Going Global: International Social Media Strategies
Social media is a great way to connect with your target audience and have conversations with people from every corner of the world. But not everyone who visits your social media pages will speak the same language as you or even relate to your region’s hot topics. If your company is operating multi-nationally, creating a global social media presence is worth implementing.
There are two basic approaches:
1. Have multiple social accounts for different locations. You can create a handle for each region and use a social media management tool to run them all from the same platform.
2. Have one main social account that publishes both international and local content.
Generally speaking, I suggest not, for example, tweeting from the same account in multiple languages. The challenge is that your efforts need to be localized for each target market, just like your website needs to be. But regardless of which approach you deem best suited for your company, here are some key considerations and tips for going global on social.
Research + Strategy
Perhaps most importantly is to first find out what people like and how they use social. This differs country to country so researching and choosing the right social networks for the country you are marketing to is, it goes without saying, crucial. Demographic research and social listening will help you to truly know your audience and choose the correct social channels for them. After determining which major social networks are used in your target region (the below map might be useful), look into things like trendy conversation topics, hashtag and emoji usage, references, cultural traditions, and regional word choice. From there, develop a strategy. Creating a global social media strategy will prepare you for any challenges that may arise and it will help you cater to your audience, whether in a specific country or across the globe.
Credit: We Are Social
In researching what your target audience likes and how they use social, you may have noted one type of content being created, consumed, and shared over others (music, video, blogs?). Make more of that type of content. In doing so, you may have to create both global and local pieces of content. For example, maybe one message you want received by your entire audience and another message is region-specific. Localizing your content might mean getting said content completely translated, or just changing the spelling of a few words. Maybe the images used will differ region to region. Keep track of what holidays happen on a global scale, as well as the seasons and climate, and consider how they may impact your content creation.
Schedule strategically! There are 24 different time zones in the world. Reaching each in real time is near impossible which is why scheduling tools are so useful. Another awesome feature these tools often have is geo-targeting capabilities. That means you can publish posts to your audience in a specific location and not your entire follower base. Hurray!
Fact: interacting with your global audience is important. I can assure you, it’s hard to reply and engage with your audience in a timely fashion when you yourself are ten countries, three time zones, and four languages away. Hiring someone to help you who actually lives in the country that you are marketing to can be a useful final step in this process and help keep customers happy. This person could potentially help you with any questions surrounding slang, idioms, and regional dialects as well.
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So go on, take on the world with this guide for a creating strong international social media strategy. The factors listed above will go a long way in helping your brand reach a global audience on social!