There has been a huge growth of social media usage across the world. With booming social media e-commerce and the increased sophistication of social media paid amplification tools that allow you custom personalization and targeting, social media is now one of the key digital channels for global brands.
Building a localized social media presence with a strong and engaged loyal community around your brand can be a powerful way to expand globally, increasing awareness and getting people to your website resulting in lead generation and increased revenue. However, identifying which markets and channels to drive a localized social media presence can be a daunting task. It is important to make sure you look at a range of things to develop your localized social media strategy to make sure you get the best return on your investment.
Define business goals
First, determine what are your long-term objectives that you would like to achieve through social media. For example increasing awareness, building a long-term community, driving people to the website, increasing leads, or providing a localized platform for customer queries. Certain activities like paid ads can be done from global channels but if you want to build a long term community, then localizing your social media channels is key.
Undertake competitor analysis
Understand the markets and channels your direct and indirect competitors have localized social media. Identify if there are any other local players that do really well and on which channels they are present on.
Pull out data in terms of performance of your competitors’ localized channels in terms of followers and engagement. Which channels do your competitors perform the best on? Map your overall goal of where you would like to be in terms of followers and engagement compared with your competitors if you were to localize social media activities.
Once you have identified the top performing channels and local markets for key competitors, understand what content types and themes perform the best in terms of engagement. This will give you insights into frequency of posts, type of content, how content is localized and what are the key seasonal events that you should be aware of.
Observe general market social media statistics and trends
Understand what are the most used channels in local markets by number of monthly active users vs total channel users and identify what social channels show a growth in terms of usage. Understand whether the overall opportunity is large enough to make it cost effective. Although competitor analysis can give an indication of which channels are popular with competitors, there might be other channels that show future opportunity that others haven’t started taking advantage of. A better understanding how people consume content in your market, for example desktop vs mobile, ecommerce usage, can also be a key insight when building a localized social media strategy.
Scope out resource capability
Understand how often content should be produced, the time taken, the type of resources needed and the required budget. Good performance on a few, key social media channel is much better than posting poor, irregular content on a large number of social media channels. You need to look at content creation, imagery, channel monitoring and customer management to make sure that resources are in place to produce effective, culturally relevant quality content. If localized content is posted, any landing page or website must be available in the appropriate language. If you drive people to your website in their local language, you have to carry on the language experience to keep them there and gain conversions.
Understand local market regulations
Certain markets, like China for example, have tighter regulations for opening social media accounts without a business presence in China or when running activities like paid amplification. Before you open a channel, make sure you’re aware of the necessary local regulations and have all the relevant documentation available.
Develop a list of prioritized social media channels
Finally, based on all the above insights define a prioritized list of social media channels and markets that could provide best return on investment for your global digital marketing activities.
Based in London, Alina Anghel is SEO and Social Media Manager at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency.