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How Telia grew their market share through Smarp

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Use case

Employee Advocacy

Company size

~20,800 Employees

How Smarp helped Telia grow



Within 10 months, Telia reached 4.26 million people through posts shared from Smarp. This has helped save $100 000 on their social media advertising budget.


Growth in virtual event attendance

Thanks to Smarp, Telia has seen the number of people attending their virtual events grow by 15x. Additionally, they have been able to attract new audiences outside their core segments.



With Smarp, Telia has greatly raised their profile and market share, enabling them to become the number 1 telecom provider in many of their key markets.



Company info


Telia Company is one of the largest telecommunications and internet providers in Europe. Founded in 1853 and headquartered in Sweden, today Telia prides themselves in being the new age telecom, a provider that strives to bring the world together through technology. Telia knows that the digital society is a global movement, and that by being connected, people all over the world can explore, invent and share together.

Their approximately 20,800 employees serve millions of customers every day in one of the world’s most connected regions. With a strong connectivity base, they act as the hub in the digital ecosystem, empowering people, companies and societies to stay in touch with everything that matters 24/7/365 - on their terms.


What was their challenge

Telia operates in an industry where trust is key. Being a massive player in the telecom and internet space, they knew that if their customers didn’t trust them to provide reliable services or to handle their data with care, they would ultimately fail. To propel their business forward and to solidify their position in the market, Telia had to double down on trust.

So around 2018, the telecom giant made a decision. A decision to become a brand that stood for something. A brand that wouldn’t shy away from tough topics and discussions. A brand that might push away the few, but would attract the many. They knew that if they tried to attract everyone, they would attract no-one.

It’s better for people to either like us or dislike us rather than be in the middle or indifferent. Even if someone doesn’t agree with our messaging, it opens up an avenue for positive discourse.
Chris Hovde, Global People Movement Lead at Telia

They began a brand journey that included taking a stance on issues such as gay rights, diversity & inclusion, politics and much, much more. They knew that by addressing burning topics with transparency and by being a thought leader in the right areas, they could attract like minded people and eventually drive growth in their business.

Additionally, Telia noted another challenge, or rather another opportunity, that they wanted to address – harnessing the power of their employees. Telia knew that the word of a Telia employee would be perceived as much more trustworthy than that of a branded corporate account.

To accomplish this, Telia needed a platform that could help them not only distribute company news and updates to their employees, but also enable their employees to act as brand ambassadors and spread the word. 



Why was this important to their business

The reason this was all so important to Telia was simple: it has been proven in the technology industry over and over again that once you lose the trust of your customers, you will most likely fail. In other words, the ability to establish and maintain trust in the market was crucial for the long term success of the organization. Telia knew that trust was the key to higher customer retention, better satisfaction ratings as well as growth in their existing business.

“Trust is important. It’s a commodity. These days you see a lot of fake news, tech crimes, violations in rights and more. We wanted to make sure our customers knew they could trust us to stand side-by-side with them on the subjects that matter to them.”
Chris Hovde, Global People Movement Lead at Telia

Making the decision to take a stand and be thought provoking was just a piece of the puzzle. While internally Telia made it a point to focus their efforts around building trust in the market, getting the word out about Telia and their mission was an equally if not more important part of the plan. And that is where enlisting their employees and enabling them to act as brand ambassadors came in to play.

Telia knew that by getting their employees on board internally and then enabling them to project the Telia brand externally, they would achieve a number of benefits. Firstly, they knew that their employees collectively had a much broader reach and a louder voice than Telia brand outlets ever could. Secondly, Telia saw the opportunity to reduce marketing spend on social media by tapping into the networks of their employees. And last but certainly not least, there was an understanding that the word of employees would be trusted even more than branded Telia communications. In fact, 9 out of 10 people globally trust news shared by their friends over branded communications – a statistic that Telia knew would play a huge difference.


How Smarp helped with this


Telia brought in Smarp to address the challenges and opportunities that they were facing. The Smarp platform gave Telia a single source of truth to direct their employees to in order to learn about recent brand initiatives and campaigns which allowed them to nail down their focus on driving trust in the industry. At the same time, the platform also enabled employees to share approved brand messaging with their networks, helping Telia to reach a much broader audience with much higher impact than they could have through traditional promotion efforts.

This all helped Telia leverage Smarp to create a stronger brand image in the market.

“If we can enable our people to tell the stories they want to tell, our brand becomes our peoples brand. That makes the brand much stronger than it would be on it’s own.”
Chris Hovde, Global People Movement Lead at Telia

Using Smarp, Telia was able to promote the Telia brand messaging both internally and externally and create a community of active ambassadors that projected the voice of the brand forward.

The reaction to the platform internally was astounding. When the first ambassadors started gaining traction, both internally and externally, it created a snowball effect. Ambassadors fed off other ambassadors to create more excitement about the Telia brand purpose.

All of this was done very tastefully and with employee considerations in mind. Telia knew that simply pushing communications and content to their employees for the sake of it would not resonate with their workforce and in turn, would not result in their ambassador program taking off. With this in mind, Telia adopted a quality over quantity approach, where they targeted content to the relevant employees and ambassadors. Smarp provided a feed of information that was personalized for each and every employee, ensuring that there was no information overload and that users would be more engaged with the communications as a whole.

Overall, all of these factors played into the most important element of all, the Telia brand purpose: bringing the world closer. And Smarp helped them do just that. From driving their stance on important issues and thus promoting positive social discourse all the way to connecting their employees internally with the Telia brand messaging, Smarp serves as a platform to bring both internal and external audiences together.


What KPI’s and business drivers did Smarp help achieve


Since the introduction of Smarp, Telia has seen immense benefits in key performance indicators across the company.

By providing their employees with brand materials supporting the firm stance that Telia maintains on many societal issues, and by enabling them to share these on, Telia has seen an increase in both their Net Promoter Score as well as customer satisfaction ratings in key locations. The positive brand image and culture have earned them numerous awards throughout the countries they operate in, such as employer of the year and various diversity awards.

They have also raised their profile and market share in many key markets, becoming the number 1 telecom provider in countries such as Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

“While we pride ourselves on our challenger DNA, we’ve also been able to go from challengers to the number 1 telecom provider in a bunch of key markets.”
Chris Hovde, Global People Movement Lead at Telia

But Telia has seen tangible results as well. The connection that their employees have been able to establish with their networks and the reach that they have brought the Telia brand have directly translated into more upsell and overall growth of the Telia business. Additionally, Telia took their existing virtual event strategy and opened it up to a broader audience, using Smarp as the channel to drive awareness around them. The results speak for themselves, since ramping up the virtual events through Smarp, attendance has grown 15x, with 50% of attendees coming from outside the Telia organization. This has provided Telia as an additional channel to raise awareness around the brand and drive further business growth.

The cold hard numbers achieved through Smarp aren’t too bad either. Between January 2020 and October 2020, Telia had reached 4.26 million people through posts shared through Smarp. These shares had generated, on average, around 8.5 clicks per post – a figure that helped Telia share a great amount on their advertising budget. In fact, in 10 months, Smarp helped Telia save $100 000 on what they would have paid for the same exposure through traditional social media advertising.

At the end of the day, this has all translated into Telia achieving what they set out to do: become the most trusted telecom brand in the world. From aligning their people internally around a common purpose all the way through to projecting this purpose to their audiences, Telia has built a strong brand image for years to come.

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