Recently we’ve been putting together a thorough guide on how to create a global digital marketing campaign that will work across all the markets a global brand operates in. We’ve already talked about how to create a winning website that works across the globe and an email strategy that will boost engagement. This week we’re talking about the importance of tailoring your social channels to work for users in different markets.
Why is it important to create custom social media content?
78% of businesses recognise the need to have dedicated social media teams. However, there is also sometimes a desire for global businesses to have dedicated social media teams for each of the different territories a multinational business operates in.
Businesses are increasingly recognising the importance of social media each year, but there is still a lack of understanding that distinct social media strategies need to be implemented when a brand moves into a new territory.
The reason for this is that social media users around the world have differing relationships with how they use social media, including the platforms they use, when they use them, and how they engage with brands. In this article we’ll explain how understanding the nuances between the different approaches to social media across the map can reap rewards for global businesses.
Follow a global-local strategy
Your brand already has a distinct voice that is used to communicate with external stakeholders, including current and prospective customers. This would probably have been painstakingly created for the market your business started operating in, and tailored to the needs and preferences of the target audience you identified.
In the context of social media, the strategy you use to engage with customers is informed by campaign messages created to entice your main market. When starting a social media channel in a new market, many businesses just translate the content published on their main channel and congratulate themselves on a job well done.
However, the best global brands understand they need to localise their content to speak to new audiences in a way that’s both true to their brand and authentic to the norms of the market.
Setting up a local team to reinterpret your campaign messaging is the way forward. While sticking to the concepts of your campaign, local teams should be given the freedom to localise messaging, so that it resonates with the audience.
Which platforms work in individual markets?
The average UK social media user might be surprised to learn that the largest social media channels in the world include WeChat, the main Chinese social media platform, as well as Weibo, the Chinese microblogging website. Tumblr is in the top five most popular platforms and TikTok is steadily gaining traction.
Top 10 social channels in the world
- Facebook – 26 billion
- YouTube – 9 billion
- Instagram – 1 billion
- WeChat – 1 billion
- Tumblr – 624 million
- TikTok – 500 million
- Weibo – 431 million
- Google+ – 430 million
- Reddit – 355 million
- Twitter – 329 million
In China, a social media campaign not heavily optimised for WeChat is unlikely to be very successful. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all blocked in the country, so you will need to lean on local content creators with experience of Chinese social channels, especially WeChat, to tailor your approach to the unique social media platforms of the country.
Germany is an interesting case. Many Germans speak English well enough to follow the English social media channels of their favourite brands. However, the main business social media platform is XING, rather than LinkedIn. There are around 10 million users of XING, and one in five of the working population of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria have a XING account.
Then there’s Russia. The main social platforms in Russia are VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, names unfamiliar to the vast majority of social media users.
Understanding the preferred channels of your target audience is key to delivering the content they will engage with most openly and actively.
Figure out the best time to post
Consider France. Users vary their exposure to social media throughout the day. In the morning French people are most likely to be browsing their Facebook feed, at lunchtime, they turn towards Twitter and Instagram, and in the evening, they return to Facebook. Knowing the habits of users in your target market gives you the ability to increase the reach of your messaging, giving you a greater chance of hitting the jackpot; and going viral.
The best time to post isn’t only shaped by the country you’re operating in. If you are targeting a business to business crowd, you’ll find that LinkedIn users usually log in between 9-5, Monday to Friday. Post anything at the weekend and it’s unlikely to get the traction you’re hoping for.
Optimise your social strategy with the language experts
With native speakers from Paris to Phuket, we can help you localise your social media strategy to engage customers and leads.
Get in touch with us today and do justice to that international social media strategy that’s been at the bottom of your to-do list for too long.