Ikea Saves The Children When Facebook Fans Invite Friends To Shop

One of the more successful digital tactics for cause marketing is a Facebook "Like" promotion. When you Like the nonprofit's page or the company's page -- or both, depending on the promotion -- the company makes an in-kind or cash donation to the nonprofit.

A good recent example of Facebook cause marketing was the Kraft Fight Hunger Facebook page for Feeding America during November. Liking the page triggered one meal donation, and more donations were earned as fans answered football and food-related trivia questions through the “2 Minute Trivia Drill Game.”

The program generated a whopping 25 million meals for Feeding American food banks across the country.

An added benefit of Facebook Like promotions is the boost in fan count on both partners' pages as friends and family ask others to "like" the page.

This coming weekend, home products giant Ikea is betting that Facebook cause marketing will fill its stores.

On Jan. 14, Ikea is hosting a “Bring Your Own Friends (BYOF) event with deals and giveaways and is rewarding fans who invite their friends with a donation to Save the Children.

There are two things we can learn from this program.

First, it takes Facebook cause marketing to a new level by using Facebook Likes to help drive something that matters to a retailer: in-store foot traffic. This may become standard practice for brands. As I reported back in September, changes to Facebook are making Likes and fans second to engagement.

Nonprofits and cause marketers should expect brands to experiment with new metrics for Facebook cause marketing, including testing its potential for driving traffic to stores.

Second, this promotion puts the cause marketing at just the right place -- after the self-serving main offer of savings and giveaways, which is what really motivates shoppers. The donation to Save the Children is a secondary benefit, and the charity gets the money whether the invitee shows up or not.

Ikea's shopping event for charity is better than most retailers' programs.

Despite all the talk of their success, I'm not a fan of the "shopping days" Macy's, Bloomingdales and other stores market to charities. They're pyramid schemes, with the stores and a few big charities at the top making all the money.

The Ikea Facebook Like promotion is sound marketing, great digital cause marketing and good philanthropy.

I like it.

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