Global Marketing

How To Set Up International Social Media in 4 Steps

1. Choosing Social Media Platforms

The popular social media sites in your country may not have the same market share in other countries. As of January 2020, the most popular social media platform around the world was Facebook, with 2.5 billion users. However, if you plan to enter China, QZone is an important platform to pursue.

Last year's map also shows the runner up platforms in each country. Instagram is ranked second in 44/58 analyzed countries , and Twitter and Reddit also make appearances. This is important to know if one plans to select more than one platform.

2. Selecting Content

Internationally, people use social media for different purposes. It's important to know what people use the platforms for to make sure content is well-received. Globally, engagement on any platform is highest on photos and <30 second videos.

  • Asia Pacific countries go to social media for consumer reviews and also share brand-related information. Research from GlobalWebIndex shows that social media informs purchase decisions, especially with younger users. This is one reason the Philippines consumes so much media: the high amount of user-generated content produced.
  • Europe uses social media to get news. 40% of adults in Spain and Sweden get their news from social media, primarily from Facebook. 75% of all “news-seekers” on social media live in France, Italy and Denmark.

It is also helpful to know what how much time each country spends on social media platform. The graph below shows time spent on social media per country as of January 2018. The Philippines, Brazil and Indonesia hold the top three spots.

3. Localizing Content

  • Is it relevant or culturally specific? If your product launch is solely for one country, then curated content should not appear on sites in any other countries. If you plan to share articles using colloquialisms or celebrities, try adjusting the content to fit the country you plan to post in. Also take into account different currencies, measurement systems, and local spellings. These considerations will make your content more relevant.
  • Any cultural factors? Take into consideration laws and regulations in other countries. In China, there is a list of banned keywords and the Chinese government will block any content that violates the list.
  • Are there any current events to keep in mind? Being mindful of the current pandemic, organizations may want to market specially discounted prices on goods and services.

4. Interacting with Customers

The most important part of any social media plan is interacting with consumers. If you can engage followers, you have the opportunity to turn your brand into a living entity.

Creating content is a time-consuming process between sharing posts, and monitoring all the reactions and comments on each platform. Fortunately there are many social media tools to help do this all while boosting engagement. These tools are critical for a brand to stay on top of the rapidly evolving landscape and potentially high volume of consumers to monitor. Reviews of Hootsuite and other top tools can be found here.