If engaging a social media experts for a global product, should you choose 1 or, 1 for each region/country? The Reason Why?
I am looking at engaging a social media expert(s) for my product, I wish to explore the benefits and losses of having experts that focus on different cultures and demographics, or if the strategy would implode and lead to product confusion.
You want to promote in the local language at the very least. So I would recommend one per language and see what countries that covers.
If you want culture then you have to employ someone from each culture given cultures change even if the language essentially remains the same.
Also you need to factor in countries where there is more than one language e.g. Canada, India and make a decision about the primary language.
There are over 200 countries in the world so any approach is a big ask. So maybe you want to look at your main targets and maybe aim for the top 20.
Very good question. I agree with Kym for the most part, but would just add that bigger companies employ both one person spearheading and multiple by region, and fail at both. It truly depends on proper strategic planning in advance and hiring the right mindsets to implement.
A smaller company, I'd suggest working with a small social media firm that can absorb some of the costs and knows how to hire for social media. If you have the resources, go for it. Plan properly - think through time, product knowledge training and resources/budget - then find the right fit.
That said, know that you get what you pay for. Strategic social media professionals cost more than those who are 'personal-use' experts. Hope this helps!
It's the 80/20 question based on revenue or even better profit. Take www.ancestry.com as an example: they have a site for Sweden because 1 million Swedes emigrated to the US and their salaries make them a perfect target customer for this subscription service. Does this mean your product needs a localization strategy in Sweden by a local social media expert? Probably not. If you sell 80% into English speaking regions you may say 80% of marketing budget should go there. But don't be fooled to think you can sell into the European Union using one web site in English. Conclusion: you can't be everything to everyone everywhere, so be somebody to someone somewhere and reapply where it makes business sense!
Wishing you nothing but success
It really depends on two things.
1. the product
2. the strategy
When you contact a Social Media expert the first thing they should create for you is a Strategy. This strategy should include everything you need to get from point A to point B. During the development of the this strategy the language/culture issue will be pointed out and addressed.
Do not get with a Social Media company that gives you generic solutions such as 1. Create a profile 2. Content Distribution etc. You need someone who is going to analyze and research your needs and your goals and find the best way to reach them.
Do not use the Social Media Platform's Marketing Solutions company. You will end up spending a lot of money without seeing your desired results. The benefits weigh too heavily on their side and you are a sale to them and nothing more.
This is what I do. You can contact me here if you would like to talk more about this.
I've never dealt with social media in different countries, but I believe strongly that you should hire a local-English is my second language-social media expert in each country.
The reason is that so much of social media, even in the U.S., isn't understood by people of a certain age. I think it's expecting too much to ask one person to understand all the cultural references for the social media in each country.
Another reason for my opinion is my work as a social media consultant. I'm a lawyer with 33 years experience, and I've been full-time on the Internet for the last 13 years. I've invested heavily in social media for potential mass tort plaintiffs. Yet for the pst week I've been building a social media presence for a Social Security Disability law firm. I just exchanged emails with the law firm's manager, and noted that we are getting lots of engagement (much more than on the mass tort sites), but we're not getting lead forms yet. Instead, we are getting telephone calls through a toll free number I rented for this project. In mass torts, I get at least 5 lead generation forms for every phone call. We are now trying to understand the differences in the two markets so we can change the SSDI marketing. I can only imagine it would be much worse if one person was handling social media in multiple countries.
It really depends on which regions you are targeting and how large your budget is. You are correct in that you will engage your audience more effectively if your posts are targeted to these different cultures, however the biggest downside I can see is that the consulting that you will receive from experts on each different demographic can get expensive (especially if you choose to hire them to manage each campaign). Kym was right in that you should promote in the local language at the very least. You might be surprised to find that cultures may be very similar in different countries (religion plays a big factor in this).
I would engage with the countries where most of your business comes from and focus your resources there. If you are trying to engage with new markets I would definitely consult with experts in that country who understand the consumer/b2b buying trends. Reach out to online publications in each region and present them your product and get their opinion if it would take off in that region. You can also choose to compensate them in return for hosting a release on your product.
Also consider that messaging in one country may not resonate with the consumers of others. Linguistics aside- you will need to know the slang or consumer language of the countries that you plan to target. This is where an expert will really shine.
Hope this helps!
My reaction was one person so your strategy etc is fluid. I think @Eric D. Jammer summed it up best.
Hi Guys, thanks to you all for answering my question, all the answers combined have helped me to develop a strategy, I dare say it will pivot, but thats the exciting bit, Initially I am starting with the english language and a social marketeer here in Australia, with a view to finding another for the USA, although it will be quite a simple translation to other languages later, so, thanks again....
My advice would be to think about it like this:
Start with the target audience (of course, clear goals come first):
- Geography / Languages
- Jobs/ roles/ titles
- Company size
- Net new or install
Gather as much information as you can for each segment to find out if there are homogenous groups or not.
Each segment of your audience that has specific needs / goals/ pain points need a separate message. A need could include: language, culture, use of social media in that region etc.
Prioritize all your audiences / segments and then start with the highest priority one, work your way from there.
My personal belief, as a German living in the US is that it makes sense to have local experts for your local marketing campaigns. Possibly, somebody could be an expert in a region, e.g. Europe, APAC, Latin America, USA...but in many cases, the individual cultural differences / needs / pain points are too different for a blanket message and the more you target people specifically, the more likely they are to respond.
Of course, it also depends on what type of marketing you are planning to do, and your resources. You might be able to optimize a website globally with less local input than when running a specific campaign.
Yes, it's complex.
Hi Nigel, I would say that the answer depends on the scope of your campaign and whether you will engage the countries in their own languages or not. For example, if your social media expert is fluent only in English and French, it would be a good idea to hire one that speaks Spanish if you're targeting Spanish-speaking countries. Also if you are having a lot of activity per each country, the workload can be divided among several experts.
My initial thought is, how will your social media campaign be tied to your overall marketing strategy? In your current strategy, have you properly planned for an international expansion? If I were in your shoes, I would only consider SME that have international experience in the countries you are looking to sell your products/services. You have to fully understand the cultures of each country and build a individual campaign for each individual market; certain words and phrases in America can sometimes translate into offensive terms and meanings in other cultures.
Nigel, There are no social media experts out there since the business model is evolving as we speak. To fully understand social media you have to be a developer. This is the path I've chosen.
That is a great question, I would suggest researcing a firm that specializes in a broader reach. You are going to want an expert that understands the area, culture and marketplace of your potential audience. If you span over different nations, you may find you need to adjust your campaign to the diversity of your market. Look for organizations or groups that can offer diversity and cultural understanding.
I think you should only choose 1. Any Social Media expert worth engaging will watch trends in all countries, and be able to set a strategy by region, but all as part of a global campaign.
Promoting globally can be a costly venture even when considering using social media. Many companies think it is a matter of simply getting your project/product some exposure and everyone will run to your door. Even the big guys have learned some harsh and expensive lessons.
When dealing with different countries, you need to first understand the business culture of that country. You need to then determine the "need" for your product or service in that country and if, need is determined, how to protect your proprietary rights. Finally, if you are successful in finding buyers, you need to be able to negotiate, invoice and receive your payment. Sounds like basic business but when transacting blindly, it is not.
Companies specialize in taking businesses global. Using an experience resource will save you time, money and grief. My advice is to seek out a service that provides a vast array of services to the international market and take baby steps to learn the process.