Here’s How Social Media Allows Your Brand to be Both Local and Global
Consumers, particularly millennials, don’t just care about products and services, they also care about a brand’s values and their impact on the community. Supporting local businesses, writes Forbes, is increasingly important to younger generations. In fact, half of millennials would pay more to support a small business.
Much of the appeal of small businesses is their connection to the community and the community-building work they do. However, brands with a global presence can still foster a local presence by becoming a part of the community, and social media is one of the best ways to build those connections.
It’s no longer enough for global brands to simply have social media accounts in languages that correspond to their markets. Brands must now communicate authentically with their individual audiences — they must truly understand their audiences and demonstrate that they’re listening. With social media, brands who develop both a global and a local presence, like the Four Seasons Hotels, are amplifying their messages and connecting with audiences and potential customers while still maintaining a cohesive message.
There are three important ways that social media can help brands maintain cohesion while building connections locally: social media helps brands understand which content is effective, it helps foster collaboration among local markets, and it helps brands connect globally.
Social media helps brands understand what content is working
Live Nation Entertainment’s marketing model is “hub and spoke: the Live Nation central team creates content to support their local marketers across the United States.” Managing all of this with Live Nation’s numbers isn’t easy: they have 325 social media accounts, 133 users, and more than 32,000 artists to promote.
But with social media, Live Nation can easily monitor what their local markets are posting so that they always know which posts perform well and which don’t. Social media software like the Khoros platform helps you easily schedule and share content among many users, helping your brand maintain a consistent voice and social media content strategy.
For example, a tweet from Live Nation's main account concerns a popular singer’s upcoming tour (a message with a wide appeal), while a tweet from the UK account is tailored specifically to UK audiences, right down to the language.
When Live Nation Entertainment made changes to keep a close watch on the performance of their local social media accounts and adjusted content as necessary, they achieved content creation and distribution that was twice as fast, they saw a 30% year-over-year increase in content shared, and a 20% increase in daily engagement (read more here). Live Nation demonstrates how the right social media tools can make all the difference.
Social media can foster collaboration
U.S. based engineering company National Instruments is truly global, with offices in twenty countries. Crafting an effective global message is important to the brand, but the perspective of each local market is also crucial. Social media helps National Instruments not only manage their brand voice, but it also helps them ensure collaboration among regional offices and their corporate headquarters. With social media, National Instruments can make sure all of its local offices are responding to the needs of those local customers, while also making sure they are on-message with corporate’s overall needs.
With audience segmentation and targeting, National Instruments was able to increase engagement with their social media by 464% over a six month period. They were also able to increase their year-over-year followers by 27% (with no extra fan acquisition dollars spent). Social media software made global social account coordination and collaboration 50% more efficient (find out more here).
Social media helps brands connect with global audiences
Brands with a global presence need more than just social media accounts in regional languages — they also need to connect with local audiences in culturally relevant ways. “Brands with global ambitions must understand and embrace the broad similarities of people across the globe while also taking into consideration the differences at a local level where culture is subjective, changeable, and above all, personal,” writes Brand Quarterly.
Often, this means different messages for different locations. But sometimes, a brand is able to connect globally with one cohesive message. They “connect globally in a way that feels local” to their audiences. Johnnie Walker’s ‘Keep Walking’ campaign is a shining example of this. The whiskey brand, “Sustained tremendous global flex over the years by using culturally relevant quotes and messaging that connected with markets all over the world,” writes Brand Quarterly.
Social media can help your brand express many different aspects of itself, including both global cohesiveness and local connections. More strategies to build your brand on social media can be found in our Social Media Pocket Guide.