Managing a global brand on social media sounds daunting, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Sure, having multiple audiences who are awake at different times, speak different languages and have an assortment of needs can complicate your strategy a bit. However, having such a wide audience is an achievement that many brands wish to have and it should be utilized significantly. Careful planning, team delegation, and research will have your social media marketing ready to launch globally easily! Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Social Media Strategies For Global Domination
Double Check Language
Sure, your Facebook About Us section has been proofread countless times for an American audience in mind, but what about your global audience? Your company’s name, logo, colors tagline, values and more may need to be tweaked slightly to appeal to an audience with an entirely different culture. Consult with a brand expert or social media expert to see if any of them need to be changed.
When Coca Cola first marketed in China, it was sometimes translated into “Bite The Wax Toadpole”. Nike had to recall products when a symbol on the back of their shoes resembled the Arabic word for “Allah”. It’s very easy to make a serious global marketing blunder if you aren’t familiar with other cultures and languages. Do not underestimate the necessity of hiring an expert of that culture and a translator.
Additionally, the language of your overall posting may need to be changed. Does your brand have non-native speakers that need translations? Do you use too many cultural references and/or slang that may be confusing?
Lay’s is an excellent example of how to rebrand for a global audience. In 1989 they acquired Walkers Potato Crisps. Although they initially rebranded it to Lay’s colors and also their font, they still keep language distinct (and also have two separate social media accounts for them). They were quick to recognize that by doing so they could use language and slang that would appeal widely and greatly to each separate audience instead of using bland and boring text that would make sense to everyone. This leads us to our next tip…
Consider Multiple Profiles
You don’t necessarily need multiple social media profiles to have a successful social media presence for a global brand you can follow our guide on how to create a social media marketing strategy.
However, if it’s in your budget and you have enough manpower, it can make things a lot easier to keep the profiles separate. This doesn’t mean you need to give up your main account that you have been growing for years. Consider Nike, for example. Nike has the main Facebook page but then breaks off into profiles for different countries and sports. This helps create authentic and highly engaged audiences on each account and allows you to focus on language that is most appropriate for that audience.
If you don’t have the resources Nike has (and most people don’t!), don’t worry, there are tricks you can use to still appeal to a global audience.
Facebook allows you to target your messages so that only followers who live in a certain area will see the post you can read more about this in my previous post titled “Facebook targeting options you didn’t know existed“.
For example, posts that you write in French can be limited to users in France. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you always have to write the same post multiple times, either! Facebook now allows you to enable multiple languages in one post in your settings. Once enabled, it will allow you to post text in multiple languages in one post simply by clicking an option in the lower right hand corner of your status box. For detailed instructions from Facebook themselves, visit here.
Establish a Global Team
Chances are if you have a global audience, questions, comments, and complaints will most likely filter in while you are sleeping. This can be extremely frightening, especially if your brand frequently receives complaints that need to be addressed diligently. Consider hiring a global team that can help aid with the time difference.
Please note that a “team” can be as small as hiring one freelancer or as large as hiring an agency. A freelancer would be helpful in covering engagement during your off-hours, and can also be helpful in aiding with screening text for cultural differences or answering questions that are not in your native language. If your brand is a bit bigger and you’re branching off into different accounts for various locations, an agency could be useful to help create unique campaigns for each page. The key to seamlessly working with all of these people is to keep communication open. Here are a few tools that can help:
Slack: This allows team communication to be simple through instant messaging among groups and one-on-one. It also has a mobile feature, sending alerts to phones that keep everyone in the know 24/7. If AIM had a version for businesses in 2001, Slack would be it.
Asana: Asana is a work management platform. It allows you to share details and assign tasks for projects both big and small!
Monday: Similar to Asana, this project management tool allows you and your team to plan, organize and track in one visual and collaborative space. You can assign tasks, label the publishing date, share files and more!
The most active users in your audience may be based in Ireland, but if you are trying to build up your audience in America, you can’t neglect them! If you’re working with one main account, this means providing content around-the-clock. While this may seem daunting, utilizing a scheduler tool or even simply scheduling ahead of time on Facebook will simplify this task.
If you’re hesitant to post too much, remember to try utilizing Facebook’s geo-targeting feature that allows you to only publish certain posts to users who live in a specific area. Just keep in mind that reach and engagement on these singular posts will be significantly lower than you are used to, but overall your reach will most likely rise across all posts. This is the benefit of having a global audience – engagement 24/7! Just make sure you’re giving them something to engage with – and have someone online to monitor it.
Think Global, Act Local
Imagine this: You’re an American company that has a modest but loyal UK audience/customer base you are trying to grow. You plan painstakingly for Black Friday sales, announce it thoroughly on Facebook, offer social discount codes, etc. However, on Boxing Day (a major UK holiday), there’s radio silence. Nothing on your page, no sales, no mention of the big day. Yikes.
In order to cater to your global audience, you need to think local. Recognize their local holidays and traditions. Be careful when scheduling during breaking news, a major sporting event or awards show – you most likely won’t have the results you desire.
Managing a global social media strategy can take a few extra strategical steps initially, but great success can be found through it. Having an engaged audience 24/7 across the world is a difficult task, but well worth it in both sales and brand awareness. Do you manage a global brand? What are your favorite tips?