Importance of Country-Specific Social Media Accounts for Marketing
You have a great product, your audience is loving it, and you’re ready to share it with more people around the world! If your first thought as you ponder how to reach these new audiences is social media, you’re in good company. In 2019, 93% of global marketers cited increased exposure as a key advantage of using social media.
But when it comes to formulating a global strategy, the knowledge that you should be using social media is neither new nor particularly helpful. What specific approach should you take to targeting consumers in different countries? Should you have a single global account for your products? Offer the same posts in multiple languages on Facebook? Double-post or split captions between languages?
In this article, we’re going to take a look at another option: creating different social media accounts for each country you hope to sell in. This may at first seem like a lot of effort, but it brings a host of distinct benefits—ones you can reap with the right approach and team.
Tap Into Country-Specific Social Networks
Let’s begin by identifying an advantage that is virtually (pun intended) impossible to enjoy without creating country-specific accounts: marketing via non-anglophone social networks.
After Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest might seem like intuitive next steps in your social media journey, but platforms like WeChat, QQ, QZone, Weibo, and Kuaishou actually have more users. Even if you aren’t looking to break into the Chinese market, statistics like these are a reminder to pay attention to each country’s social media preferences, not just to international giants. Other notable examples include Vkontakte in Russia or KakaoStory in South Korea. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s especially important to move beyond the standard Facebook or Instagram global profile when you’re targeting specific demographics. Find out which platforms your ideal customer base in each country prefers. They might not even be ones you’ve heard of before, so get an expert, dive in and find those customers.
Create Localized Content
We’ll imagine for a moment that your ideal demographic in most countries is on Facebook. You may be wondering why you would bother creating multiple pages when you could simply translate your main page into several languages. Well, translation and localization are not the same thing. The latter takes an international marketing strategy a step further, creating content that is culturally relevant to the region.
Even if you’re pushing the same product or service in two countries, the campaign will likely need to differ in terms of tone, graphics, pop culture references and more. Having separate accounts allows you to pursue different content strategies which respond directly to local trends and preferences, all while preserving your brand.
Furthermore, having a country-specific account means you can reach out more easily to local influencers and speakers of the target language who you may want to feature or collaborate with. It’s important to have a space to put this content without worrying about its applicability to all your global followers.
Engage Directly with Customers
People are increasingly using social media to communicate with brands. According to a Sprout Social survey of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook users, the number of messages requiring a response from a brand—such as a complaint or product query—saw an 18% increase from 2015 to 2016. Despite this demand, brands respond to a mere 11% of these messages and do so within ten hours on average, as opposed to consumers’ desired response window of four. Needless to say, responding to messages should be one of your priorities these days. Plus, engaging with questions and comments (including positive ones) is always a good practice, sparking dialogue and building trust.
If you want to make your brand stand out as a strong communicator, a country-specific page is the place to do it. Non-English speaking internet users (who constitute 75% of the global online population, by the way) need to be welcomed into the conversation. A single international page, even translated, may not inspire confidence that a team is waiting to respond to any and all queries.
In contrast, if you provide localized content AND follow up with engagement, you can send a strong message to your customers that you are excited to be serving their region and begin to gather some local clout.
Time Posts Correctly
Ending with a mundane yet important point, running different international accounts allows you to take full advantage of optimal posting times and special occasions. You want to create a posting schedule that takes into account each time zone and is based on available data on peak engagement hours in each country (for your network and demographic as well).
Similarly, you might want to post specifically about national holidays or major events, such as sports matches. Having separate accounts is especially useful here, as you’ll avoid the confusion of showing audiences in Brazil a post about Republic Day in Italy.
Social media should start a dialogue and build a relationship between you and prospective and existing customers. However, if you don’t first address language barriers and cultural disconnects, that’s unlikely to happen. Managing country-specific social media accounts is a great way of bridging that gap and reaching out to a wider international audience.