Top 5 tips for deploying an international social strategy

Developing a social media strategy in one market is tough, but what about multiple markets, all with their own time zones, languages, cultures and regulations?

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It’s tricky enough to develop a social media strategy for one country, never mind three, four or more.

When you’re dealing with multiple territories, in multiple time zones, with multiple stakeholders, it takes a little bit of wizardry to get it right. Here are our 5 ways you can get cracking.

Get your ducks in a row

Always start by appraising what you’ve got. Track conversation by country using a social monitoring tool such as Topsy or Brandwatch and work with native speakers to understand what people are saying about you.

You’ll also want to take stock of the social accounts you have to unearth inconsistencies in branding.

Once you’ve unearthed all of this, you’ve essentially taken a stock take of everything you have and you can start to take action

But not before you…

Understand your audience

You’ll never know if your social content is appropriate for your audience unless you work out what your audience want.  Because of the variance in territories, you’re likely to get nuances in audience preference.

I always say the best way to figure out what your audience want is just to ask them. Social profiling tools like Global Web Index allow you to ask an audience questions such as “how do you want to interact with us as a brand?” and segment that audience by country or language.

Empower local markets

You’ve amassed a load of information and now you feel truly in charge. The problem is you can’t go all dictator on your markets. A critical step to making this process succeed is to empower people in local markets. Having centralised efforts and assets can help to provide content for markets struggling to come up with ideas but empower them to use the insights about their audience to create their own content, under centralised guidelines.

Don’t go broad brush

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube might be the biggest social networks in the world, but don’t forget the little guys, or the social networks that are massive in certain countries – for a start, you’ve got to consider VK for Eastern Europe and Tuenti for Spain.

Don’t forget regulations either, lots of countries have strict guidelines on access to social media so don’t go breaking these guidelines.

Centralise reporting

Centralising your reporting efforts will make everyone’s lives easier and save a ton of time. You can look at a global view of conversations happening through social listening tools and segment out the volume of conversation by territory, or if you want to take it a step further (and spend a bit of cash with Facebook), you can set up a Facebook Global page which enables each of your territories to have their own Facebook page but you have shared analytics, which means one report, not 17. What a relief.

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