Whenever the concept of social media marketing is discussed, there is always mention of its capacity to connect you with a vast global audience. After all, market leaders such as Facebook and YouTube both claim to have more than one billion unique users, while image-based resource Pinterest remains the fastest growing social media outlet in the current market. While it may be easy to reach a large, international audience, however, doing so effectively remains far more difficult to achieve.
The nation of China provides a relevant case in point, as despite having an Internet user base in excess of 513 million the majority of renowned social media sites are banned and completely inaccessible. This is the type of complication that can upset your plans to creating a globally viable social media strategy, especially if you enter the market blindly and fail to recognize the political, social and linguistic differences that separate nations.
With this in mind, what are the practical steps and considerations that you need to take in order to create a globally viable social media strategy? Keep the following in mind: –
1. Take Care of the Fundamental Requirements
In many ways, targeting an international consumer base requires many of the fundamental disciplines that underpin domestic marketing. More specifically, you will need to differentiate between specific demographics and target each with a relevant social media marketing campaign, paying careful attention to individual consumer preferences and dislikes. The difference with an international campaign is that you must also consider a wider range of smaller details when attempting to engage customers through social media, such as language and dialect. Domestic content and messaging does not always translate directly into alternative languages, which is why Coca-Cola have a number of country-specific Twitter accounts to effectively target and communicate with international customers.
2. Associate your Message with Topical and Internationally Relevant News Items
When it comes to sharing your brands messaging through social media, one of the most popular domestic techniques involves creatively associating content with a topical, relevant and trending news item. This is extremely successful, as it enables businesses to capitalize on real-time traffic to promote their brand, while it can be easily applied across international markets if you are willing to conduct thorough research and identify prominent issues that are impacting on specific nations. By considering each country on its own merit and using social media sites such as Twitter to uncover trending keywords and stories, you can easily promote your brand and make your messaging accessible to a targeted, international audience. Given that social media sites also enable you to schedule posts and publications, you can even identify future events overseas and develop an associated campaign.
3. Pay Attention to Cultural Sensitivities when promoting content and messaging
On a note of caution, it is important to pay attention to cultural sensitivities before publishing content and associating your brand with a topical news item. This is because each country as its own unique cultural heritage, which dictates the behavior of consumers, their gestures and the language that they use. It will also determine whether or not a nation is liberal or conservative nature, and paying attention to cultural outlooks and sensitivities will ensure that your chosen campaign is viable and inoffensive. To achieve this you will need to conduct historical research while also evaluating real-time and culturally specific events, just to make sure that your precise message is timely and respectful in equal measure. If you fail to take this precaution, you may unwittingly insult individual customers and ultimately alienate and entire consumer base.
This post was written by Laura on behalf of CNet UK.