Global Marketing

2020 Social Media Marketing Trends

A study by SurveyMonkey and Hubspot discovered that social media trends seemed to match across regions, likely due to the globalizing effect of the internet. Here are four global social media trends to pay attention to this year.

1. Short-lived content will continue gaining popularity

Ephemeral content, like stories, have been a huge social media trend in the last few years and 2020 is shaping up to be no different.

Instragram Stories increase audience engagement through interactive stories and polls, giving a voice to your brand. While the dominance of Instagram Stories is prevalent, Facebook Stories are at the same engagement level reaching 500 million daily users.

Interactive Instagram Stories are among the most important social media trends of 2020
Examples of engagement through Instagram Stories

2. Influencer Marketing will narrow focus

Influencer marketing has become so popular that some brands are moving away from traditional methods in favor of creating influencer partnerships. The trend now is to be more selective in influencer selection. In the past, brands paid top dollar for large numbers of followers. Now we are seeing brands connect with nano-influencers who have a smaller following. These tight knit communities are having more meaningful and engaged conversations.

@Sashaspots has an engaged following of 2,400 on her Instagram which focuses on food at local spots in Orlando.

3. Social commerce will expand

Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with social shopping. That, in addition to advancements in advertising capabilities, will continue to increase social commerce. We forecast that social commerce will become a mainstream retail channel on par with websites and offline stores. This trend will continue as social network introduce and improve shoppable posts.

The growth of direct shopping on Instagram is one of the biggest social media trends that will have lasting implications for the platform
An example of shopping on Instagram.

4. Video Content will dominate

Videos are the future of social media content because they are the most engaging. Short-form videos on TikTok or Stories and long-form content on YouTube will both continue to dominate. Cisco forecasts that 82% of online content will be video content by 2022. Brands not currently using videos should start adding them in content strategy or they will be left behind this trend.

What trends do you think will define 2020? Let us know in the comments!

Global Marketing

How to Create Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement comes from interactions with your social media account. They include reactions, follows, shares, comments, or click-thru's. These metrics are key ways to gauge the impact of content marketing and drive long-term brand favorability.

A clever comparison by Hootsuite labels companies as either a “soap box” or “dinner party.” Soap box brands have a one-way dialogue from the brand to consumers while dinner party brands are all about engagement, especially the small conversations between guests. Dinner party brands have the best level of consumer engagement. Be a dinner party brand.

“Your followers don’t want to talk to a faceless organization. They want to talk to real people on social media. Engaging one-on-one lets them know there’s a real person behind the account, and that can really make a difference in the trust they have for your brand.”

Nick Martin, Hootsuite social engagement specialist

Dinner Party Brand Examples:

Nike created a Twitter account dedicated to customer service in English, Spanish, and French to serve multiple countries.

Netflix has different twitter accounts for regions and spotlights new content released in that region. Considering not all content is shared in multiple regions, this is a great way Netflix localizes content to increase engagement. Each account still keeps a similar tone of humor to match the overall voice of the Netflix brand.

Domino's celebrates cultural differences through its menu offerings and social media, strengthening its international presence.

Ways to Generate Social Media Engagement

Define Your Goals

What do you want your followers to gain through their online interaction with your brand? The “dinner party” brands referenced above have different goals. Some goals to consider include:

  • Create or change brand perception (Netflix)
  • Find and/or nurture leads
  • Offer promotions (Domino's)
  • Providing product information to move customers through the purchase funnel
  • Obtain product or campaign feedback
  • Provide customer support (Nike)

Know Your Audience to Share Valuable Content with Them

To start, spend time researching your customer's needs and desires. Every customer has a problem. How do they use social media to solve their problems? Your audience will dictate the frequency of posts, messaging, and content to share. You just need to listen to them!

Also pay attention to topical and trending events that resonate with your customers. These will be top of mind for your customers already so they will instantly connect with your content. However, use caution to make sure the topics or trends are in the correct brand voice.

Engagement Time!

Reactive engagement includes responding to customers who direct message, comment, or mention your business.

  • Decide the circumstances you will respond and be consistent.
  • Determine the best way to pass along messages to different internal departments.
  • Define a workflow for incoming messages.

Proactive engagement involves searching for indirect comments about your brand or relevant conversations. This can be very helpful for creating buzz for a product launch or campaign. Twitter is an essential social listening tool used by brands to proactively influence brand perception.

  • Determine guidelines for engaging with opportunities.
  • Look at Netflix or other best practices to learn about proactive engagement.

Track Your Progress

Each platform has different metrics that can be used to track audience engagement. As you get started, establish benchmarks for each platform to measure your content's impact. This will ensure brand messaging is tied to something more tangible and constantly improving in quality.

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.

Global Marketing

TikTok: The Next Frontier of Global Marketing

TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing social media platform, seemingly exploded out of nowhere. The app currently has over 2 billion users worldwide, 60% of which are between 13-24 years old. And yet, TikTok is only being used by 4% of social media marketers.

