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The Global Social Media Challenge: Lessons from 100+ Campaigns

Today, every brand is a global brand. Every company operates on a global stage. So, every marketer faces the challenge of navigating multiple languages, timezones, cultures and market nuances to build their brand.

Social media has simply accentuated that challenge. Customers from around the world can now access your content, discover and interact with other customers and add their own voice to the conversation about your brand. And if you fail to listen or meet their needs, your error will be all the more public.

That’s why we’re launching a white paper on international social media marketing. After managing over 100 local and international social media marketing campaigns for many brands, we have seen these challenges first hand. We figured out, sometimes through trial and error, what worked and what didn’t. So, together with the team from LEWIS Pulse, we decided to distill some of our findings into this paper as a guide for marketers wanting to leverage social media to build or support a global brand.

The Global Social Media Challenge tackles some of the issues social marketers face day-in, day-out. How do you meet the needs of an audience that speaks multiple languages? How do you appear responsive to customers in different timezones? How do you organize your social media efforts when it seems every market has different needs and priorities? Sometimes, ownership of social media marketing can be a tug of war. Our goal is to provide a framework for making decisions and allocating resources.

International social media marketingAs a brief preview, here are some of the guidelines shared:

  • Learn how to organize your social channels, whether you’re a start-up or an established brand
  • Use the issue escalation and response template to build a global process for your company
  • Discover how to prioritize evaluation metrics for international social media marketing campaigns
  • Find out what works (and what definitely doesn’t!) in markets around the world with the Social Media Map

Too often brands fall into one of two camps: the group that stamps out all social media marketing efforts except for those run by ‘corporate’; and the group that lets social media responsibility become an unchecked free-for-all that confuses, dilutes and potentially damages the brand. Luckily, it is possible to achieve a balance. We hope the Global Social Media Challenge helps marketers achieve just that.

Download a copy of our global social media marketing guidelines here.

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  • http://blog.ecairn.com Laurent

    Hi Lucy
    I really like the reco per country (page 10-11). Having lived in Europe and here, I can recognize some of the cultural peculiarities of each country.
    But I think you’re missing one important element: Online, borders can be crossed in one click.
    From some casual studies I have done, it seems that people active on social media connect across borders a lot if the subject is location independent but will connect less if it’s location dependent.
    So understanding the nature of the online connections across geo is important. For example, the US is the high tech powerhouse so influencers from Europe on cloud computing will heavily connect/rely on their US counterpart and be an active member of that tribe. To the opposite, running is a very local activity and people talk about their races, the weather etc and will connect less across borders.

    • http://lewispr.com LEWIS PR

      Hi Laurent – you’re absolutely right. Sometimes, topics do transcend geography. Your examples are good ones. The problem occurs however when people forget that, as you say, borders can be crossed in a single click and that anyone, from any market, can participate in a community bringing their own, necessarily local perspective. It needs to be a conscious decision on the part of the brand: is this information relevant to a global or local audience? We don’t want to assume that a topic has global appeal and fail to localize it appropriately. For example, people around the world might coalesce around the topic of cloud computing but when it comes to understanding the in-timezone support available from their cloud application company, they want local information. I think brands are still learning the right way to organize their social media efforts. I’m sure we’ll see new examples emerge that will teach us new forms of best practice.
      Thanks for reading the blog, Lucy

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