Sweden’s Twitter Experiment

Before Christmas, I was alerted to a story in the Globe and Mail about Sweden’s decision to invite citizens to tweet from the national Twitter account on behalf of Sweden (link posted at the end of my article). The national twitter account is @Sweden – in case you want to follow.

According to the psfk blog, the idea was imagined by an agency in Stockholm and approved by the government. The goal is to increase tourism in Sweden by enriching Sweden’s ‘personality’ through different perspectives.

As a creative director of the agency in Stockholm said, “What we’ve done instead is said; all people living in Sweden are in essence ‘Sweden’ so they’re a good representation. So together the total of us give a multifaceted view of what Sweden is all about and very personal – high and low, funny and stupid, intelligent, stupid, funny, quirky.”

This initiative is brilliant for several reasons.

  1. The initiative epitomizes the ethos of social media. Tweeting by everyday people will make the @Sweden account more social, personal and interactive.
  2. The initiative is a grassroots approach. The government is willing to let any ordinary citizen have a say about “their” Sweden.
  3. The initiative will make tweets more personal – and therefore add a personal feel to learning about Sweden. Having everyday people tweet whatever they want to about ‘their Sweden’ is more likely to bring a more personal and “real” feel to the tweets.
  4. The initiative may produce more entertaining tweets and more attention. People search the web for information and entertainment. How many entertaining videos went viral last year? Remember the one about the dog owner torturing his dog with amazing food he wasn’t sharing?

It is a bold and risky move to hand over branding to your population, or is it? I no longer think it is risky because a move such as this harnesses the power and appeal of social media and acknowledges that some elements of branding are a direct result of customers, clients and anyone who interacts with you.

What do you think about Sweden’s experiment? Would you be willing to hand over your Twitter account? Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

If you are interested in the Globe and Mail article, you can read it here.

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