There’s a definite shift going on in social media at the moment.
It comes in the form of a major move from seeing social media as something ‘ad hoc’ and tactical to seeing it as something that needs a framework, a strategy and an overall plan in order to actually deliver on its promises.
Some might have had a “well, obviously” moment, when Twitter’s UK sales director this week said that campaigns on the platform must “have an objective” – but he tapped into a sentiment that brands are now understanding too. It’s no longer OK to ‘wing it’.
One element of this is the desire by businesses to make sure that their social media works not just locally, but in every market in which they have a presence.
It’s often said that the world is now smaller than ever. But in terms of social media – which is, at the end of the day, about how people behave – we’re as different from our neighbours around the globe as we’ve always been.
People use platforms differently in different markets. And of course, they sometimes use different platforms altogether.
At the same time, a brand might have a global positioning – or may be seen very differently in different markets. Legislation may differ for some brands in other territories.
It is, in short, a delicate thing to get right.
So how can you make sure that your social media is aligned around the world as well as it can be?
Here are three ways in which you can begin to make sure your social media is working as well in Britain as in Botswana:
Global strategy, local implementation.
Having a central framework is essential to understanding how to plan for social media in different markets.
Not only do you need to allocate resources effectively, but you need to be
able to provide content that’s right for different markets, at appropriate times.
Having some sort of overview is essential to having any element of control or understanding – and to make sure everything is run as efficiently as possible.
Communication is a two way street.
It’s not enough to tag ‘local’ on at the end. Discussion with your local markets needs to be fed in from the start, and continually. This is where you’ll get your insight and knowledge.
Local teams are not just your boots on the ground, but they’re your eyes on and ears too. Set up regular conference calls or try to make sure teams or representatives meet face to face as often as they can.
Where are decisions made?
Empower your local team to make decisions (and let them know that you’ll support them). But also make it clear when things need to be escalated to global management.
A clear line of responsibility will make everyone more confident and empower them to do their job better.
Steve Richards is MD of social media agency Yomego.