It’s easy to assume that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and co. are equally successful in any given country.
For example, as brands in English-speaking regions execute their customer service strategy successfully on Twitter, you might think that this works in any other country.
That’s an assumption that, as a social media agency, we get our clients to rethink.
Just as men and women have different interests, just as different age groups use social media differently, every nation has its own habits across the variety of platforms available.
While most social media networks have a presence in every country, this doesn’t mean that there will be the same volume or type of people using them.
For example, according to a study by GlobalWebIndex, only 35% of the German population are ‘active’ on social media and they only spend approximately 2.1 hours on it, on average. In the UK, 59% of the population actively uses social media for about 2.2 hours per day.
Therefore, you can’t expect the same results from social media activities in Germany that you might see in the UK.
Another study from 2012 showed that only 7.1m users are signed up to Twitter in Germany.
Basically, forget Twitter if you want to leverage social media for a German-speaking audience.
If you’re looking to recruit for your office in Germany, forget about LinkedIn – you’ll find the majority of professionals on Xing.
Registration numbers for Twitter in Canada are far behind Facebook (59%) and LinkedIn (30%). Similarly, Social Bakers’ regional insights show that the Top 5 Facebook Brands for Germany have smaller followings than the Top 5 Facebook Brands in France. There is a multitude of insights into social media in foreign markets available at Social Bakers.
These are just a few examples of the vastly differing user-behaviours and preferences around the world. Global social media should not be approached on a top-to-bottom level.
Rather than running an identical campaign across all regions that you’re serving, you need to tailor your social activities to each individual country. The activities need to suit the culture and users’ habits.
Social localisation is one of the biggest challenges for brands and social media marketers alike – understanding foreign cultures’ online and buying behaviours, linguistic preferences and usages of social media is hard without proper insight. Only once you’ve gained the understanding of what makes your target customer in each country tick can you devise an effective strategy.
Of course, this shouldn’t be news to any one. Any business consultant will tell you that before you take any action, you need to understand who you want to communicate with or sell to. But many brands still make the mistakes of expecting identical results from identical campaigns in different countries.
Over To You
What do you think? Have you seen any clever, localised campaigns?