Nowadays, brands are going global. If a business does not have an online presence, it does not exist. Hence, most brands have started to take their businesses online and connect with their consumers on a personal level via multiple social media platforms. As of 2020, there is an active population of 4.57 billion users online & The most popular social site is Facebook. All of these sites, including Facebook, allow brands and businesses to put ads, run campaigns, to earn a following, and increase their goodwill.
However, when going global, brands have to be mindful of what they put on the internet. They have to be knowledgeable about the cultural differences around the world. There is no doubt that the world is getting smaller and is becoming a global village, but everyone still has their unique cultures. Brands have to be cautious to not be offensive. Cultural differences influence communication, behaviour, and values. The brands must do thorough research about a region’s population; their likes and dislikes, social and cultural norms, consumer behaviour, etc.
Managing Social Media across Different Cultures
- Choose your Social Website
Start by choosing between which website to use for a better reach. Also, make sure that the website you are using complements your brand. For example, an apparel brand would like to stay active on Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat, but if your brand focuses on professional content, then LinkedIn should be your first choice. While going global, you also have to keep in mind the region you are launching your brand in.
If it is Russia or China, then you have to learn about Yandex and Baidu, as they are the most popular search engines respectively, therefore maintaining your rank on Google in these regions would not do much.
2. Market Research
Start by market research; there are regions such as Asia-pacific, MENA, Europe, etc. But the countries and their culture might be vastly different. Once you have decided your global blueprint for other countries, localize it according to languages, cultures, laws etc. You can create separate accounts for a strong presence in each market. Study the current events with which you can associate your brands. Also, make yourself aware of the cultural taboos, and marketing approaches. Hire native speakers, local experts in your team to connect better with the audience. Another critical point is to research local laws. Depending upon which country you are conducting your business in, avoid posting content that could be scrutinized by the legal bodies.
3. Build a Global Social Media Team
Build a team that would communicate and handle the content on a global scale. Internationalization and localization go hand in hand. Some product guidelines are universal, while others need tweaking according to the region. Communication between the teams needs to be fluid and updated.
4. Build Multiple Social Media Profiles
Netflix has different profiles for different countries/regions, posts content in their local languages, and always keeps up to date with the local trends. You can too consider opening multiple accounts according to region, or product types. Many brands such as Apple have different accounts on twitter for various products, such as @applesupport, @applemusic, @appletv, @applepodcast, @appleeducation, etc. and H&m has a global Instagram which they have segregated via products such as H&M, H&MMen, H&MHome.
5. Utilize Social Media analytics
There are many tools on most of the social websites. Facebook has audience insights, Instagram has posts insight, Youtube has youtube analytics, etc. from which you can analyze the audience’s reaction and the user engagement on your post. Oktopost, Hootsuite, Buffer are external tools that can be used as well. You can even use google trends to know what is trending where and post content accordingly.
6. Keep it local
Even if you live in the US, but if you are looking to expand say in Japan, you need to target your consumers at the right time. Use external tools like Hootsuite to set the posts according to local time. Keep up-to-date with the local holidays and news and use your platform to connect with the audience. For instance, here is the Netflix of India, Japan, and MENA countries.
By Pooja Srivastava