There is a reason brands are apprehensive to enter this massive digital space. First of all, it is overtly anti-marketing. TikTok users flock to the app with an almost urgent intention to showcase their knowledge of new trends, dances, pranks, comedy routines — the list goes on.

So how can you leave an impression on the the impossible-to-ignore platform? Make sure your customers are there, then capture their attention with organic influencer marketing.

Case Study: FENTY Beauty House

Targeting a Gen Z audience, Fenty Beauty invested in a TikTok strategy by opening a dedicated content creation “Fenty House” in March 2020. After the physical location has closed due to coronavirus, Fenty's influencers continued promoting the brand remotely.

For a brand like Fenty Beauty, TikTok is the perfect space to promote diversity and inclusivity — values that closely align with Gen Z and the Fenty brand. Challan Trishann, one of the Fenty Beauty House creators, believes that “Fenty Beauty works [so well on TikTok] because it’s a brand that everybody loves and that has something for everybody. Everybody can find their match.”

Case Study: Chipotle

The Chipotle team first decided to create a presence on TikTok after seeing their brand repeatedly mentioned by users of the app when a Chipotle Instagram video of an employee flipping a lid over a burrito bowl made it over to the platform.

Shortly after, Chipotle launched a #GuacDance challenge, where guacamole fans filmed themselves dancing to a popular avocado-centric song. The campaign took place in July 2019 and became TikTok's highest performing brand challenge in the US, resulting in an extraordinary 250,000 video submissions and Chipotle's most successful guacamole day in history, with more than 800,000 sides of guac served.

The Power of the Zeitgeist

Ultimately, the success behind running these types of campaigns relies on trendjacking: harnessing the creativity of amateur TikTokers who are, too, seeking a way to break the noise and stay relevant in their followers' feeds. This symbiotic relationship between marketers and creators is an incredibly powerful tool that can strengthen a brand's digital strategy overnight — but the most important caveat? You can't try too hard.

llustration by The Sporting Press, The Hollywood Reporter
Global Marketing

Considerations for your Global Social Media Strategy

So, you've decided to take your brand global—congratulations! Before you begin, consider the following question: Should you manage a global account or pursue a localization strategy?

The answer is likely a bit of both.

The Appeal of Global Branding

“As more and more companies come to view the entire world as their market, brand builders look with envy upon those that appear to have created global brands—brands whose positioning, advertising strategy, personality, look, and feel are in most respects the same from one country to another. It’s easy to understand why.”

David Aaker and Erich Joachimsthaler, Harvard Business Review

Global branding is desirable but difficult to achieve. With some logistical and emotional considerations in mind, you may be able to pull off a global strategy with little headache.

Keep a Consistent Heart

On the path to global success, the easiest thing you can do is commit to your values. Business practices are not inherently meaningful; you must assign meaning to your product/service and communicate it to your audience.

Let's examine AirBnB. The company's mission is to “help create a world where you can belong anywhere and where people can live in a place, instead of just traveling to it.”

Some consumers will find this more touching than others, but overall it's an undeniably stronger sell than “online couch surfing.” Once you figure out how to evoke emotion through product storytelling, you can use local assistance to adjust the message and preserve its universal value.

Amplify Through Others

After you find your brand's voice, recruit opinion leaders who matter in the global environments you want to pursue. Experimenting in a new culture without proper guidance can produce detrimental and costly results. To avoid this anxiety, introduce your brand through a well-known individual or channel. New consumers may embrace your offer with some encouragement from a voice they trust.

Simplify your Canvas

Consumers all over the world are inundated by their social media feeds. It is important to consider how your company can distinguish itself from the noise—and even provide some refuge. We recommend keeping your online presentation sleek, simple, and more visual than verbal.

What brands do you think excel at this today?

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.

Global Marketing

Social Media Marketing in International B2B business

We all know that Social Media Marketing is nothing new but for international B2B business.

In the year of 2018, social media marketing is a notable powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable all B2B, C2C and B2C companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public.

It’s true that B2B may have a smaller audience to cater to on social media, but SSM is still a good choice for taking prospective customers and converting them into clients. It is especially important in international B2B business, because when we do international  deal, we actually face all clients in the world. The social network marketing create a prefect de-centralized platform to get the company stick with their clients.

Be more specific, B2B purchasing behaviors are different from B2C in following dimensions:

  • Time:  B2B purchases require a long and complex process, it may take several months rather than a quick buying decision in B2C market ing. (On social media platform, the supplier could maintain its communications with its clients for long time.)
  • Decision Making: The nature of B2B business requires a multiple influencer and decision maker involved. (From this aspect, the social Media platform is also a good place for showing products to multiple audiences.)
  • Cost: The nature of B2B business will occur a high transaction cost and a long term commitment to the supply in most case. When asked “do you see a real difference between suppliers and value the difference enough to pay for it?” just 14% of B2B businesses answered yes (suggesting the shift cost is high comparing to supplier’s small differentiation. )
  • Customer: In international B2B marketing, each player can potentially impact a brand’s reputation an brand image. In B2C business, the transaction only involves few people, which have a weaker impacts than B2B.
  • Characters: B2B player are generally recognized as logic, results seeking, and emphasize in their own business value. In B2C transaction, buyer are defined as emotional in most cases. Therefore, comparing emotionally-driven brand marketing in B2C with its equivalent in B2B is like trying to compare apples with pears.

