Have you ever considered whether or not your company is currently targeting a global audience? Are you a European marketer looking to scale your business to other European nations? Are you in the United States seeking the attention of a French or Spanish audience?
If you’re challenged with targeting an audience across multiple countries or languages, you probably have a lot of questions about how to create a successful global social media content strategy. This is probably why before you start tweeting and Facebooking, it’s important to map out your global social media strategy so you can create a program that scales. Below are a few things worth considering for a social media strategy that targets a more global audience.
1. Segment Your Audience Smartly
The first thing to do to adapt your social media strategy for a more global audience is to determine how you want to segment your social media audience by deciding which countries and languages you want to target, and set some social media goals for each of these audiences. Next, you can choose to decide if you can use the localization features of the most popular social networks to segment your audience rather than creating a brand new page or profile for each one. Facebook and LinkedIn have the most comprehensive localization features, so you can limit specific status updates to only appear in the news feeds of specific segments of your audience. Specifically for global marketing, you can choose to segment by geography, language, or a combination of each.
2. Provide Native Translations
When it comes to providing content in different languages, don’t simply take a blog post from your English blog and copy/paste it into Google Translate for your Spanish blog, or vice-versa and same goes for your tweets and Facebook status updates. Bear in mind that anyone who speaks a language natively will know when a piece of content has simply been Google Translated. Talk about unprofessional! For quality content in different laguages, get help from someone who is fluent in the language you’re creating content for. Below are a list of some reputable translation service providers you can choose from:
Note that for internet marketing purposes, it is best that you don’t mix languages on the same blog. Even though you might think this might make your blog “global friendly,” it will not help your overall user experience. Mixing languages on social networking sites is more acceptable because when you send out an update, it’s mostly consumed via users’ news feeds, not via your page or profile itself.
3. Solicit Content From Local Contributors
From each region you’re targeting, recruit guest bloggers who can provide local insights you can’t provide yourself. This is especially important if you decide to set up a separate blog for each language or region that you’re targeting. This will keep the content on your blog fresh and varied as well as relevant. Furthermore, recruit local help to manage and monitor your foreign-language interactions. Translation services are great for the social media-publishing schedule you plan ahead for each month, but they’re no substitute for native and on-the-fly social engagement, especially if you’re using your social media accounts as customer service resources.
4. Post Relevant Content
Whether you’re posting content on one of your global blogs, Facebook Pages, or Twitter profiles, there are some practices for content creation that are best applauded. For a start, always make sure that you are either on top of the hot topics and sensitive issues in each of your target markets or that you hire someone to specialize in each market. In addition, make sure you’re only posting content that’s relevant for each specific audience. In other words, a news story in Australia may not be relevant to your audience in Ireland.
5. Use High-Quality Images Wherever Possible
When it comes to internet marketing, note that images don’t need a translation. Visuals are much easier for international audiences to understand, especially if you’re not creating separate profiles for each region or language. They also happen to drive engagement. In fact, according to Simply Measured, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content, namely photos and videos, saw a 65% increase in engagement.
Below are some social network-specific tips for using visuals in your social media marketing:
- Facebook & Google+: Use the photo share functionality
– Twitter: Use TwitPic or Instagram to frequently share photos with your Twitter followers
– LinkedIn: On your Company Page, share URLs of pages that have an enticing image
6. Understand Color Connotations
For the best social media strategy, figure out what different colors mean in different countries before designing your blog and social media profiles. In most of Europe and the United States white is associated with purity and marriage. In Japan, China and parts of Africa, however, white is traditionally the color of mourning. Make sure you’re aware of these types of nuances for your different target audiences so you can be sensitive to them in your social media marketing.
7. Link All Your Social Channels Together
Your ultimate goal of participating in social media is likely to drive traffic back to your website so you can convert those visitors into leads. If that’s the case, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible to direct your social media fans and followers back to your website where those conversions can take place. Therefore, make sure you link to the appropriate blog/website within each social media account’s About Us or URL sections.
Your goals here are to:
- Make it easy for people to find your other channels in their language.
– Make it easy for people who have landed in the wrong place to find the channels most relevant to them.
– Creating a global social media strategy early on will help you plan for all the challenges global social media marketing poses.