Social media: A cost-effective marketing solution
With a clear idea of how you want to present your business in your target market, you’ll want to explore various ways of getting the word out about your business.
Social media is one of the fastest, most effective ways to raise awareness about your company and sell your goods and services in markets anywhere in the world.
Here’s a sampling of popular digital platforms in specific markets across the globe.
Social media around the world
While Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are popular across the globe, these platforms are blocked in some countries. In other countries, competing social media platforms are worth exploring.
WeChat: China’s top social media platform
WeChat is one of the world’s largest mobile apps, with more than one billion monthly active users in 2018, according to the company.
What was originally a messaging app has grown to include video and picture sharing, games, stickers and the ability to share WeChat moments with friends. It’s also a major social commerce and payments platform that can be used to pay for a taxi, a movie or even a flight.
The messaging app is usually used as part of a content promotion strategy, where messages are regularly sent to subscribers, although there are a variety of other tactics that can be used on the platform.
WeChat’s parent company, Tencent, is also the owner of QQ, a gigantic social media network worth exploring if you’re trying to enter the Chinese market.
Weibo: A Chinese Twitter-Facebook hybrid
Weibo is a microblogging site reporting more than 400 million monthly users in 2018.
Strategies used for marketing on this platform aren’t much different than those used on Twitter or Facebook.
Mercado Livre: A Latin American e-commerce site
Although not strictly a social media website, Mercado livre is the go-to e-commerce site for shoppers in Brazil.
Taringa!: A South American Facebook competitor
Taringa! is a social network with a strong Spanish-speaking following in Argentina, Colombia, Spain and Peru.
Line, Viber and KakaoTalk: Facebook’s instant messaging competition
Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Messenger are the two most popular messaging apps in most countries around the world. However, in a few countries, other apps are competing head on with Facebook.
- Viber is a popular messaging app in Eastern Europe, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.
- Line is Japan’s most popular messaging app.
- KaokaoTalk is popular in South Korea.
- BlackBerry’s BBM is Indonesia’s top messaging app.
VKontakte: Russia’s Facebook
VKontakte, also know as VK, is the most popular website in Russia and the most popular social media site in Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Global marketing: Local thinking
Regardless of where you export, make sure to research the social media platform options popular with locals.
Maintaining a website is also important. You can use it to educate consumers, suppliers and manufacturers about who you are, what you’re about and why they should do business with you.
Customer service is key to success wherever you do business, but if you can’t speak the same language as your customers, communication will be extremely challenging. Think about the following solutions.
- Hire local staff, even temporarily, so they can translate customer concerns and issues for you.
- Build relationships with local influencers—marketing firms, distributors, commercial organizations—who have “on the ground” knowledge and experience about business regulations, customer expectations and buying trends in your choice country. Forming partnerships can help strengthen your market presence.
This article was written by EDC for use and publication by BDC. For more information, visit EDC’s website at www.edc.ca.