Everyone knows that social media is a must-have advertising and branding tool for pretty much every type of business. It’s cheap, effective and wide-reaching – in fact, latest statistics say that 45 million people in the UK use social media, equating to a whopping 67% of the population.
Savvy business-owners started to truly harness the power of social media as far back as 2008 during the social media boom. Today, social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have built-in tools for businesses that make reaching your target audience and creating an instant ‘buzz’ around a product, service or company easier than ever.
Abdul Muhammad, chief digital officer and partner at rbb Communications, affirmed the potential of social media in a Business News Daily interview: “Social media provides targeting capability, as well as reach and scale, at a lower cost than almost all other marketing channels.”
“People are on social media all day, every day – brands must go where the people are.”
Are you achieving a global reach?
But whilst social media is a great way to connect your business to the international community, there’s no guarantee that you will achieve a global reach.
This is why it’s crucial to plan an international social media strategy and spend some time considering the key aspects of your social media use and content.
Here are our 3 top tips for planning an international social media strategy:
1. Everyone uses Facebook, right?
Wrong. Whilst many social media sites, such as Facebook, may seem universal to us, there are plenty of countries and regions where US-based sites are shunned in favour of regional social networking services, as can be seen in Russia and China.
It’s vital to thoroughly research your target market to find out about their browsing habits and social media channel preferences – you may be surprised.
2. Localise, localise, localise
It goes without saying that to be successful in reaching a global audience via social media, you should aim to adapt and localise your content for your target market.
The most obvious way to do this is by translating text with the help of a trusted translation company, but there are a few things to consider first. Do you want to post multilingual, localised content from one social media account, or create multiple accounts for different regions/locations?
If you opt for the former, it’s crucial that you take full advantage of the many capabilities of images and video. Images can be powerful tools that transcend language barriers, whilst videos be subtitled or captioned in multiple languages.
However, you should seriously consider investing in professional localisation services if you want to avoid potentially embarrassing blunders. In some countries, the images or videos used on your social media may not be appropriate or culturally relevant, something that a specialist linguist would be able to spot.
3. Timing is everything.
It may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but with more than 24 time zones in the world, posting your strongest content outside of peak times is an easy mistake to make.
What’s more, working hours, routines and cultural habits of the average person vary greatly across different countries. Whilst 1pm on a Wednesday might be a high engagement time in the UK when office workers are enjoying a lunchtime sandwich and quick scroll through Facebook, Italy could be a totally different affair – many Italian workers often head home for an extended lunch and precious family time. In many Middle Eastern countries, their weekend is Friday and Saturday, with Friday being a day of worship, much like Sunday is for many people in Europe.
Once you’ve established peak engagement times for your target markets, take advantage of social media scheduling tools. Using Buffer or Hootsuite, for example, means you don’t have to keep hitting the publish button all day and night.
How we can help
At Wolfestone, we’re not only leaders in translation services. By using a network of specialist translators who have experience working on localisation projects in every sector, we can ensure that your content is expertly localised for your target market.
We have worked on localisation projects for both multinational companies and SMEs, and have heaps of experience in localising everything from individual documents to entire social media campaigns.
Why not speak to us today and find out how we can help you plan a successful international social media strategy?
Article written by Sofia Lewis, Wolfestone contributor