The handset maker went from 300,000 Facebook fans to 3.9 million in 11 months last year to become the 40th-largest brand on the social networking site.

Sony Ericsson vice-president and global head of online and CRM Ben Padley says the company now has to find a way to “universally communicate” with its diverse set of new and old fans, without being too generic.

He adds: “Our fan base used to be more male and techie, but now we’re more of a lifestyle brand with universal appeal. Our challenge is to engage the superfans at the same time as the new entrants.”

Sony Ericsson aims to increase engagement by profiling its fans and matching them with dedicated content, and analysing its top commentators and offering them special content and the chance of visiting its offices.

Padley says: “Our goal for 2011 is to keep promoting our solid hardware. In order to do this we are investigating augmented reality, product tutorials and social media commerce opportunities.”

He says QR codes will play an important role in driving engagement, adding: “QR codes give us the opportunity to close sales or drive lead generation.”