Working in Europe, I'm constantly hearing about social media programs designed for one country accidentally reaching users in other countries — especially when they're done in English. Toyota's excellent social media-focused iQ car launch in the UK attracted attention from the US, where the car isn't available. Yesterday a client told me that their Australian marketing team launched a Facebook page that they thought was just for their market — but when they looked at the analytics, they found that only about 5% of the page's fans were Australian, with the rest coming from other big English-speaking markets.
As I see it, there are two big challenges when global companies use social media:
- How do you best leverage social media resources from one country (be they staff, technologies, partnerships, or content) across other countries to improve your efficiency and effectiveness?
- How do you keep social media messages that are appropriate for just one market (because product availability, or specifications, or pricing, or marketing message can vary from place to place) from "bleeding out" to reach users in other markets?
I'm planning to write some research on this topic in the near future and would love to hear your thoughts! Please join in the discussion on the Forrester Interactive Marketing Community, or drop me an email at nelliott at forrester dot com.