A longtime leader in equality in the political and education systems as well as in gender, Sweden now pushes the democratic line even further. In an effort to boost tourism, Sweden has handed the reins of its Twitter account, @Sweden, over to the people. Each week a different Swedish citizen is selected from a breadth of industries and backgrounds to manage the national Twitter feed. These “Curators of Sweden” share their experiences, make recommendations, and answer questions, all with the goal of spurring international interest and swaying perceptions, painting a “picture of Sweden, different to that usually obtained through traditional media.”
This strategy brings to mind a panel, “The Future of Fashion Storytelling,” which I attended last spring as part of The One Club’s New York Creative Week. Theresa Canning Zast, Executive Director of Creative Services at Kate Spade New York, spoke to the brand’s initial forays into social media and how they developed the voice of the “Kate Spade girl.” It happened in the most literal way possible – they set up a red typewriter at the front of the 5th Avenue store, and shoppers would type out a 140-character message which was then uploaded to the @KateSpadeNY Twitter feed. This method simultaneously peaks the curiosity of the consumer and offers an authentic voice, and while it’s doubtful Sweden was aware of the origins of the strategy, it translates just as effectively from brand to nation.