Friday, August 3, 2012

Olympics Post - Be Social from Sweden

With the Games of the XXX Olympiad nearing the halfway mark, my Olympics-themed series has also arrived at the halfway mark. To coincide with the festivities in London, I am featuring experts from around the world who will share their insights and answer questions about social media. In the words of Vala Afshar, "Don't do social, be S.O.C.I.A.L., which means be sincere, open, collaborative, interested, authentic, and likeable." Tune in every couple of days to see which country will be represented and who will be featured. And if you comment during the Olympics on Twitter or elsewhere in social media, don't forget to use the hashtag #London2012.

Today’s expert is Mattias Gronborg from Stockholm, Sweden. Matt is co-founder of iGoMoon, a social media training company, and an online branding consultant at MattGron Media Lab AB. You can connect on Twitter @MattGron. While networking through social media is rewarding, it’s even more rewarding when you actually meet in person. Matt recently visited California, and we were able to meet face-to-face.

Which social network is most popular in your country?

Facebook is the most popular. Currently, there are 4,637,500 Facebook users in Sweden, which makes us #37 in the ranking of all Facebook statistics by country. The population in Sweden is approximately 9,500,000, so Facebook’s penetration of the Swedish population is 51%.

How are your country’s legislators dealing with the privacy issue resulting from social media?

While this is not my area of expertise, I can tell you that Sweden is a quite open and transparent country regarding privacy matters. For example, if I have your vehicle’s license plate, it is not hard to find out more about you, such as, your address, relationship status, how much you pay in taxes, etc. Of course, Sweden has a Personal Data Act to protect people from having their privacy violated. My experience is that people in Sweden don’t care very much about privacy in social media, but that day will come.

What three ways are major businesses in your country using social media as a marketing tool to promote products or services?

My experience is that most of the major businesses are still in a push mode. They are doing social, not being social – especially with the big four: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Many businesses enter the social media sphere through a Facebook page or a social media campaign with hopes of reaching some kind of a viral status. The more savvy ones are trying to create a dialogue with the end users of their products and services. The three most common goals are to create awareness, increase leads and sales, and improve customer support. I can tell from my field experience that the two biggest challenges are knowledge and resources. The problem is that many of today’s executives responsible for marketing grew up in a less-complicated marketing world – sadly, many of these people might not know enough to ask the right questions to form a successful social media plan, which is not good for their bottom line.

What is the most valuable social media advice you can offer?

You learn social media by doing. Roll up your sleeves and be social. Be honest about your liabilities and assets when it comes to your skill sets. And treat social media as a journey not a destination.

In what ways will smartphones and tablets further evolve in your country?

Sweden has a smartphone penetration around 35%, although I have heard some higher numbers. Based on statistics, we can see that smartphone usage and data consumption will only rise. So companies must pay attention and adapt faster. Since mobile is the future, the first step that brands can take is to make sure that their websites and blogs are modified for screen size, tablets, and smartphones. A cost-effective way to bridge this gap between web and mobile users is responsive web design. I see how companies in Sweden have a tendency to spend too much money on mobile apps because they think they should have them – but they may not.



  1. Thanks for having me as a guest here at your blog. : )

  2. For more about Matt, check out his blog at:


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