An awesome post from Cindy King’s blog (Cindy is my “Cross-cultural Marketing Hero”)
Do you know how to use social media to target a global audience? After all, social media provides a low-cost solution to engage your prospects, customers and partners located in different regions of the world.
As Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motor Company, says, “U.S. brands looking to leverage social networks internationally know that while their messages need to stay consistent regardless of the region, the language, cultural reference points, platform and tactics, all need to be tailored for each market.”
He continues, “Whether it is customer service, IT, HR or product development, there are a number of uses for social media. And when you add to that all of our constituents—customers, employees, shareholders, dealers, retirees—it becomes a very complex assignment.”
Here’s a look at a few of the difficulties and how you can overcome them…
The Information Available
In the past, statistics on social media were difficult to come by and they were not always relevant. But there are more Internet statistics available today even for social media. McCann’s Wave 4 Power to the People report is one resource available to gain insights into how to use social media internationally.
The trouble with an international social media strategy, as Erik Qualman of Search Engine Watch points out, one size does not fit all. Having more relevant statistics does not get you very far. You still need to learn how to adapt what you do on social media to effectively connect with people in other countries. And before you can do this, you need to know a bit more about what social media is like over there.
Social Media in Different Regions of the World
A good place to start is to look for general insights into the social media environment in the places you would like to reach.
The Nielsen report Global Faces and Networked Places clearly explains why localization has won the day in many countries and says, “Succeeding in China takes more than producing a translated version; it requires investment in a local infrastructure and a mentality of running a Chinese social network that understands the domestic nuances of social network behaviour rather than simply rolling out a generic social network in Chinese.”
Here are more insights from two social media players well-known in their own countries:
Have a look at this interview of Laurel Papworth in which she gives an analysis on what’s happening in social media in Australia and Southeast Asia.
Fred Cavazza says, “The main differences in France’s social media are based on the local offering and local players: Dailymotion, Skyblog, Viadeo, Dofus, BlogSpirit, CanalBlog, OverBlog… and there are 3 distinct groups in France around culinary, political and IT gadget blogs.”
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