When we talk social media with our clients, we are generally looking at Facebook, Twitter, Google+, whether to use YouTube or Vine, and if Instagram or Pinterest would be appropriate for their business. People who market within the UK, or even to the US and Canada, are familiar with these platforms, and how we can use them together to build their customer base.
But what if your customers are in China? Or Russia? Or Brazil?
Digital marketing overseas
The first thing to look at when you are drawing up an overseas marketing strategy, is just how cost effective it might be. It’s no good thinking that just because India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are all in the top ten most populous countries in the world, and are all neighbours, that their internet saturation and social media usage would be broadly similar, and throwing all your money at advertising and marketing online in south Asia.
On the contrary; whilst India has the third highest number of internet users worldwide, the actual penetration of the internet is only 19.19%, Bangladesh is even lower at 6.3%.
Similarly, you might look at the vast number of internet users in China and think that marketing via social media would be a piece of cake. However, the tight government controls on Chinese internet and social media – known as the Great Firewall of China – means that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and anything to do with Google, are all banned.
Examining the market
The next step is to start by looking at the statistics related to social media in your target country. In China, for example, the top five social media platforms are:
but the demographics, and capabilities of each are quite different.
QQ has the highest number of active users – second only to Facebook worldwide – but is actually not ideal as a marketing platform, as the predominant demographic is young students, often in rural areas.
RenRen is much better placed to allow foreign brands to create marketing opportunities – it is very similar to Facebook in concept and design. However, unless it seriously ups its mobile game, investing in long-term digital marketing on this platform could turn out to be a waste of money.
Do your research
This should be a given, but in any element of marketing it is important to do your research. Don’t allow your personal view of any particular social media platform to colour your business decisions.
You might think that LiveJournal has had its day, but it still has a large number of Russian users. You might have heard that Google’s Orkut has a huge number of users in Brazil, but it actually closed its virtual doors last year, allowing Google to focus on other services that had a wider global appeal.
At Digital Cherry we strive to achieve excellence across all our social media platforms every day, and we are constantly challenging ourselves to learn more about existing, and newly created services. If you are looking to hire a digital marketing expert, give us a call.