Companies engaged in global business include global social media platforms in their marketing mix in order to reach more audiences. They acknowledge the effectivity of social media networks to reach diverse consumer groups faster and easier. Companies are able to deliver their brand messages to targeted audiences almost as soon as they are published. With global social media marketing, a small company or a conglomerate has the chance to do business anywhere in the world.
But you should know that global social media marketing is a complex process and may not be suitable for everyone.
Before you continue with this awesome article, we want you to know that this is part of our Global Marketing guide, our comprehensive blueprint that will introduce you to all the aspects you need to consider in your strategy when expanding your brand abroad.
Global Social Media Penetration
Internet access is getting wider, which means that more people not only look to the Internet for information but are active social media users as well. It is not surprising that people want to communicate with people from other cultures and social media platforms provide them with the tools to get in touch with family, form friendships and forge new relationships. We cannot discount the fact that social media networks are very effective for conducting business as well.
Just how invasive has social media become? In the January 2019 report published at SmartInsights.com, you can learn a lot from the statistics detailing Internet population and penetration and social media usage. Here are a few highlights.
Worldwide, Internet users have reached nearly 4.4 billion, representing a global penetration of 57%. Active social media users are now at 3.484 billion, while those using social media through mobile devices are at 3.256 billion. Mobile phone users have increased by 2% since 2018, reaching 5.1 billion in early 2019.
From January 2018 to January 2019, there was a 9% increase in the use of social media. You’d be surprised to know that the largest penetration ((99%) of social media was in Saudi Arabia, which is far ahead of the 45% global average penetration. In Asia, countries with the highest social media usage are Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Lagging behind are the African countries Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
Among the prominent global social media platforms, it’s still a race between Facebook, which stands at #1 and Instagram, which is doing better in some countries. But there are many indications that YouTube will be one of the biggest competitors of Facebook.
Users of Social Media Networks
In terms of active users of social media platforms, based on the October 2018 report compiled from Statista, the most popular worldwide are the following:
1. Facebook – 2.2m
2. YouTube – 1.9m
3. WhatsApp – 1.5m
4. Facebook Messenger – 1.3m
5. WeChat – 1.0m
6. Instagram – 1.0m
7. Tencent QQ – 0.803
8. QZone – 0.548m
9. Douyin / Tik Tok – 0.500m
10. Sina Weibo – 0.431m
11. Twitter – 0.335m
12. Reddit – 0.330m
13. LinkedIn – 0.303
14. Baidu Tieba – 0.300m
15. Skype – 0.300m
16. Snapchat – 0.291m
17. Viber – 0.260m
18. Pinterest – 0.250m
19. LINE – 0.203m
20. Telegram – 0.200m
Many reports have been published saying that global consumers find many of their online purchases from social media posts. Many consumers, especially those whose purchasing powers have increased are inspired by others’ opinions, majority of which are published on social media. As they want to connect with various products, most of them foreign brands, online purchases are on the rise. And with the continuing increase of Internet penetration and availability of information, most consumers are monitoring brands and trends through their favorite social media apps.
Increasing Brand Visibility
It is very vital for marketers to carefully consider which social media platforms to use to improve and widen their brand’s visibility, locally and internationally, based on their potential targets.
You can use the reasons why you need to localize to improve your social media marketing strategies, since they are also affected by the differences in language, platforms, trends and tastes.
To rise above the competition, here are some initial questions you have to answer.
1. Who is the Creator of Your Social Content?
Establishing a unique voice and brand identity takes time and money. Thus it is important to protect your assets when you go global. You can have your social media content translated into different languages for your worldwide audience. However, it is not always practical to just do a straight translation of your original content into different languages. Localization is essential, but it might not be needed in some countries. For example, German consumers typically use the English page of the brands they follow. Therefore, it is critical to do research to help you formulate a strategy for each target country.
You have to decide whether or not your local community manager has to provide brand-related content. They either draw from their local knowledge of the market or provide them with localized content that is critical to the brand, such as product announcements and advertising campaigns.
It’s vital to establish market/consumer engagement guidelines so community managers will be familiar with the product, the tone of voice to be used and the goals for local marketing and so on. The guidelines must be relevant to the global markets you intend to reach but you should also give them the flexibility to adapt the communication to local situations.
Find out if you need to work with local influencers in all the markets you are targeting. There are countries where local influencers will be of great help, while in some markets, your local managers and your localization partner can be more helpful in providing you with the resources to engage with local audiences. What is critical is to be responsive to each market’s needs.
2. Which Social Media Platforms to Use
You might be aware only of the social media platforms commonly used in the United States. However, there are more social media networks outside of your home country. Research is very important when you are planning to do global social media marketing. You should be aware that Facebook is banned in China but consumers in Macau and Hong Kong are able to access the platform. If you’re targeting Chinese consumers, be sure you have an account on WeChat. If you’re marketing to Germany, the most popular for recruiting and B2B activities is XING rather than LinkedIn. The most popular in Russia are homegrown platforms Odnoklassniki (OK) and VKontakte (VK). Naver and YouTube are the two most favored sites in South Korea.
Aside from knowing the most popular social media platforms in the target countries, it is essential to know the cycle of daily usage, so you can time your social media content postings correctly. In France for example, most users log on to Facebook in the morning. But during the middle of the day most of them are on Instagram and Twitter. So, if you want to increase awareness and visibility, incorporate consumer behavior into your global social media marketing strategies.
3. What Type of Social Content to Create for the International Audience
Your global social media marketing strategy should consider the differences in taste among consumers.
It is cost-efficient to work with a professional localization partner to translate your social media content. But it does not hurt to understand what global consumers prefer. Content is very regulated in the UAE, so it is vital to understand their cultural and religious values. Chinese consumers want personalized content that will help them communicate quickly with the brands they like. Japanese consumers use YouTube often, so creating video content will ensure that you catch their attention. You can hit most German consumers with link, data and quotes instead of great pictures.
Localizing your original content remains important, but you have to understand that in some countries, it is better to create new content that will fit the social media platforms they prefer.
Expand your brand internationally with the power of Global Social Media services
Building Your Global Social Media Marketing Strategies
To make your strategies robust and solid, here are a few more pointers. Consumers today want to be closer to the brands they want to purchase and businesses have to ensure their presence on different social media platforms worldwide. In doing that, they also have to consider the preferences of each group of consumers. Just like applying marketing
strategies using the traditional approach, full understanding of attitudes and behaviors of consumers on social media and knowing how to cater to them will bring you the greatest of benefits.
1. Assessment and Evaluation
We’ve already established that global social media marketing is complex. So before you go full blast, start by assessing and evaluating your present situation. Determine which countries you want to reach. Check your social media accounts and track the conversations regarding your product or service. Audit the performance of the social media accounts you currently own.
This process takes time. You need to know how weak or strong your brand stands in social media. It is critical to determine where you are right now. You have to know what works, what is not working and what should be done.
Use free tools to track conversations about your product worldwide. If you have the resources and you need additional data, you can use paid platforms. Be sure to have the right people to correctly interpret the information you have acquired. Take particular notice of the words commonly used in relation to your brand and segregate them by country. Native speaking translators can help you understand the local conversations, especially their context.
2. Know Your Target Audiences
Analyze the metrics you have gathered for each country you are targeting. You have to understand the demographics of each market. Provide content that you can use as a survey tool to find out what they want from products similar to your brand. You will be amazed at the amount of useful and relevant facts you can gain from user-generated content. The valuable information you get will help you market more effectively to particular consumers.
3. Be Sensitive to Time
Since you are targeting global audiences, it is vital to be sensitive about the time difference. Know the local time so you can post content at the most convenient and effective time of day. Your local community managers should know the most effective times to post specific content to maximize their visibility. Ensure that they are aware of the local times when posting time-sensitive announcements and information.
4. Do Not Forget Holidays
This is connected to item 3. Your posts should be relevant to each market, particularly when the content mentions a holiday (local or international). See to it that your editorial calendar is well coordinated so you can time your holiday posts at the right moment. For example, many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. But in Norway, it is observed on the second Sunday of February. In several countries in Eastern Europe, Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 8. In many Middle Eastern countries, the event is honored during the spring equinox. It is very important to customize your content for local consumers to ensure conversions and loyalty.
We hope this guide will be of practical use to you as you embark on your global social media marketing. Aside from the tips above, your competitors are also using social media, thus it is essential to analyze their social media presence, their activities along with their strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing to ensure success is research. See to it that you understand the features of each social media platform and the statistics available from industry research organizations.
Your Best Partner for Global Social Media Marketing
You do not have to second-guess who should be your partner for global social media marketing. Day Translations, Inc. is right here, ready to help you navigate the complexities of social media marketing with our experts. Localize your social media content with the help of our native speaking professional translators who live in-country. They are available anytime, anywhere you are in the world, as we are open 24/7 throughout the year. Just give us a call at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact usand let’s discuss what you need.
- Start using chatbots. ...
- Create a personalized experience for your customers. ...
- Create an efficient content marketing strategy. ...
- Create a community for your audience. ...
- Jazz up your profiles with a diverse content strategy. ...
- Use brand advocates.
- Set strategic goals and establish metrics.
- Identify and research your target audience.
- Choose the right social media channels.
- Create content that is targeted, compelling, and engaging.
- Set up a social media calendar.
- Don't forget to check on your competitors.
- Always educate and give value to your audience.
- Create varied content.
- Leverage customer loyalty, reviews, and user-generated content.
- Focus on the best social media channel that works for your strategy.
- Connect with other influencers in your niche.
