample size of 10 is definitely not representative of the Twitter population but this exercise really drives home the idea that you should not rely on one single tracking tool to monitor your brand. Because each tool tracks something different (or tracks the same thing differently), companies should identify additional monitoring mechanisms so as to ensure a more accurate representation of reality.

Which tracking tools do you find the most useful for your purposes? Do you put more weight on quantitative data than on qualitative data, vice versa, or equally on both?

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3 Comments

Filed under Branding, Social Media Tools

3 responses to “Talking About IKEA

  1. Personally I have the most experience using Google Analytics and find that tracking social media through website data is a good place to begin. With the many different reports you have access to: referral traffic, social reports, creating advanced segments, and tracking conversions, you are provided with an abundance of data. The most critical part is what to do with all that information. And with any social media tracking tools, i think its important to pair both the quantitative and qualitative data to get a full scope of your social media efforts. Many companies have a tendency to focus on stats (# of fans, followers, visits etc) but sometimes how people receive your brand might be just as valuable.

  2. Your findings on IKEA are interesting. I used to work there so have al little insight on their company culture. Generally it is a great place to work, but their marketing team has quite a high turnover. The working environment has drastically changed over the past few years (at least I can speak to BC’s). I wonder if and how this affects their posts. I would be worried about inconsistencies. Did you find any?

    • @briefcasetraveller: I did not notice anything out of the ordinary in IKEA Canada’s Twitter stream. They do two posts each day — one in English and one in French — and (so far), I have not seen any anomalies in the frequency and content of posts. Staff turnover is definitely something that can interfere with corporate communications, especially with respect to the consistency of messaging. The good news is that turnover does not appear to have disrupted the company’s Twitter feed.

      One thing that I find problematic, however, is that having each tweet in two languages makes it rather difficult to follow the conversation flow. That being said, I am not sure how else to approach the issue of dual language.

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