Social Media is an innovative promotional platform that has taken the entire business landscape by storm. Not only it helps in a quick propagation of information, but also helps the brands in building their unique communities of loyal customers through regular engagement.
However, the social media strategies that have been based on rigid experiences and assumptions have come a cropper. Most international brands have discovered that market familiarity is the primary factor needed to succeed with social media and to do well they need to be careful while navigating through cultural and language barriers.
At the same time, the businesses should also be watchful about the global ramifications of their local initiatives and their proficiency in the execution of ideas have to be tailored accordingly. Hence, a policy that is based on ‘Think Local, Act Global’ connotation can be an ideal way to pursue their social initiatives.
Some of the aspects that endorse this strategy are discussed below.
Today’s global business environment is highly connected. The ever-growing use of Internet and mobile, along with free-trade agreements between countries have minimized the barriers that once existed for businesses. In the current scenario, a foreign firm producing better quality goods and selling them at competitive prices can give the locals a run for their money.
However, when it comes to social networking, there is more to it than just quality and price of goods being sold. It is about influencing the customer sentiments and getting them to accept your products or service as their own. For this to happen, a firm that wants to engage with the audience of a regional market has to get well-versed with the local procedures and practices, and this is where the acquaintance of regional customs comes in handy.
For instance, a global fast-food chain promoting items that are against the cultural sentiment of a particular region would not be able to engage well with its regional audience. On the other hand, it has been observed that firms that seamlessly mix the cultural essence of a region with their global brand image are usually well accepted by the locals.
Using social media to get plugged into a local market requires businesses to modify their promotional and engagement strategy as per the demand. For instance, a brand commissioning content in local language needs to ensure the messaging is appropriate and also fits the context. Moreover, it needs to be fresh and different from the content promoted by existing local competitors.
An ideal way to achieve this is by hiring local expertise that can help in developing the right content and convey it through apt messaging, which would enable the brand to ensure its image is depicted appropriately.
The local experts will also have a fair idea of the important dates that would need a special mention on the content calendar. Planning special events such as contests or specialized promotional campaigns on these dates and mixing it up with global agenda can also help the brand garner better visibility.
For instance, most ethnicities around the world have a special occasion that commemorates their farming or agricultural heritage. Multinational brands can use these festivities as a plank to promote a global cause such as environment preservation, and native expertise can play a vital role in achieving the desired results.
Social media has numerous networking platforms, and some are popular than others in a specific region. If a brand’s target market comprising of the regional audience is more active on specific platforms, then using the global networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter may not achieve the cause. However, at the same time, the firm should try to maintain consistency across all the channels as far as the type of content, and messaging is concerned.
When executed efficiently, this approach would not just produce sustainable results, but will also help companies in validating their plans in the key regional market. Thus, they can effectively utilize the power of social media to instigate discussions with prospects as well as capture some initial customers to streamline their revenues.