Some of the biggest names in global business will gather next week at BlogWell to share tips and strategies for making the most of social media. Smartbrief is a co-sponsor of the event, and Senior Editor Mary Ellen Slayter recently talked to one of the presenters, Molly Schonthal, Nokia’s North American social media communications representative, to learn more about how companies can better incorporate the latest social media tools and trends into their practices.
You say social media is a top priority for Nokia, internally as well as externally. Could you share an example of what that means for the typical worker?
In the same way that Nokia is committed to connecting people, externally, we are also committed to providing a way for employees to share their comments, opinions and views on internal subject matters. There are many internal information source communities (blogs, wikis, forums, video hubs). This enables interested employees to share their thoughts and make proactive contributions to the organization, programs and thought process.
Now externally: What’s your vision for social media among your customers?
Our approach to social media also reflects Nokia’s vision — we strive to use social media to participate in conversations openly, honestly and with respect. It’s about being as open with our customers as we can, such as by providing fact-based information and interesting Nokia news via our corporate blog. The community of Nokia users and followers is huge and we try to be as accessible as we can be for that community.
How do you measure the success of these efforts?
Our external blog continues to grow month over month in all of the blog rankings, our readership in unique visits and more importantly, returning readership. Internally, our consolidated blog sites also continue to gain involvement monthly. Increased participation is very healthy for the business. Externally, our share of voice in the online space combined with our social media outreach provides an excellent measure for us. However, some of the most valuable aspects of a successful social media program — building relationships and trust among influencers and consumers — is harder to measure through statistics but no less valuable to our growth as a company.
What advice do you have for other large telecom companies who want to expand their social media presence?
Just get involved, reach out, participate in discussion, be as open as you can be. Don’t fear the social media space — embrace it. Accept and acknowledge criticism where it is fair. Don’t just listen to feedback and comment, act on it. We do that all the time through daily, one-on-one interactions with bloggers who have questions about what they see or hear about Nokia on the Internet. Whenever possible, we try to preempt these questions by have Q&A calls or roundtables with a group of bloggers and a product manager to discuss a potentially confusing topic. This kind of rapport is critical during times when we are trying to figure out how newsworthy a topic may be for our influencers or when we would like to provide additional info about a product or service to their readers.