We sat down with LEGO’s Senior Manager of Global Social Media to discuss the brand, content creation and social media.
Real-time content and social media is a challenge many brands are now finding themselves having to face up to, as part of the modern world.
We recently spoke with LEGO’s Senior Manager of Global Social Media James Gregson to discuss how content and social media fit into his workflow there.
LEGO is a brand that needs no introduction. How does LEGO see itself as delivering value on social media? What is the brand’s mission?
At The LEGO Group we have a brand mission and vision to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. We use that statement as our guiding light across our social media channel strategy, all the way down to the objective of a social media asset. We want to make sure there is an inspirational aspect for everything we publish on social.
Can you tell us a little more about those audiences and how you divide your focus?
We’re in a unique position where our brand means something to everyone and we try to create products for a very broad audience – not just for kids. This broad scope creates a series of business challenges. We are extremely considerate of our audience’s objectives at every level of what we do within the social media team at The LEGO Group.
We often ask ourselves: Who are the audiences? Are we creating content specifically that resonates with them them? Is there a strategic paid media strategy to recruit and/or engage those audiences?
With all of LEGO’s products and content, what does your editorial process look like?
We have a unique challenge as a brand. LEGO is a manufacturing company at its core, and in that mindset, we are planning products far in advance – as far as 2020. That creates a huge challenge as a marketing organization to ensure our strategies and plans stay relevant. Will channels like Facebook exist in 2020? We certainly hope so!
Separately from the more traditional product marketing cycle, we are constantly looking to inject our brand into trending social media topic, news, etc. We are always listening to social media trends and working towards creating a real-time content engine, reacting and producing engagement based content.
How do you make the decision to react to something in real-time?
There’s a pretty complex answer to this one. But in short, we believe in the personal filter of “would I, the end user, share this on my social media feed?” This keeps us honest. And helps ensure we create content for the sake of content.
How do you determine success?
At a campaign level, and an asset-by-asset level. We try to be strict about the objective. Are we looking to recruit new audiences? Are we looking to engage high-affinity fans? Etc.
To ensure we are measuring apples to apples at a global and local marketing level, we have created a global social media KPI framework that provides our marketers with a ranked order of 3-5 metrics by objective, as well as global and local benchmarks to compare those metrics against. This ensures we are able to have a clear explanation of what is good or bad.
LEGO is a huge brand. Are you creating real-time content at all?
We believe agility and real-time content creation is absolutely critical to a successful social media content strategy. It’d be hard to succeed otherwise. We are constantly working on scaling that real-time production. We want to be leading trends vs. reacting to trends, and we believe we have only scratched the tip of iceberg.
LEGO does a lot with pop culture, like Harry Potter and Star Wars. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
It keeps us relevant. From a social media standpoint, it gives us a real opportunity to reach new audiences.
My team works very closely with our respective social media partners at Lucas, Disney, DC Comics, etc. and we have regular proactive brainstorms on what content we can co-create for our respective channels and audiences. We are pushing our marketing teams to look at social media content and distribution as not just a P2P tactic. We strongly believe that if we can co-create strong, engaging content then P2P should not be necessary.
We do not always need to be the owner and creator. We can help support our partners in creating great LEGO social media content that helps our business in the long run. It’s not always about the ownership or the distribution, especially when we have objectives like recruitment. You can see examples of this in a lot of content from our partners like Disney and Lucas.
What are the different channels that you’re focusing on?
We see YouTube as one of our primary opportunities. YouTube has become such a huge part of the media consumption culture and we focus a lot of efforts in creating a wide variety of formats and content types.
On Facebook, we’re looking at audience building and creating engaging content that also converts. We see a huge amount of conversion from our Facebook activity and we are looking to invest more in social media shopper marketing strategies to further drive that opportunity.
What are you looking forward to in 2019?
We’re very heavily focused on The LEGO Movie 2 which comes out in February and we’ll be doing a lot of exciting things with our partners Warner Bros. Stay tuned!
We’re also leaning more heavily into messaging. We just wrapped up our second iteration of our Facebook Messenger chat bot called Ralph, who is a decision tree based messenger bot. It’s just a small part of what we’re looking to do in 2019.
What are you most proud of with your work at LEGO?
It’s going to sound cheesy, but, in the world that we live in, where parents have less time to parent and kids have less time to be kids, I feel empowered, every day, to deliver our brand message to consumers around the world.
It’s hugely powerful to see kids engage with the product and to know that across the board, it’s a product that that supports their education and their creativity.
Thank you James!
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Benedict Nicholson is the Managing Editor at NewsWhip. An Englishman in New York, he is interested in the intersection of PR, brands, and journalism, and the trends and innovation around that.
Email Benedict via firstname.lastname@example.org.