Social media guide

Finland FlagSocial media guide for Finland

According to an SME survey, conducted by a Finnish consultancy company, in 2010 over 90 percent of Finnish companies were using social media for business purposes. The most commonly used social networks are LinkedIn, Facebook, different Wikis, video conferencing and discussion forums. The role of social media in SMEs depends on the field of business they are operating in. The usage is less strategic in so called traditional fields of business and in SMEs that are selling their products/services mainly to other businesses. However, for new start-up businesses for example, a social media strategy has become an essential part of the business planning process.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are used mostly for private purposes among students. LinkedIn on the other hand, is more likely to be a professional tool. It is not as commonly used among students as by SMEs and there is a huge difference between student involvement on LinkedIn depending on the level and field of education. For Finnish SMEs, LinkedIn serves mostly b-2-b networking as well as the personal career development of professionals employed in SMEs. Facebook is used mostly in b-2-c relations. Companies are now building their images and strengthening their customer loyalty through Facebook.

According to statistics, there are more than two million Facebook users in Finland that is over 40 percent of the whole population. Since smartphones enable the use of social media regardless of time and space, Facebook has become a very popular channel for keeping in touch with friends. YouTube is also widely used, more often to watch videos than to share your own however and young people in particular like to share the links of funny videos with their friends. Although social media platforms such LinkedIn and Twitter are increasing in popularity among Finns, Facebook is still the primary way for them to follow and to communicate with each other and also with companies. In March 2012, it was estimated that Finland had 0.4 million LinkedIn-users and 0.3 million Twitter-users. However the number of tweeters in Finland is increasing all the time and SMEs are also starting to utilize this particular platform.

The benefits of using social media do not yet seem to be obvious to companies and SMEs appear to be most satisfied with the effects that using social media applications have had on their employee collaboration and the speed of the transfer of information.

Schools and universities are increasingly offering online learning platforms where students can interact with other students and teachers as well as work on common assignments in addition to uploading their individual assignments and downloading learning materials. Moodle is the most common learning platform in Finnish schools and higher education institutions. The university sector often uses the social network service Yammer as a facilitator of student and faculty members’ interaction, but Yammer’s success until now has not been anything to write home about.

Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business

Learn how to use social media for business from one of Salford Business School’s latest business management courses. The course was jointly researched by the Passport to Trade 2.0 project team and prepared in collaboration with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in the UK.

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can help businesses and individuals to make the best use of search and social media platforms. The course is called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business and is applicable to students looking for placements abroad as well as businesses thinking about new trade links; it comprises the following twelve topics:

Before you start the course please complete this short MOOC entrance survey.

How to develop a personal brand online (1/12)

  • Whether you are a student beginning a job search or a business person planning a new business venture, personal branding can make a difference.
  • Learn about personal branding and why it is important for you.

How to use Twitter (2/12)

  • Learn the basics of using Twitter to develop an individual or business profile.
  • Remember to use hash tag #SSMMUoS to share your learning journey on this course so far!

How to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (3/12)

  • Learn the principles of SEO to ensure that your website and any social media profiles are found by individuals searching for your name, products and services.
  • These basic principles of SEO include keyword research, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation.

How to use social media for international business development (4/12)

  • Social media networks break down the traditional country barriers, but do you know which networks are relevant for the country you are interested in trading with?
  • Find out in this video how to identify the relevant networks and what social media strategies you might be able to use on these networks.

How to use Facebook (5/12)

  • Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world and it can benefit you as a business as well as an individual.
  • Learn how to develop a Facebook business page and see how other businesses use it and what strategies work for them.

How to use YouTube (6/12)

  • YouTube was identified as the second largest social network amongst younger internet users as part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project.
  • Learn how to optimise your video content in order to reach wider audiences for your profile.

How to use LinkedIn (7/12)

  • LinkedIn is one of the three main professional social networks – the others being Xing and Viadeo which are also popular in several European countries.
  • Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for your profile.

How to use Google+ (8/12)

  • Google+ is the second largest social network as of January 2013.
  • It is one of the fastest growing social networks and one that has the biggest impact when it comes to search engine results integration for anyone who uses Google as their main search engine.
  • Learn how to make the most of Google+ for you and your digital profiles.

How to use copywriting online (9/12)

  • Copywriting is a process of translating technical specifications and product descriptions into engaging and understandable customer focused text.
  • Learn about the basic techniques in structuring your online content here.

How to stay legal on social media (10/12)

  • Everything and anything you do and say online can be potentially viewed by anyone who has internet access.
  • Always respect the law and familiarise yourself with new options offered to you through a creative commons licence which is popular online.

How to use monitoring and reporting (11/12)

  • Whether you are an individual or a business spending time on social media – there has to be a return on your engagement online.
  • How do you justify your engagement on social media to your boss? Listen to the industry experts in this area and see what you might be able to measure in respect of your on-line engagements.

How to blog (12/12)

  • Blogging is a process of writing text and sharing content with others. It can help your customers or friends to keep in-touch regardless of social media platforms.
  • Think about the voice you might want to adopt and who your audience might be. Share your thoughts with us by writing a blog post about this MOOC.
  • Tweet us the link to your post on the #SSMMUoS Twitter hash tag.

Please complete the MOOC exit survey.

Do you want to learn more about Finland ?: