"Social media is a lot like sex. Everyone talks about it. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how."
That's a quote from our recent Social Media is a Lot Like Sex deck, and we think that sentiment rings particularly true for companies trying to implement a global social media strategy. I mean, at any moment you could be trying to engage with someone who uses a different social network than you'd expect, speaks a different native language than your company's, or even has cultural nuances of which you're unaware. Needless to say, there's a lot of moving parts.
So what's a global marketer to do? Well, stop guessing for one -- instead, use data to help inform your social media strategies! That's why we've collected 62 stats that help paint a picture of how social media works around the world, 20 of which we're going to highlight in this blog post. Plus, we're going to show you how those stats can be boiled down into some insightful global social media strategies that global marketers might want to consider.
Strategy 1: Optimize social media for mobile.
1) 26% of daily media consumption by Australians takes place on mobile devices. (Source: ClickZ) Tweet This Stat!
5) One key area of growth in Italy this year is in mobile internet users. In 2012, one-third of all mobile users will access internet on their phones. (Source: New Media Trend Watch) Tweet This Stat!
You know that stat about how more people in the world own mobile phones than toothbrushes? You've probably heard it more than once -- and perhaps debated its validity -- but either way, it segues nicely into the fact that mobile optimization is critical for global social media marketers.
In fact, Daily Mail published a study that next to browsing the web, checking social media sites is the most common activity users perform on their smartphones. You know where making an actual phone call came in on that list? