- Our Expertise
- Our Process
- Why Choose Us
- About Us
Whether your company already has a presence in global markets or is just beginning its global journey, it is important to have a social media strategy. Social media is no longer reserved for the tech-savvy or younger generations; it has become part of the mainstream as consumers – young and old – are using sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to communicate and connect worldwide. More recently, businesses have recognized the power of social media to reach consumers in a more direct and relevant way than traditional marketing channels. When talking about implementing a social media strategy in another country, proper preparation and planning is critical.
In her article, “Leveraging social media in Asia,” in the March 2011 issue of Multilingual Magazine, Rebecca Ray provides valuable recommendations on what steps to take before implementing a social media strategy. First and foremost, regardless of the target country, you must know where you are going and why. Ray lists a few basic questions to consider as you prepare your social media strategy:
1. What are the top three to five markets in the destination country that your company should target with social media and why?
2. How mature is your industry sector within each of these markets?
3. What consumer segments do you hope to reach?
4. What messaging will you use for each group?
5. If your company already has a presence in the region, how strong is your brand?
Above all, make sure you do sufficient research to identify the social media sites that your target audience most frequents. Where do these consumers go online to learn about your industry and/or the products and services you offer? Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may be popular in the United States, but not so much in other parts of the world.
In addition to identifying the most popular social media networks, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with how your competitors are using social media in your target markets. It will help you to understand what expectations your competition may have set with consumers in the market as well as what groups they are engaging and how they are communicating with those consumers (messaging, style, content type, language and platform).
When conducting your research, be sure to gather input from both local (if possible) and corporate entities. Employees or other contacts that work or live in the target market have a unique and valuable perspective on what is happening in their home markets on the social media scene. Be sure to ask them how best to use social media to engage potential customers, developers, user groups or other key prospects.
Steps to consider before implementing a global social media strategy
OK. You’ve done the necessary research to help you build an effective social media strategy for your target market. Now what? The steps below, as outlined in Ray’s article, will help ensure that you establish a credible social media presence in your country (countries) of choice.
• Have an experienced marketing professional oversee your social media program
• Carefully determine the type of social content required based on the communities you target in each market; for example, localized videos are most effective for Japanese developers while locally produced blog entries for power users will work better in China
• Communicate content in the preferred style, tone and language of each audience; it may be more cost-effective to employ a translation/localization company with experience in the target market
• Engage local partners and employees to help you get started or leverage the experience of a translation services company
• Promote your social media efforts locally
In addition to the above recommendations, there are a few common mistakes you should try to avoid:
1. Don’t go too big, too fast. Taking on more than you can handle may result in a company profile that is not frequently updated or has stale information
2. Don’t assume that every market is the same or even similar
3. Don’t forget to integrate your social media content with local search engines
Mistake number three is important because without social media content search optimization, potential customers and developers may not be able to find you. This may require the assistance of a language service provider with expertise in this area. Remember: developing, implementing and managing social media content in another language fits the definition of any project requiring translation and localization.
An effective and increasingly popular marketing tool, social media can help you reach new markets and directly connect with consumers in global markets previously out of reach. But in order to build and manage an effective global social media campaign, you must understand the definition of social media in your target country. Enlisting the help of local resources or experienced marketing and translation specialists can help you better understand your market; identify target audiences; and create social media content, messaging and a delivery platform that will increase your chances of success.