Nokia and Social Media: We Learn it All

by on July 23, 2009 at 4:00 pm

In Cambridge at Nokia Labs this month, I met Nokia’s head of social media Mark Squires. I asked him, when did Nokia come up with a social media role at Nokia and how did he get involved?

He says that he looked after UK Communications for Nokia and during that time, he started a Nokia UK blog. As a result of his experiences, he wrote a paper on why SM was important to their followers and Nokia. Soon after the role of Director of Social Media was created, Mark slotted into it.

Mike-Squires head of social media for Nokia globally at Cambridge Nokia Labs (3)

Additional questions I presented to Mark below:

Renee: What is your favorite thing about what you do in the social media space for Nokia?

Mark: The first thing the team did was to create the BlogHub, a Nokia intranet site to gather all internal blog conversations to one place.

BlogHub lowers the barrier for Nokia employees to find and participate in relevant conversations. People can communicate more laterally rather than going up and down the organization.

In this way the Nokia company culture is not just a set of values in a slide set or posted on the intranet, it is a dynamic community.

With BlogHub, individual bloggers do not have to market their own blogs because all posts and comments receive visibility within BlogHub. I am very proud of the teams work on this, its commented on by all levels of the organization and it brought a lot of peoples thoughts to a wider audience.

Renee: Why do you think social media is important for Nokia and other companies of its size?

Mark: The world has changed, information has become democratized. As a result social media activities require a strategic shift from broadcast to a dialogue with those folk who are passionate about their opinion and our products.

In large organizations who are serious about their work it requires cross-functional partnerships between marketing, traditional communications and the social media. Our team frequently speaks with product teams to help them understand how social media can enhance the work they do.

The team has joined forces with traditional communications to create several social media releases, internal and external conversations and new ways of working. This is a real change in our outreach that makes what is a very large organization more responsive to those people inside and outside the company who care.

Renee: What is your favorite new Web 2.0 app that helps you be most effective and productive in your role?

Mark: No question, Gravity – it’s a great Twitter tool it runs constantly on my Nokia 5800.

Renee: What’s the most interesting relationship you have made using social media tools?

Mark: I have a friend in Thailand who is a tattooist, during an on-line conversation on phones I ended up discussing him in a conversation with folk on the West coast, one of them had been inked by him too, small world.

Most of my on-line time is spent on the UK pinball group, I maintain the Wiki and am a very active participant in the scene. When you have a hobby with 300 Kg machines, getting together virtually has lots to recommend it!

However because of the on-line engagement we now have an annual meeting where more than 100 of these machines and owners come together for a weekend, this year we are also hosts to the world championship, the first time the competition has taken place outside of the US.

Mike-Squires head of social media for Nokia globally at Cambridge Nokia Labs

Renee: How do you see the role of in-person meet ups and events changing as a result of social media?

Mark: These days we like to meet influencers on their terms. By holding a series of casual gatherings and “tweet ups” we speak to influencers about what is most important to them and allow them the opportunity to explore the devices and individual services that are relevant to them.

Some are interested in Mobile Journalism while others are more interested as mobile devices running social networking applications while still others are interested in messaging functionality. Whatever the feedback we value the conversations and share them with our own folk so we can all benefit.

The Social Media Communications Team at Nokia was established in early 2008 with the aim of improving inter-company communications and engaging employees.

The Objective of the team is to:

  • Encourage the use of social media internally to bring out the company’s unique authentic voice

  • Engage in social media externally on behalf of Nokia, contributing to product and service announcements by opening up a dialogue and online engagement

To this end, we outreach via our Nokia Conversations Blog, specific SM led activities and on-line engagements. As a founder member of the Blog Council, we try to lead by example in this area, therefore the team are not involved with paid marketing activities or on-line advertising, preferring to speak either through comment or face to face at events.

When we formed our first task was to write guideline to allow our own bloggers (we have nearly 1000) to post on Nokia during their work hours, these guidelines have since been widely shared on-line.

We also designed and maintain the Nokia BlogHub an internal aggregation site that allows everyone in Nokia to search, read and comment on the various blogs.

Externally our homemade videos (using the companies devices) of Nokia products and services has propelled our YouTube pages into the top 100 best read and our video of the Nokia flagship N97 product has been watched by a global audience of millions.

The feedback, both internally and externally, we have received so far is helping to shape both our products and our approach to the marketplace, you can read more about us on our blog

Finally, we also provide consulting to business leaders and Communications teams on how best to participate in the social media space, for example one of the team is about to visit China to talk to the Nokia team there about their engagement.

Check out Nokia’s internal voice.

Listen to their Blogbite.

And, join in their conversation.

2 Responses to “Nokia and Social Media: We Learn it All”

  1. Scrap

    Jul 24th, 2009

    Arr.. did they pay you to talk them up or sumthin? AFAIK, Mark is a #¤%&! Great job falling for him.

  2. Renee Blodgett

    Jul 24th, 2009

    Nope, not at all. Would have disclosed it otherwise.

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