When creating marketing campaigns of any sort, it’s important to understand who your audience is. Social media is a great way to connect with your audience and have a two-way conversation. However, it can be easy to forget that not everyone who finds your social media pages will speak your language, or be able to relate to your region’s latest trends. If you’re only targeting a local audience, that’s ok.
But what if you’re targeting a global audience? What if you’re in a country in Europe and need to branch out to other markets to scale? What if you’re in the U.S. seeking the attention of a French and Spanish audience?
When targeting multiple nations, there are several challenges to plan for:
- Being understood by an audience that speaks multiple languages;
- Reaching an audience that lives across multiple time zones;
- Supporting different interests, cultures, and regulations;
- Segmenting social media efforts to the right audiences;
- Prioritizing your efforts in accordance with your resources.
Creating a global social media strategy early on will help you plan for all of these challenges, and will keep you from overextending your resources.
This guide’s purpose is to help marketers around the globe create a social media strategy that caters to their audience, whether in a specific country or across multiple nations.
Steps To Take When Creating Your Global Social Media Strategy?
Establish your overall social media strategy before you start tweeting, updating your Facebook status in multiple languages, or creating tons of new pages for each target country.
Setting a strategy ahead of time will ensure that you can launch, optimize, and measure your global campaigns’ success without getting overwhelmed.
Social media shouldn’t be overwhelming. It should be fun.
Step 1: Define Your Audience
It is essential to first determine how to segment your audience based on their region or language. The following are example questions that must be answered internally before you begin working on your social media strategy:
- Which countries do you want to focus on?
- Where does the majority of your current customer base live?
- Where does the majority of your non-domestic customer base live?
- Is there opportunity for your product or service to extend to other nations?
- Are you already getting leads or prospect interest from other nations?
Step 2: Set Your Social Media Goals
Define the goals of your social media strategy. Setting goals in advance will help keep your social media team accountable and increase your likelihood of success. Having a strong unified approach will help you shape the strategy for each country you’re targeting.
Decide if the primary goal of your social media campaign is to:
- Generate more traffic for your website from social media platforms;
- Increase your brand exposure by getting more followers and engagement;
- Tap into new markets via social endorsements and paid advertising;
- Provide a customer service platform on your social profiles.
You might decide that one of these goals is a higher priority than the other three, and this could help you decide how to cater to your audience across multiple countries.
Step 3: Choose Your Languages
If you decide to target multiple nations that speak different languages, you’ll have a few decisions to make:
- Should your blogs be in multiple languages?
- Should you create a new social profile for every language?
- Should you monitor social media platforms in multiple languages?
Keep in mind that nine out of ten European internet users prefer browsing in their own language, so if you want to engage an audience in non-English speaking countries, you need to speak their language.
Your decision will depend largely on your resources and the bandwidth of your team, but remember to focus on delivering ROI. For example, if you have very few prospects in Spain, it might not be worth setting up a separate Spanish-language blog. However, if your company has a large growth potential in Spain, it might be worth testing out.
Step 4: Learn Cultural Differences
If your business targets customers in countries foreign to yours, learn about the different countries’ cultures to understand what appeals to them versus your country. Certain markets are much more difficult to break into than others and may require an agency to get you a head start. If the business culture requires an agency to get you started, don’t be afraid to work with one.
Step 5: Choose Social Networks
Identify the most relevant social networks in each country you’re targeting. Don’t feel pressured to set up a new profile on each social network for every country you’re targeting. This is the wrong way to implement your global social media strategy. Instead, choose your social networks wisely. You can always grow your reach across more platforms as you prove the ROI of the networks you get started with.
Also, don’t be afraid to test the waters in different social networks. If you have the bandwidth to test out a new social network, go for it. After three months, you can look at the data and see if it’s worth continuing your efforts on that network.
Step 6: Know Localisation Capabilities On Each Social Platform
Which of these social networks will you be able to segment by location or language? For example, Facebook allows you to segment each post by country and/or language, making it possible to use only one Facebook page for your entire global audience. We’ll touch more on this is subsequent publication.