Saturday, April 18, 2015

Top Tips for Using Social Media for International Communication

In the last decade the rapid growth of platforms such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter has provided governments with the opportunity to increase the global recognition of their services and to engage with their international workforce and customers.
Local Does Not Translate
However, online communication can also bring challenges when organizations export their social media marketing plan overseas.   Tactics that work well at home will not always have the same degree of success in overseas markets and marketing teams need to find the right balance between a consistent global approach and adapting to the trends and preferences of each local market – in other words they need to glocalize.
Choose the Right Platform
First and foremost digital marketers need to do their research as social media use may vary from country to country. To engage with as many customers as possible they need to make sure they are using the right platforms.  It is well known that the Chinese government blocks access to a number of western social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and all things Google. Relying on these networks alone rather than exploring platforms such as WeChat or Weibo would mean missing out on the 618 million internet users in China.  The same is true of other countries such as Russia, Japan or South Korea which all have powerful social networks almost unknown in the West.
Lost in Translation
Language is also paramount.  English may be considered the language of the internet and is widely understood worldwide.  However, you will engage much more fully with your international customer base if you can speak their language.  Translation can take a lot of time and money but be wary of automated translation tools as while they may have come a long way since their early days they are still far from perfect.
Make the Message Fit
Glocalizing your communications’ strategy can ensure a more appropriate approach to the diversity of consumers you are appealing to and make all the difference between successful market penetration and a failure to make a significant impact on your target customers.



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