So, we’ve talked again and again about social media and its impact on marketing, but we have yet to discuss the relevance of these platforms in an international capacity. Of course, we know all about the ins and outs of social media in regards to a local audience, but it is time we delve further into the global market.
Josian Phillips writes on Linkedin, “Successful brands have tapped into the local popularity of social networks, boosting their brand and expanding their ecommerce business in the process.” This is quite the relevant statement, don’t you think? But why do we not utilize the international market as well? It is time to update!
America is not the be all end all of social media. The challenge, however, is that your content needs to be geared towards specific target markets when dealing with the global audiences.
Christian Arno wrote a guest blog for Convince and Convert with a very helpful list of ways to get started on an international social media plan.
1. Choose the right social networks for the country~ Some countries prefer locally grown networks, while others utilize the same ones we use most often. It is important to do your research for the markets you are trying to reach. You want to talk to them on the sites they like to use!
2. Find out what people like~ As with local markets, you have to find out what the people want to read about. People in different countries tend to use social platforms for different reasons, so it is up to you to figure out what those are. You should be researching what persons from various cultures respond to before you launch internationally.
3. Develop a strategy~ Next comes your strategy… You have two options here: you can just do it yourself or you can hire an in-country social media manager. Obviously, the former is the more affordable option. Doing it yourself is the cheaper choice, where you can get your content translated by a professional service and use free tools (like Google Translate) to understand the gist of the comments. However, this can be very limiting in regards to responsiveness. On the other hand, you could hire an in-country media manager. This is the smarter option, if you want to spend the extra money of course. If you have someone who is actually there keeping track of your content, it will be effectively localized. This will do wonders for your responsiveness as well.
4. Localize your content~ There is more to this than just translating a certain tweet from English to your target language. There are a few things you have to consider when attempting to localize your content.
- Relevance to target audience: How can you adjust your content to make it relevant to your international audience?
- Culture-specific references: If you write a blog (or any type of content) for a certain audience– say a French one– and you reference French actors, how can you update that to be relevant to the specific cultural audience you are targeting.
- Differences in local spelling, currencies, and measurement systems: This is pretty self-explanatory. The States is pretty much the only country that is not on the metric system, so if you need to change some facts around, you should consider the country you are trying to reach. The same goes for country-specific currencies.
- Cultural factors: It is important to make sure your content will not be offensive in another language or another country. Something that sounds harmless to you in the United States could be anything but in another country.
- Current events:You must take current events into consideration when creating content for a global audience. The last thing you want is to be thought of as insensitive.
5. Interact~ As with any social media plan, interaction is a vital step! This is where the in-country social media manager would come into play in the best way. They could keep up your interaction in the country’s language without the awkward translation. You have to engage with your audience, whether or not they are international. The end goal is the same: happy and engaged leads that will eventually convert to customers.