The Asia-Pacific region is expected to add another 130 million social media users this year.
The Middle East and Africa have the highest social penetration, with 4 out of 5 users on social networks.
Facebook alone has 1.2 billion monthly users around the world.
Unless you’re hiding under a rock, you know how prolific social media is in society today. No matter which region, culture, or language you target, having a social media presence gets your foot in the door in just about any country.
Social media has the potential to drive massive sales. However, it is equally powerful in stunting sales if not used correctly.
The nature of social media means that people share what they like and trash what they don’t. The public trashing and humiliation your brand faces for one wrong (and potentially offensive) post could destroy your business in a local market.
If you want to lower the risk of getting burned online, here are five things you might want to rethink about your localized social media marketing efforts:
1. Don’t try to jump onto all of the social media platforms.
When planning your social media marketing efforts, start slow. The explosion of social media networks is overwhelming. Trying to start managing a presence on all of them could weaken your ability to engage with potential customers. As a result, you could damage your brand image in the local market.
Choose two or three networks at the most to start. Focus on those your audience in a given country flock to.
2. Organize your social media strategy.
Before making your first post, write down your goals for each social media site. Then, outline how you plan to achieve those goals through social media marketing.
Having a strategic plan in place will simplify your marketing over the long run and make it easier for you to see a return on your investment. It will also mean that you can plan ahead, and translate content for your social updates correctly. With an accurate translation that takes both language and culture into consideration, you avoid unintentionally offending a local market.
3. Remain aware of non-verbal cues in your social media marketing.
Imagine the firestorm that would ensue if you shared an offensive image on a social profile. Something you did not realize was offensive, such as a color or hand gesture, could suddenly cause an enormous backlash. Within seconds, angry customers could share your image and tarnish your reputation.
The best way to avoid your brand’s reputation getting ruined on social media is to remain keenly aware of what non-verbal cues mean in each local market.
4. Automate with caution.
As easy as it is to use a “set it and forget it” strategy for your social media marketing, automating your updates could lead to trouble if not done correctly.
Using a translator for your social media efforts who is knowledgeable not only in the language, but also in the culture, can help you avoid disastrous mistakes. When automating your social media efforts, always have a professional translator look through what you plan to post before it goes live to a local region.
5. Keep it fresh by checking in regularly.
It’s easy to spot abandoned social networks, and no one, regardless of culture or region, wants to follow or engage with a lifeless profile.
The most important thing with social media marketing is to stay current, fresh, and engaging on each network you create a presence on. Talk about events happening in the local markets. Share relevant and interesting posts from other local businesses to get involved in the community.
Keep your social media profiles current with regular posts that resonate with the local audiences in each region.
There are millions of people around the world eager to connect with their interests on social media. It makes sense that your company wants to join the crowd. With a strategic, smart approach, you can create a bigger splash in each local market and boost your business abroad.