Generally speaking, the key lead to a successful social media marketing is to destroy the old  printer video contest  and showcased user-generated content. In International B2B business, there are few potential clients who have a in depth understanding on its market and specialization. Therefore, a well designed activities, industry contest would create a perfect opportunity for demanders and suppliers. In order to adopt today's business environment, it is important to consider Social media marketing in international B2B business.



Useful extend readings:

In addition, according to the “Content Queen” Dorothea Volpe, the following are 7 top platform for B2B international marketing.


Google +

Strength: Great opportunity for follower growth, segmentation starting, creating nuanced messaging, highly search engine optimized.

Weakness (IMHO): Make sure your audience is there. There’s been a lot of hype about G+, but make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin, especially if you only have a few SoMe folks on your team. Test and compare it to your Facebook presence.



Strengths: Huge audience, 161M people, 2 new members every second, Members did nearly 4.2 billion searches on the platform. There’s a lot of targeted advertising opportunities which can be highly successful. Ideal for Job openings, big announcements (at the company level). Extremely useful for appending information to your contact database.

Weakness (IMHO): Advertising opportunities are available on LinkedIn, but social media opportunities (earned) are elusive for marketers. I.e., it’s a private network; people have complete control over your ability to reach out them. Try creating a “Group” as a way to get started.



Strengths: Also huge audience, 500 million active users, 340 M tweets daily, 55% of all Twitter users user the service to share links to new stories, 53% retweet, 182% Increase in number of mobile users, 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, 20% have closed deals.

From personal experience, Twitter is a fantastic way to promote, amplify and syndicate other content such as blogs as well as build an audience. Great way to reach an audience fast.

•Scott Monty, example of an executive who loves social media and understands the brand


Weaknesses (IMHO): Lots of spam, sales folks and other marketers following your account which doesn’t really count as audience reach. Difficult to segment, you don’t have a lot of information about who is actually following you.



Strengths: Enormous growth, 1.36M daily users – grew 4733% since May 2011, 3rd most popular, April 2012 Board “Covers” were launched. If your audience is female, Pinterest is the place to be. Great opportunity if your products have a visual appeal.

Weaknesses (IMHO): Not ideal if your audience is male and /or you have non-visual products. I’ve seen marketers post whitepapers on Pinterest, but it seems a bit out of place. Consider Slideshare (the anti-Pinterest) for this.



Strengths: 106.7M UVM – over 3B hours uploaded, 60+ hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute, 70% of YT traffic outside US, more than 1 trillion views in 2011. THE place to be if you have video content. Good data on metrics (thanks Google).

Weaknesses (IMHO): If you’ve got video content, it’s ideal. But don’t try to pin your hopes on creating a “viral” video. I’ve tried viral videos in the past when it was trendy. It’s really hit or miss and has the potential of going WAY off if your brand doesn’t naturally lend itself to the stuff that people like on YouTube (funny, raunchy, or entertaining). Just do what you do and make it useful.



Strengths: Huge reach 955 M monthly active users in June. Over ½ of these users are active on a daily basis. (based on TechCrunch, 2012 stats), Facebook is ideal for engaging directly with your audience, allowing them to share their experiences, content. There is a wide range of applications including contests, customer service, and promotions. Facebook also offers strong advertising opportunities and targeting (as you may have heard in the news).

Intuit does a nice job on their Facebook page for quick books. It’s a combination of product updates, helpful tips and Q&A. They’re very responsive to customer questions as well.

Weaknesses: In the B2B space, you may have audiences that are not inclined to share their activities (eg Governments, financial services). Therefore, isn’t ideal for every B2B use case.



Strengths: In B2B, many companies think in PowerPoint presentations. SlideShare has proven itself not only as a home for your slideware, but an effective way to drive leads.

•You can “gate” your content so that people need to register to download your slides, thus driving leads.

•Great way to syndicate your customer presentations.

•In SlideShare, you can also do a voice over and slideshow mode.

•Women use fewer slides on average (22 per slideshow) than men (26).

•Popular presentations contain more images (37, on average) than other presentations (which contain 21).

•The most popular tech companies mentioned in presentations are Facebook (39.9%), Twitter (28.6%), Google (19.1%), Microsoft (5.7%), and Apple (3.8%)

•Only 1.7% of all presentations are done in Apple’s Keynote software, but Keynote makes up 8.2% of the most popular presentations.

•The Japanese and Chinese use more slides on average than slideshows in any other language.