The brief

Viking is an office supplies company based in the UK and is a subsidiary of Office Depot. Viking operates in over 11 countries worldwide.

Viking approached Search Laboratory after the European SEO efforts proved highly successful. The viral nature of the content we produced highlighted that there were opportunities to maximize their social media presence across their key European territories:

UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Austria, Netherlands, Italy



increase in European community size


increase in traffic via social media


increase in engagement rate

As Viking is an international brand, they needed a social media strategy which aligned across seven countries and a plan to grow an engaged audience across those countries.

  • Improve perception online – add “value” to the brand
  • Drive high-quality relevant traffic to the website
  • Build an active community across Europe

Successfully achieving all these goals would tap into long-term revenue opportunities

The solution

We kicked off activity with a two-month set-up period during which we did the following:

  • Took over and audited Viking’s social media channels across the seven markets – 13 channels in total.
  • Updated the channels to ensure branding and information was aligned across all markets.
  • Ensured each channel was set-up following best practice guidelines.
  • Worked with the client to take down any duplicate channels to avoid confusing potential fans and customers.
  • Worked with the client to set up an efficient social media customer service process to ensure that no enquiry went unanswered.


Working with our programmatic team, we then set-up and ran aggressive paid fan ads to help efficiently promote the channels to Viking’s target audience. We kept costs down by targeting the most relevant people and using the following tactics:

  • Lookalike algorithm: using data to find similar people.
  • Keyword targeting: finding audience interested in specific topics.
  • Retargeting; hitting users who had recently visited the Viking website.

We assessed Viking’s target audience, KPIs, and current editorial calendar to come up with our ongoing social media strategy. The strategy required a careful balance between communicating a consistent message across Europe with a set tone of voice, and ensuring content and messaging had a localized appeal and resonated with the audience in each country.


This resulted in a pan-European social media content schedule to ensure content types and themes aligned across all markets, however each piece of content was tailored to that specific country.

Performance was measured weekly and monthly to ensure we constantly refined our content and approach. Once we’d found the most successful content plan we then created a post boosting strategy to ensure our content was put in front of our relevant target audience.


We also integrated closely with other departments SEO, COPR and Programmatic to ensure our strategies aligned and that Viking’s social media channels provided a powerful outlet for content and campaigns:

  • We assigned two content slots per week to seed out SEO content (blog posts and COPR campaigns) to increase their visibility, engagements, and website traffic.
  • We assigned one content slot per week to seed out in-house Sales campaigns to increase website traffic and sales.
  • We assigned time to engage with Viking event attendees before, during, and after events to increase reach and improve influencer relationships.
  • Programmatic managed Paid Social activity to ensure maximum cost efficiency and best possible performance.

The results

We began ongoing work in August 2015 and the campaign is still ongoing. We’ve seen some fantastic year on year results (2016 vs 2015):

  • 885% increase in traffic via social media
  • 82% increase in European community size
  • 1,939% increase in engagements
  • 239% uplift in engagement rate
  • 503% increase in impressions