Sweden’s latest move to boost its tourism has spawned a campaign where a select group of Swedes are given full control of the official @sweden Twitter account – with the blessing of the Swedish government. Every week, one Swedish citizen will control the account, tweeting about whatever they want as part of the country’s new project, Curators of Sweden.
“No one owns the brand of Sweden more than its people. With this initiative we let them show their Sweden to the world,” says Thomas Brühl, CEO of VisitSweden, the tourism ministry that had been updating the @sweden account since January 2009.
The Curators of Sweden project is based on the idea that not one single voice can wholly represent the country, so guest Swedish curators will be given the chance to portray the national character to the world.
VisitSweden says it chose the curators because they represent the country’s values and skills, such as gay rights, fashion, design and innovation. In the coming weeks, @sweden followers can expect tweets from: an advertising agency founder who owns a farm, a suburban writer, a priest, a teacher and a coffee-drinking lesbian trucker. It’s a nice collection of personalities, for sure.
But is it going to really fly? Throwing a Twitter account into the hands of a citizen is really letting go of the reins and if something bad happens, everybody’s going to go “I told you so!” The world of social and digital is already so difficult to control and most companies hire dedicated social media managers for managing their social profiles – so this idea might really sound crazy!
Here are some tweets by Hasan, the current curator:
On the plus side, it does show how Sweden trusts its citizens (unlike many governments out there!) and the users so far have been tweeting some rather nice tidbits – for example, Hasan has been sharing about what his town is like, the people’s coffee habits and explaining some of their local delicacies:
And guess what – the @sweden Twitter account is getting some fantastic traction with 3,600 jump in followers since the project started! Clearly there is a lot of buzz going on about the project!
What do you think of this idea? Genius or too risky?