Global Marketing

Businesses ‘Social Distance’ from Traditional Use of Social Media

Social media has connected the global world unlike ever before, making communication easier and transforming human connection. With many people across the world staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are using social media and consuming new information at staggering rates. Many of us are having virtual happy hours or tagging friends in challenges on Facebook and Instagram, while businesses are also learning how to leverage social media in the age of social distancing.

Spreading Awareness

Companies are using their social media platforms to spread information about COVID-19 as it relates to their business. Financial Institutions are focusing on the economic impact of the pandemic including announcements about the Federal Reserve adjusting interest rates and unemployment rate predictions. Recruiters are sharing tips for resume building and interview skills. The Healthcare industry is focusing on recommendations for staying healthy such as hand-washing, sanitizing, and encouraging the use of cloth face masks.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Companies are also sharing how they are supporting their employees and their communities during this pandemic on their social media platforms. Google donated Chromebooks and mobile hotspots for rural California students. Google also donated $800 million to multiple organizations across the world to fight COVID-19 and in Google Ad credits to small and midsize businesses who are struggling during this time. Disney is supporting its employees as the senior staff, consisting of vice presidents and above, take 20-30% salary cuts. Nestle is donating food, medical nutrition products, and bottled water to countries in greatest need. Apple announced it is donating 10 million masks to the United States and Europe.

Comment below with other ways you are seeing businesses spread awareness about their efforts during this pandemic.

Product and Service Adjustment Announcements

Businesses are using social media to connect with consumers to advertise their products and services. Restaurants are advertising safety precautions for their employees and customers while also announcing their revised methods for delivery or take-out orders. My local California Fish Grill has been great with messaging what they are doing. Retailers are announcing updated policies for shipping, returns, and delivery methods. Amazon has been very proactive with these notices.

Doubling Down on Customer Engagement

Companies in all industries are using this time to strengthen relationships with suppliers, clients and consumers, as well as work towards building up new business and consumer relationships. Effective engagement will strengthen a company's brand, even in this challenging time.

Finding the right chord is important. Game Stop set a terrible example when it remained open as an “essential” business. Ultimately, both the public relations nightmare of endangered employees and frustrated consumers forced all Game Stop stores to close, moving to curbside pick-up and delivery.

Comment below with other company failures.

Global Marketing

Considerations for International Paid Social Media Marketing

In today's connected world, businesses are no longer limited to turning to their local populations for prospective customers. Advertising internationally, however, comes with an entirely new set of considerations. Different time zones, creative localization and potential issues with ad delivery are all common pitfalls. Different time zones create the potential for ads to run at the wrong times (i.e. in the middle of the night). Although many social campaigns are “always on,” for campaigns with day-parting, having the wrong start and end times can be extremely detrimental. If ads are intended to surround a particular event, missing the intended start time, ending too early or too late can also be a bad look for the brand. 

Creative localization is crucial to ensuring that the foreign audience understands the ad and isn't accidentally offended. Words can have different meanings in other cultures, and solely relying on the internet for translation may result in the message getting twisted. While top spending advertisers are able to lean on social platform partners and/or foreign colleagues who can help navigate these areas, smaller media buyers (AKA anyone who can't afford an agency) have to get innovative by reaching out to native speakers and/or cultural experts who can best advise. Social media platforms are perhaps the most complex channels to leverage internationally as they are both inherently conversational and visually driven. There are therefore more opportunities to overlook content customization for the foreign market.

When entering a new market, it can be easy to assume there are just as many addressable consumers as back home. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Even when the product or service is universally applicable, international daily active users for practically all social platforms pale in comparison to the North American market. In light of the often smaller audience sizes, marketers may make the mistake of not bidding aggressively enough to get their ad served. Depending on the advertiser, under-delivery (not spending in full) can actually be worse than below-benchmark performance. 

Overall, focusing on the target audience is the key to success for any paid social campaign, domestic and foreign alike. Keeping the consumer at the forefront of all media planning serves to act as a reminder to adjust the launch and end dates, change out the copy or video assets and to closely monitor delivery to ensure that ads are spending in full. Running an international social media campaign does not have to be a daunting task. With consistent communication between all parties and a clear objective, many brands can and will find success abroad.