What is something that has stayed by our side growing up, and made a great impact in our childhood? Toys! In addition to serving their original purpose of entertaining children, toys have also become tools to educate and engage young minds. Brands like Mattel, Hasbro and Lego excel in their individual industries to capture the eyes of children, caretakers, and even collectors. But with growing conversations taking place on social media, it can be hard to glean consumer insights without the aid of a social listening tool. 

Amazon recently listed their top 100 holiday toys gift guide, and we wanted to see whether the list was accurate, according to social media. Some of the top selling toys were Barbie and Hot Wheels branded toys (from Mattel), as well as My Littlest Pet Shop and Transformers toys (from Hasbro). But, Lego doesn’t fall far behind either. So why are each of them succeeding in unique ways and how can social media provide consumer insights? Let’s find out.

Turning Consumer Data into Actionable Insights

To say that branding is important is a massive understatement, especially in the toys industry. That’s why brands rely on consumer insights to deliver the right products and refine their marketing strategies. Using Signals, our trend-detection platform, we uncovered the insights that matter.

Our new trends landscape matrix combines data science and social media intelligence to evaluate the current standing and future potential of trending topics. Which trends or topics are picking up steam, slowing down and remaining steady?

We used our trends landscape matrix to assess the social media performance of Mattel, Hasbro, and Legos Group.


Immediately, we noticed that Mattel (in yellow) is a star performer. For one, the volume of conversations about its products, like Barbie and Hot Wheels, is high. But we’re more interested in understanding the patterns behind the conversations. What sets Mattel apart is its high topic velocity, meaning that conversations about Mattel and its products are growing quickly.

Secondly, we have Hasbro, a steady performer with stable mentions volume and topic velocity. Finally, the Lego Group remains in its niche market, with relatively lower volume and topic velocity (aka growth). 

Which platforms are people using?


Let’s first see where people are talking about Mattel, our star performer.


Mattel fans are most active on Twitter, Youtube and Instagram! While 33% of conversations about Mattel take place on Twitter, notice how conversations on YouTube (21%) and Instagram (19%) are nearly equal. 


As a refresher, Hasbro is a solid performer and their products include My Littlest Pet Shop and Transformers.


At 43% of all online conversations about Hasbro, we can see that their fans enjoy using Twitter much more than other platforms.

Lego Group

According to our trends landscape matrix, Lego Group is a solid performer in its niche market. But, has comparatively lower volume and growth.


Almost 70% of the conversation about Lego comes from Youtube alone! 

Why does this data matter?

So why is Mattel surging ahead? Mattel’s presence on social media is diversified nearly equally across Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. And consider the fact that there are six times as many conversations about Mattel on Instagram compared to both Hasbro and Lego Group.

On the other hand, Hasbro, although a steady performer, is popular on Twitter and YouTube, but less so on Instagram. Meanwhile, Lego Group is popular almost exclusively on YouTube. Meaning that audiences on Twitter and Instagram are not as engaged. If brands want to maximize reach and growth on social media, Twitter and Instagram must also be a part of the conversation, in addition to YouTube. Both children and adults with purchasing power must be targeted, and a savvy marketing strategy should target both on the appropriate platforms.

Here, a multi-channel marketing strategy is crucial because the children’s toy industry must appeal to both children and parents. Children must express interest in the toy, but parents and adults are the ultimate decision-makers. Although YouTube is a popular destination for kids, adults with purchasing power are more often found on Twitter and Instagram.

 Let’s look at data from our age segmentation widget.


This age and gender breakdown tells us that toy brands should target males between 18-24 years of age and females between 18-34 years old.

Consumer Insights Into Occasions for Buying Toys

We are able to discover deeper consumer insights using our new Context Network map.


Top words included: 2019, new, wheels, kid, fun and even gift and receipt? Seems like many consumers are looking for toys as gifts! But, can we be sure? Fortunately, our social listening dashboard also provided us the top keywords from online reviews. 


Immediately we noticed keywords like accessories, fashion, gift and party appear often in online reviews, meaning consumers are looking for toy brands that suit those needs. Therefore, companies should focus on attractive packaging, while pushing the message that their product will bring joy and value to children. 

Using Consumer Insights To Rethink Marketing Strategies

To close a successful quarter for the year, children’s toy companies need to use social media to gain consumer insights. For example, our social media intelligence tool indicated that Instagram and Twitter are two highly important platforms for the children’s toy industry. Companies must use a multi-channel marketing strategy that targets both children on YouTube and adults on Twitter and Instagram. This approach drives up volume and topic velocity, while boosting visibility and awareness – right around the holiday season. Learn about how social media intelligence surfaces consumer insights today.