Signe Lønholdt is the Online Community Editor for LEGO. She’s making the long-haul journey out for KM Australia Congress in a few weeks. I can appreciate what an epic trip that is. We took a family holiday to Europe last year, and LEGOland in Billund, Denmark, was on our itinerary. Perhaps that means I’ve saved the best interview till last, but Chandi Kapur’s and Felicity McNish’s were just as interesting and I look forward to meeting each of them at Congress in Sydney. Signe will be presenting on day one, as well, with “Building Social Value in LEGO, Brick by Brick”.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your role as LEGO Group’s Online Community Editor and how your experience led you there?
As a Online Community Editor at the LEGO® Group my biggest task is to engage with our Adult Fans Of LEGO (so-called AFOLs) primarily for The LEGO Group owned social media channel Rebrick.com. Beside Engagement I also spend time as an Intrepreneur (internal entrepreneur) on the platform, turning the ideas and feature requests from our Sounding Board of AFOLS into actual concepts and features on the live site.
The reason my title is Community Editor (and not the more common used Community Manager) is that we work with a group of people, that are very well educated adults and they pretty much know how to manage themselves ;o)
I’m an educated journalist but after working as a Web Editor at the Danish equivalent to the Cosmopolitan Magazine and the wonderful community there I was hooked on Community Engagement and Co-creation. I’ve been in the trade since 2007.
2. What was the strategy behind building the online community and did it go to plan?
The strategy behind the way we engage with our adult community today started with one question: “What if we connected all the LEGO enthusiasm, so there would be no more lost LEGO souls out there?” We knew/ know that we have a very active online community and that they are creating high interest social objects that take on a life of its own in social media. Millions of views within a short time span is not uncommon. The LEGO community has many outlets; new websites and social services containing LEGO content start up every month. This has created a fragmentation in the online AFOL community, which means that LEGO fans need to search many places to satisfy their need. We saw is an opening here for creating coherency and tying the community together. This would also help a newbie in the community. This is how the ReBrick project started. Once the concept was in place – an online bookmarking service platform – we started developing the platform together with our adult fan community. I will tell more about the details and the process at KM Australia, so the reader need to attend the conference to gain knowledge about how we at The LEGO Group create new product together with our consumers.
So far it is working as planned but you can never take anything for granted. We have close conversations with our community so ensure a win-win situation (At KM Australia I’ll go over our how we actively enter the conversation and how we work with our community to align expectations etc.)
3. There are a number of features to LEGO group’s online community—what are the different opportunities you provide for engagement?
The LEGO Group use a number of Social Media platforms in both owned (Rebrick and Cuusoo) and earned (ex. Facebook, Twitter and Youtube etc.) spaces, where we get to communicate with our end consumer. Where most of our “earned spaces” are used as Customer Service channels where we meet our consumers and answer their questions (pull), we use our owned spaces to ask our consumers questions about what they want us to build and how they want us to engage with them.
4. What will you be sharing with delegates in your session at KM Australia 2012 ?
I’ll be talking about how The LEGO Group have created a social media platform (ReBrick) together with our consumers and give the audience insight to how we collaborate with our adult consumers: What tools we use so they can share knowledge with us (and we can share knowledge with them), so we can build a product that’s valuable to them. Success for us is not to launch a new feature, success is to give our community a valuable tool.
5. Do you have any words of advice for people who might just be starting out to build an online community for the first time?
Listen to your users. Be in constant dialog with your audience and listen to what they say. If your consumers say the same thing about an issue on your platform, you have to be ready to pivot and take the platform in another direction or tweak your product to cater their needs. Sometimes they give you valuable input when you are just chit chatting, so always be ready to note down. And remember to tell your consumers how awesome they are. I personally am a huge fan of our LEGO fans and the amazing stuff they’re creating.
Thanks so much, Signe. I think there’ll even be some LEGO for us to play with at the event.
Early bird registration is available for three more days—until the 29th June—so get in quick. If you can’t make it to the event, follow along on twitter with #kmaus. Stay up to date with further Congress mumblings at the KM Australia Facebook page.
Come find me on the 24th July and say hello, if you’ll be at the event. See you then!