Sweden – The modest best in class

Many Swedish companies lead their industry, or hold a top three position, and yet have a difficult time boasting about it. Carlsberg’s slogan says it best, “Probably the best beer in the world.” Regardless of whether or not it’s true, the Swedish people have a modest way about bragging about themselves. This complicates their social media as a corporate culture. While nearly every single Swedish person has a Facebook account, nearly every Swedish company struggles with capitalizing on this fact. Stena Line is a division of the Stena Sphere, a giant in their industry with steal recycling accounting for 58% of the revenue brought in, but offshore deep water drilling bringing the greatest profit. The Stena Line Facebook page only has 654 likes, and when it employs several thousand this number is representative of the social corporate culture of Sweden. It’s hard to say if learning to capitalize on this giant social traffic will change the corporate way of thinking, or whether it will just add value with minimal transactional costs.

The current way of corporate life provides the employees with a sense of pride to work for a great company without the cut-throat capitalistic pressure of other countries. While many companies are increasing their belief in the value added from social media, they are slow to adapt their corporate structure. It’s possible that corporations are just as modest as the individuals, and boasting about accomplishments is difficult, let alone post them on the internet and social network.

Many Swedish people do not like to be complimented, and most do not brag about what they do for a living. They take pride in their jobs, and even say that they enjoy or love their job. However, they do not brag about how great their title is or boast about how amazing their company is. At most, they suggest we stop by and enjoy a bite to eat if it’s the food industry. It’s interesting to hear that none of the locals I spoke with talked bad about their jobs, and yet these Swedish companies don’t have a powerful social media campaign.

While many countries have plenty to learn from Swedish culture, Swedish companies can learn a lot about social media marketing and the advantages of nonsense bragging. There is plenty of opportunity for internships or even consulting for these industry leaders.