The fastest growing sources of information for international marketing are the discussions and exchanges among consumers on social networks. Due to a constant presence in the lives of their users, social networks have a decidedly strong social impact and the companies should learn how to get smart insights for their global growth needs.
For global startups and businesses, understanding their key markets is substantial. The leading social networks are usually available in multiple languages and enable users to connect with friends or people across geographical, political or economic borders. As per Statista, 2 billion internet users are using social networks and these figures are still expected to grow. While the global average penetration rate stood at 45 percent in 2019, North America’s social network penetration rate was at around 70 percent. This means that there is huge potential for insights but the spread is not even.
The social networks are used by companies for their international marketing and communication needs, to build their online communities and to derive actionable marketing insights to better understand each country and market. Here are some key insights drawn from social media:
- Determine brand health and sentiment for your company or your competitor
- Monitor the activity of your brand or competitor’s
- Identify potential customers, partnerships and influencers
- Influence international marketing and product decisions
- Uncover country trends
We have decided to focus this article on insights generation through analytics based on social networks communication. Let’s learn how to apply this powerful data for your international development and help you with some tactics for a knowledge-based global marketing strategy.
Here is our 5 Steps Guide to gain insights from social networks for a better understanding of your international markets:
1.Understand their global relevance and coverage
Understanding the global coverage of each network helps you understand the weight of the data from each network for your global analysis. For example, the social network Twitter is particularly popular in the United States (49 M), Japan (38 M), United Kingdom (14 M), Saudi Arabian (10 M), Russia (9.9 M) etc. Instagram is mostly used in United States (15%), Russia (8%), Brazil (7.5%), Turkey (4.6%) and United Kingdom (4%). Facebook is widely used in India (260 M), United States (190 M), Brazil (120), Indonesia (120) and Mexico (79). (Source: Statista)
Companies should use the international insights from social networks in an objective manner same as any other marketing research.
- Choose and follow the most relevant social networks for your company
Each social network has certain specificities. Companies perform best when they are focused and thus selecting the most relevant social networks can help you gain more accurate insights. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are considered “relationship networks”. Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat are media sharing networks. The adoption of these networks is different according to each industry. As per Spredfast, the most relevant social networks for healthcare industry are Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. For financial services, they recommend LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. For their international marketing, companies should understand these differencesand specifics and apply accordingly.
- Understand the tools to obtain insights and get value for your company’s international marketing
Currently more and more companies are using social media analytics in international market research. Social media analytics is the gathering of data from social media platforms to help inform and guide marketing strategy. Having the right tools to conduct social media analysis means you can gather information on demand, sentiments, trends and audiences to better cater to your target market’s needs.
- Keywords selection – most crucial step for social media analytics
Keyword research is one of the first – and most crucial – steps in any search marketing campaign, organic or paid. Same applies to international social media analytics. The initial step whilst starting a social media analytics program is to figure out which are the most relevant keywords for your sector or for your products. Ask yourself the question, does the keyword or phrase really match what your business does or whom it targets? Let’s take the example of a company wanting to gather analytics for “e-commerce.” This term might be a little broad. In a case like this, we would recommend “e-commerce” as part of a keyword phrase, like “e-commerce solution provider.” Being more specific, helps gather more relevant and accurate insights.
- Apply the knowledge to your Go-to-market strategy for each market
Use the insights from the social media analytics for your go-to-market strategy for each country:
- a) Each country has its specifics. Understand them and be present in the appropriate and the most used channel in the country for your industry;
- b) Customers have different cultures and customs. Adapt the communication according to the topics followed and sentiments of the potential customers;
- c) Apply the insights. Differentiate your communication from your competitors and use their weakness in your favor.
After all, analytics are tools to help you tune properly your international strategy and social media analytics is just one of those tools and it becomes more and more powerful every day.
North America and China are the trend setters on social media. 92 percent of BtoB marketers in North America use social media content as part of their marketing tactics. 68 percent of American SMEs stated having a profile on social networking sites. As a global player, each company needs to apply this knowledge into their global expansion strategy.
Use Prime Target tools to easily access global social media analytics that are relevant to your business on social media—and then start growing your markets.