Social media marketing progress in a developing country

If you can’t see this video, please click here: Mark Schaefer interviews Kimmo Linkama.

On my recent vacation I was able to visit with marketer Kimmo Linkama from Estonia.  I was totally impressed with this small country and how it has emerged from decades of Soviet oppression to become a vibrant regional economic engine. The capital of Tallinn is also an extremely beautiful city with much of its Medieval city center in place.

Kimmo hs been a Twitter friend for two years and a valuable member of the {grow} community. This short video discussion is an opportunity to get to know him and see what it’s like working in a country still recovering from decades of communist oppression.  How do you establish a social media voice in a small country, with a minor language (Estonian), and well behind the social media marketing curve?  I love learning about other views and angles on the social media scene and I think you’ll agree this is a rare and interesting perspective, especially his observation on the seemingly “frantic” activity in America.

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  • Mark, you said the blog interview you once did with me was your first one. Breaking new ground, so to speak. Now you made me break new ground — this was the first time in history someone has interviewed me on video.

    Finland, of course, is a highly developed industrial country and in many ways leading in the use of information technology. For some reason, though, social media is only taking its baby steps. As I say in the interview, “everybody is on Facebook”, but it’s being used primarily as a way of staying in touch with friends. Twitter usage is picking up but very low.

    Estonia is an even smaller country, just 1.3 million inhabitants (that’s about the same as San Diego in the US and less than Manhattan) and now in the late stages of transition from Socialist rule to free market economy. Social media usage is increasing, but the figures are very small, with Facebook ruling here as well.

    Thanks for the interview! Maybe I should reconsider my anti-video views… Great opportunity to meet you in person, enjoyed every moment (except maybe when taking that wrong turn and getting us lost in the outskirts of town).

  • Thanks for interview, nice work. 

    Actually, in Ukraine we have a lot of good examples of interesting twitter activity, not only as chat instrument, but for promoting blogs and brands. You could take a look into @ru_lh, @ain_ua
    (they are in Russian). People are more and more involved in social media activities and they post to Facebook or to Twitter much more than 1-2 a day 🙂

    Moreover, we even have companies that help to monitor social media activities, for example @youscan.

  • Interesting stuff, Mark. Makes you really think about the massive impact social has on the world (which I’m insanely psyched about, and am sure you are too). Thanks for sharing this. 

  • Great interview Mark.  Nice to know what’s going on in Eastern Europe.  I know there are similar challenges going on in Asia (China and India specifically).  As these regions develop, I believe they will catch up to the states rather quickly.  The world will continue to become smaller and connections will break boarders.  Sensitivity and awareness of cultural differences is going to be essential for these connections.

  • Thanks for the tips!  Appreciate you passing this along!

  • Glad to provide it Ryan. Thanks for commenting.

  • Lots of activity indeed. I know Facebook is working hard in Asis and Japan, which has been a tought nut to crack for them.

  • Al Pittampalli

    Another example of someone who has courageously chosen to have an English blog, to expand his audience. Must have been a difficult choice in the beginning, but it seems like it’s paying. I enjoyed this interview.

  • I am endlessly fascinated by the diversity and opportunties of blogging. So much gogin on out there, represented by stories like this! : )

  • SMM progress in developing country is true!

  • Pingback: Social media marketing progress in a developing country « ABC Marketing Direct()

  • Great interview, Mark. It’s really interesting to consider how differently social media is used across different geographies and cultures – we take for granted that things work “the way they work”, without realizing how contextually-depend that reality really is. 🙂

  • Very true. I wish I had time to study it more. So interesting!

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