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written by Jackie Lorch

As many companies in the US wrestle with whether to allow their own employees to have access to social media in order to talk to clients, the government in Sweden has taken social media involvement to a whole new level.

It’s frankly hard to imagine this happening in many countries in the world:  In Sweden, the government hands over the country’s official Twitter account to a different Swedish citizen each week.

According to an article in the New York Times, one person posted photos of a Christmas moose hunt, while another took the opportunity to criticize the foreign secretary. Other Tweets have ranged from the humorous to the explicit.

Apparently the only criteria for the job of Tweeter-for-the -nation, is that you are interesting, Twitter-literate and happy to post in English.

“Sweden stands for certain values — being progressive, democratic, creative,” Patrick Kampmann, creative director of an ad agency hired by the Swedish government, says. “We believed the best way to prove it was to handle the account in a progressive way and give control of it to ordinary Swedes.”

One high school student found unexpected benefits after he was given control of his country’s Twitter account for a week.  He could ignore the “No-Tweeting-in-class” rule and was even given time off from class to post. His mother’s comment?  “[The government was] very brave to trust him.”

No word on whether anyone from SSI’s Stockholm office has yet been given this honor.

What would you say if you were your country’s official Chief Tweeter for a week?

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Categories: Market Research Social Media

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