Social Media 101 for Global Brands

There are a lot of tips and tricks to consider when your business is diving into social media marketing, such as “which hashtags should I use?” or “does this picture clearly match the message I am trying to send?” There is a method, though, to all of the social media marketing madness that often requires a lot of detailed thought and planning. When it comes to dealing with global brands, those details are intensified even more as new layers are added, such as language barriers, time zones, and other cultural differences that need to be analyzed. Here are some key elements that should be considered before your global brand makes the jump into social media:

1. Creating multiple pages or having one global page

There is no wrong answer here as there are benefits and drawbacks for both options. When a brand creates only one social page for its entire customer base, it saves time and money for the brand. Having one page also helps keep a consistent brand message. While language barriers could present a problem, there are now dozens of translation apps available, and some social media sites like Instagram have taken steps towards offering in-site translation services. However, with multiple pages, content can be tailored based on cultural preferences. For example, an image with a thumbs up would be acceptable in America, but might be seen as offensive in some Middle-Eastern countries. Multiple pages also require more time and man power, so if you are a smaller company, this might not be a doable option. Whichever route you decide, selecting the number of pages for your brand must be the first thing you consider before putting together a finalized social media marketing plan.

Social Media 101 for Global Brands

2. Product Availability

If you have a company that makes one specific product, such as a single type of shoelace that is globally distributed, this section may not apply to you. However, let’s say you make three different types of shoes, and you sell your sneakers and sandals to the South, but sell your snow boots only in the North. In these types of businesses, there are a few more considerations before you plan your social media marketing strategy. The biggest thing to note here is that you can utilize geotargeting to your brand’s advantage. What is geotargeting? We’re glad you asked! Geotargeting allows you to target your content to users in a specific location. That way, you can promote your snow boots without confusing your audience! Another thing to be aware of is the status of your products. It is important for your social team to always be updated on which products are discontinued and which products are no longer available or are out of stock in each country.

3. Social Media Laws and Regulations

Lately, more and more countries have begun putting social media laws in place to better regulate the content that is broadcasted to its citizens. Countries like the U.K. and Canada have begun proposing laws that would fine sites for not immediately removing violent content (in the U.K.) and allow the government to monitor social sites for any foreign interference (in Canada). Before you begin creating your social media strategy, it is important to research and understand these laws in order to protect yourself and your brand. This may sound time consuming, as every country has different laws and some countries regulate social media sites more heavily than others. However, this is a small price to pay compared to the fines and other consequences you and your brand could face for neglecting local laws.

There is no “one size fits all” for a global social media strategy. What is good for one global brand might not work for your brand. However, what is universal is that research is needed before you can really dive in. There is a lot more to it than just creating a social media page and posting content, so be sure to look at other global brands and generate some ideas before you begin!

Are you interested in building a social media strategy for your global brand? Contact our team for a free consultation.

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