Having a social media strategy in place will ensure that your social media efforts are more fruitful, and are working to support your broader business goals. Putting a strategy together includes outlining your business goals, so that you can work backwards to create posts which reinforce them.How effective is social media marketing? ›
One of the reasons social media marketing is so effective is the fact that digital consumers spend 2.5+ hours on social platforms daily. That means, for nearly three hours a day, you have a chance to reach your target customers with your products and services.What is the purpose of a social media strategy? ›
A social media strategy defines how your organization will use social media to achieve its communications aims and the supporting platform and tools it will use to achieve this.What strategies do you suggest social media marketers should take to attract more customers? ›
- Leverage social media.
- Start a blog.
- Maximize search engine optimization (SEO).
- Create a call to action (CTA).
- Engage influencers.
- Build a mailing list.
- Create an affiliate program.
Social Media Helps to Reach Out to a Bigger Audience. Almost 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75% say they've increased traffic. It an ideal way to create brand awareness and stay in contact with your customers.What is unique about social media marketing? ›
In addition to providing companies with a way to engage with existing customers and reach new ones, social media marketing (SMM) has purpose-built data analytics that allow marketers to track the success of their efforts and identify even more ways to engage.Which marketing platform is best? ›
- Marketo Engage.
Do your research. If you want your audience to notice and engage with your social posts, you need to make them highly relevant to your target group. The more relevant your posts are, the more success you will have - but relevance, in general, is not enough. You need to take the time to truly understand your audience.How can social media improve brands? ›
- Understand your audience.
- Prioritise platforms that perform.
- Customise your social media content.
- Create visual content.
- Provide value with content.
- Combine strategy and action.
- Leverage social media trends.
- Make influencer connections.
The key ingredient for doing social media marketing well is having a strategy. Without a strategy, you might be posting on social media platforms for the sake of posting. Without understanding what your goals are, who your target audience is, and what they want, it'll be hard to achieve results on social media.How do you develop a marketing strategy? ›
- Start with a goal.
- Do your marketing analysis.
- Know your customers.
- Know your product and resources.
- Further define your objectives.
- Outline techniques.
- Set a budget.
- Create a marketing plan.
Social Media allows people to interact in ways we could never imagine, how we did till now without it. It is quite easy to catch up on someone's life through a simple message on the computer or mobile phone, even email. Social media enables communication for not only one's personal life but also for business life.What should a social media plan include? ›
- Baseline Metrics. ...
- Competitor Benchmarks. ...
- Social Media Goals and Objectives. ...
- Naming Strategy. ...
- Staffing Plan. ...
- Content Calendar. ...
- Partner Integration. ...
- The Ideas!
- Define goals and objectives. ...
- Identify the target audience. ...
- Select the right platforms. ...
- Develop or align with a content strategy. ...
- Publish content consistently. ...
- Use visuals to tell a story. ...
- Monitor conversations and create relationships. ...
- Use scheduling and automation tools.
Monitor such information as: traffic volume metrics, such as the number of visits, page views and fans. engagement metrics, such as the number of comments, liked posts or favourited/shared tweets versus your page's total number of fans. competitive position (compare your engagement metrics to your competition's)How can I improve my social media marketing strategy on Instagram? ›
- Create an eye-catching Instagram profile and optimize your bio. ...
- Make your business easy to find by tagging your location. ...
- Build an aesthetic Instagram feed in line with your brand identity. ...
- Get creative with captions. ...
- Focus on the target audience. ...
- Research your competitors' strategies. ...
- Use strategic hashtags.
One of the reasons social media marketing is so effective is the fact that digital consumers spend 2.5+ hours on social platforms daily. That means, for nearly three hours a day, you have a chance to reach your target customers with your products and services.
A social media strategy defines how your organization will use social media to achieve its communications aims and the supporting platform and tools it will use to achieve this.How do you develop a strategy? ›
- Consider your organization's mission and vision statements.
- Identify your company's core values.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis.
- Outline tactics to achieve goals.
- Create a plan for allocating resources to achieve the desired outcome.
- Evaluate results for effectiveness.
Communicate frequently via social media and email. Post new content on a regular basis and encourage customers to share and comment on it. Make engagement part of the selling process. Send a survey after each order asking customers for feedback about the ordering process, delivery and other issues.What is the impact of social media marketing on business? ›
In social media marketing, the customer has more power over the brands. Customers have a voice that resonates with the masses. Social media gives customers the ability to publicly share their views about a product without the fear of trial. It takes away the power of influence from businesses and empowers customers.How is social media strategy measured? ›
The most common and often important metrics to pay attention to are engagement, impressions and reach, share of voice, referrals and conversions and response rate and time. These combined will give you a 360º view of your social media performance.What are the benefits of social media marketing for my company? ›
With consistent updating, the right social media marketing strategy will lead to increased traffic, better SEO, higher conversion rates, improved brand loyalty, and much more. There are virtually no reasons not to implement social media into your marketing strategy.Which marketing platform is best? ›
- Marketo Engage.