For businesses, social media is an opportunity to connect with existing and potential customers around the world. But do you know enough to use it effectively? If you think a “one country fits all” social strategy is enough, think again. Here are 11 statistics about social media around the world to fuel your international marketing campaigns:
Asia now has more internet users than Western Europe and North America put together.
- East Asia now has 867 million internet users, up 12% from last year. South Asia has 480 million. In comparison, Western Europe has only 345 million. North America has 315 million. Tweet this
- 48% of people in East Asia and 37% of people in South East Asia have social media accounts. Tweet this
International Marketing Takeaways: Planning to market your business in Asia? The internet is your friend. Localised social media should be part of your marketing strategy. That means targeting content to local languages and preferences. It may also mean developing a presence on local social networks. These networks can rival or exceed Western giants like Facebook in some markets.
Mobile is taking over the world.
Not everyone can afford a desktop computer. Mobile phones, on the other hand, are a more accessible gateway to the internet.
- 39% of web traffic is mobile worldwide. The percentage of mobile traffic is especially high in Africa- 82% of Nigerian web traffic is via mobile device. Tweet this
International Marketing Takeaways: Consider the consider technological limitations your customers might face in different parts of the world. Make sure your social media content looks good on screens of all sizes.
Social Media for international marketing is about more than just Facebook.
In fact, your average Western internet user hasn’t even heard of some of the world’s top social networks.
- 3 of the top 10 social networking sites in the world are Chinese: QQ, Qzone, and WeChat. Tweet this
- Chinese messaging app QQ has 860 million users, more than Twitter and Tumblr combined. Tweet this
International Marketing Takeaways: For international marketing, social media is about more than just Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Often, local social networking sites are just as important, if not more so. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring them. Want an example of a company using a local social networking site effectively? Check out this case study of how Marriott uses WeChat to connect with customers and recruit employees in China.
What country has the highest social media penetration? No, it’s not the United States.
The country with the highest social media penetration is…Taiwan.
- 77% percent of the population uses social media, compared to just 59% of the population in the US. Tweet this
- South Korea has the highest number of social media users, with 38.4 million active accounts. Tweet this
International Marketing Takeaways: It’s true that Facebook and Twitter were invented in the United States. However, that doesn’t make the US, the UK and other English-speaking countries any more “social” than other parts of the world.
Facebook translates, but is it enough?
- Facebook now serves 2 billion translations a day using its own machine translation system. Tweet this
International Marketing Takeaways: Obviously, the demand for translated content on social media is increasing. That said, businesses should be cautious about relying Facebook’s automatic translations. As with all machine translations, they are not 100% accurate. Also, they don’t take into account any of the many cultural nuances that can make the same content succeed in one place and fail in another.
English is number one on Facebook, but for how long?
English may be the number one language on Facebook, but Portuguese is the fastest-growing.
- From 2010 to 2012, the number of English users on Facebook grew by 69%. The number of Portuguese users, on the other hand, grew by over 800%! Tweet this
- The second fastest-growing language on Facebook was Arabic. It was followed by German. Tweet this
International Marketing Takeaway: Looking at the languages in use on a particular network now will only tell you half the story. To maximise your advantage, you also need to know what languages are growing.
Tweeting only in English? You’re only reaching half the network.
Something to keep in mind: Twitter users are more likely to retweet and mention tweets in their preferred languages.
International Marketing Takeaways: Twitter is an effective tool to reach customers worldwide. However, there’s one caveat. If you are marketing on Twitter, you will have a hard time reaching your customers if you don’t speak their language.
As you can see, social media is an increasingly important part of international marketing. But there’s no “one size fits all” social strategy that will work everywhere. Seek assistance from someone familiar with both the languages and culture of the countries you plan to market to. At K International, our experts use their knowledge and skills to help you create localised content marketing and social media campaigns that connect with your customers no matter where they are.