2016 was an exceptional year for Nokia. It was all about integrating two powerful companies—Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia—into one combined operation that would become a new market leader. During this period of change, the social media team had to not only create a new combined social media strategy, but also prepare for the biggest event in the mobile tech calendar, Mobile World Congress.


social media impressions in five days


new social media followers in five days


share of voice at the biggest event of the year

Nokia is a global technology leader. From enabling infrastructure for 5G and the Internet of Things to creating emerging applications in digital health, Nokia serves communications service providers, governments, large enterprises, and consumers with the industry's most complete end-to-end portfolio of products, services, and licensing.

What they did

1 Delivering A Consistent

Delivering a consistent social voice

With over 100 global brand channels between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, on over 10 different platforms, Nokia’s social team had to work fast to ensure they had the right tools, processes, and people in place for Mobile World Congress (MWC17) in Barcelona from February 27 to March 2, 2017.

In just a few months the team had to:

  • Define the social media strategy and objectives for the whole company, draft a social media playbook, and set up new ways of working
  • Merge both companies’ 100+ global social media channels into one consistent social media presence
  • Plan and execute their social media strategy for MWC17

The heavy lifting started in 2016. After an audit, the team reviewed which social channels to keep, which to migrate, and which new ones to create. This included aligning their desired audiences with the refreshed business strategy.

Nokia’s social team had to address several key questions when creating a playbook and social media guidelines, including:
  • What is our social voice?
  • What is our common social objective?
  • How do we work together across the chosen channels?
  • What platform should we use?

We wanted to inspire people to share Nokia news and join conversations about our strategic topics before and during the show.

Photo of Päivi Kalske
Päivi Kalske Head of Corporate Social Nokia

How they did it

2 Building The Optimum

Building the optimum social team

Nokia has a small, lean social media team distributed throughout multiple countries. They wanted to give their social channel owners around the world the power to schedule content and monitor their own channels, as well as enable the corporate team to manage everything centrally, provide guidance, and access insights.

This was a key part of ensuring the company would communicate on social with a strong, consistent voice at MWC17 and beyond.

After a systematic analysis of different vendors, Nokia decided on Hootsuite for its versatile enterprise-strength features, dedicated and knowledgeable support team, and built-in brand protection capabilities.

With MWC17 approaching fast, the social team’s mission was to ensure they not only had the right tools, processes, and people in place, but also the ability to execute on their refreshed social strategy on the day—with just one dedicated social media person on the ground at the event.

3 Planning Makes Perfect

Planning makes perfect

Attracting 2,300 companies and over 100,000 attendees from more than 200 countries, Mobile World Congress is a massive event for companies like Nokia. It’s quite simply the flagship event in the industry.

“Imagine the competitiveness and noise,” says Kalske. “It’s where companies want to stand on their soapbox and make a difference, and really deliver on their messages and showcase their products and technologies.”

At the 2016 congress, Nokia was in the top five social influencers at the event. The team wanted to do even better at the 2017 event—the first opportunity to execute their refreshed social strategy.

For MWC17, Nokia’s social content had to reach and engage a larger variety of audiences. The team planned their strategy to ensure they got the right messages out and talked about the right topics.

Using Hootsuite, they scheduled selected content in advance, focusing on three areas:
  • Leverage their awards by announcing them in advance and celebrating them on the day
  • Promote their speakers in advance to make them shine on social media before, during, and after the event
  • Showcase their products by identifying the key message in each of their demos and focusing on that to cut through the noise

We posted images of our Nokia speakers during their presentations with key quotes, so that their thought leadership lives longer on social media.

Photo of Päivi Kalske
Päivi Kalske Head of Corporate Social Nokia
4 Active Engagement

Active engagement through social

At the conference, Nokia used Hootsuite to monitor what people were saying online in real time and generate two-way conversations. They also increased engagement by creating “tweetable demos”—focusing on the most noteworthy aspect of each demo—to cut through the noise and encourage more interaction with their brand.

Nokia also made effective use of video, hosting three streamed Facebook Live events where they showed “behind the scenes” footage of the venue and interviewed their speakers at the conference.

The social media team is now being invited to the tables—not just marketing and communications, but also sales and different business group leadership teams. We’ve moved from push to pull.

Photo of Päivi Kalske
Päivi Kalske Head of Corporate Social Nokia

The results

Nokia’s innovative use of social media helped them achieve outstanding results. They received nine million impressions and 48 thousand followers in five days—and became the most talked about brand at the conference, according to Brandwatch.

5 The Results

However, this isn’t just a success story about one event. With the right tools and strategies firmly in place, Nokia has successfully integrated social across the organization since MWC17, including all business groups, innovation teams, and human resources.

Just as importantly, Nokia’s social media efforts are now more highly valued internally after executives saw the results firsthand at MWC17.

Instead of having to push for inclusion in high-level meetings with other departments, the social team is now being invited to participate. This helps them to engage internally with important audiences who see that social can have a business impact. All of which should help Nokia take advantage of other social opportunities in future—from digital marketing transformation to employee advocacy—and enable the team to make an even bigger splash at Mobile World Congress 2018.