Companies Embracing Social Media: A Case Study With Nokia

Nokia Knows How To Open Up For Social Media

A few weeks ago I was in Barcelona for Nokia World along with a group of other writers. I’ve had some thoughts over the last week about how companies and organizations are treating independent journalists that I’d like to summarize.

To start off, lets state the obvious.  Because independent journalists write mainly online (for me it’s here at (Techcraver and a few other online outlets) and not for the New York Times or Newsweek, companies don’t traditionally grant us access product announcements, briefings with key executives and we have a harder time accessing review equipment for evaluation and exploration.

I encounter this bias when working many with many different types of technology companies, with a few shining examples that are the opposite. One company that has embraced social media is Nokia and their practices and patterns should be emulated by any company or organization who is looking to engage social media for outreach purposes.

What Does Nokia Do That Is So Great?

There are a few efforts that Nokia employs to bring social media into the picture. These PR-type efforts include WOMWorld, a program which grants loan devices to bloggers and tracks the buzz in the blogosphere surrounding the current Nokia handset models. There is also the Nokia Blogger Relations program from that is now run by Nokia’s Social Media Team.

These are active engagements whereby the large Finnish mobile phone company has reached out to social media to generate attention with their products, gain feedback, and have a conversation surrounding their mobile handsets and services.

At the Nokia World 2008 conference, Nokia representatives were available, including key product managers from inside the company (including numerous Senior VPs). I was able to meet with a variety of officials from throughout Nokia, including handsets,  services, and even corporate sustainability.

As a result, the Nokia Social Media team turned this huge monolithic company and organization into an open book for us to start conversations and adequately analyze the new offerings. They invited us to interview anyone from Nokia and went out of their way to arrange these meetings.

Another key facet to Nokia’s Social Media Team’s strategy: they’re engaging large, well known writers from popular blogs as well as well-known, up and coming writers. Rather than just engaging outfits such as Engadget, TechCrunch, and Gizmodo, , and others, Nokia invites me along with other smaller Nokia writers as well. Very smart!

It is apparent to me that as a company, Nokia’s intent with engaging social media is to start conversations and appreciate feedback, both good and bad. The Nokia Social Media team takes negative feedback and routes it to the appropriate manager or team within the organization.

So in summary, Nokia has embraced social media by bringing us to the table, giving us access to different aspects of the organization, and appreciatively listening to what we have to say. More companies and organizations should use this approach, as there are benefits for both parties when it is employed.

What other organizations are doing a stellar job of interacting with and engaging social media? What approaches do they take that you feel should be repeated? I look forward to the comments!