Where Are Your Customers?
If you are looking to expand the reach of your business outside your country of original, then you are GOING GLOBAL. Fortunately for you, social media can help make that transition a little easier.
First Things First
The best part about social media is the way it allows you to communicate with potential clients and customers around the world and right next door. Social media is all about enhancing relationships. By building relationships you can promote your brand and help build trust with people who have never heard of you before. Participating in their online social media conversations is a great way to make that happen.
Others Have Passed This Way Before
Yours is not the first company to go global, and those who have done it before have left a trail of bread crumbs for you to follow…
For e-business, the common questions related to global expansion tend to revolve around two main issues: potential and cost.
For the former, companies research markets, buying habits and competition. For the latter, too many are lured by seemingly inexpensive tactics that fail to pay off and ultimately cost more than they should.
Unfortunately, the proliferation of social media marketing contributes to this issue. Particularly for organizations that have successfully moved closer to domestic customers via Twitter and Facebook, the temptation to build international outreach efforts on these platforms is great.
However, organizations need to move carefully to translate those social media activities into international expansion. On the path to globalization, businesses should be wary of these common pitfalls:
1. Let social media efforts carry the international marketing campaign.
So many domestic marketing campaigns have experienced high-profile success on social media. Why shouldn’t that translate easily to global markets? Because despite its accessibility and hype, social media alone can’t support an otherwise faulty international marketing plan. It’s important that businesses view social media as one part of an integrated approach created with sound international search engine marketing (ISEM) strategies at its center.
Translation and localization experts should guide ISEM. This starts with careful research into relevant keywords that reflect the subtleties of regional dialects and colloquial speech, as well as the habits of preferred search engines. Google dominates most global search activity, but in some sizable international markets, including China and Russia, consumers are more likely to use other engines that employ different search algorithms than Google.
2. Isolate social media efforts from the rest of the international marketing strategy.
ISEM efforts should serve as the foundation for everything a company does to market itself abroad. Companies should use their keywords to tie together the messaging in targeted pay-per-click ads, relevant landing pages, multilingual rich media, adapted banner ads, out-of-home advertising, experiential marketing with people on the ground, philanthropic community involvement, and events like launch parties and networking functions, as well as social media outreach.
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