Be relevant, be brave and do things others haven't - Lego head of social on values

Social is not about investing money; but about investing in your brand, according to Lars Silberbauer, head of social media and search at Lego.

Handling social, search and online video for Lego, Silberbauer stated at Social Media Week London that the ambition of social media was not online dating but getting a deep connection with customers.

If used properly, Silberbauer said, social will help increase sales, build brand affinity, handle damage control and improve marketing efficiency.

Describing how Lego created its social marketing campaigns, he said: "We start out by creating $100 campaigns. We of course do TV ads and have a lot of budget but I want people to think differently about social."

The idea of the $100 spend came about as Silberbauer wanted his team to think more about the dynamic of the content and not just the spend available. The number was decided as he asked his team to empty their pockets, and the value of change held by the group was almost $100.

Asked for his key tips for working on social, he stated "Be relevant, be brave and do things that others haven't - stand up and commit."

The idea of relevance could be seen in how Lego used fan-created content, believing it could be more personal than that created by a brand.

Silberbauer stated: "Lego fans love building together and there is also the pride of creation." On this front, content created by fans helped them to show off their creations.

One such campaign was made to celebrate the Life of George range for Lego. The company invited members of the public to create George and take pictures of him in different cities. Within 24 hours, George was seen visiting Spain, Rome and Hollywood, among other locations.

"It's all about engaging with consumers on different levels," Silberbauer claimed.

Another example given of using consumer created content was for Star Wars Day on 4 May. Lego used a fan-created image of a Lego storm trooper holding up a 'free hugs' sign along with text that suggested fans should visit the Star Wars Lego page.

"Images of people using Lego is better than a pack shot," he said, noting that the post led to over 14,000 likes and $10,136 in revenue.

While events such as Star Wars could be planned for in advance - although it only took him 15 minutes to come up with the concept - real time was something that Silberbauer said that marketers had to look into immediately.

"To come up with a campaign and have it run in two or three months doesn't work anymore. We have a content team to turn around content in 24 hours - real time is a crutial point for all marketers," he claimed in his final point.

Earlier in the day, Microsoft Mobile's head of digital marketing, Selena Harrington discussed the speed that reactive content had to be created and distributed in order to be relevant.

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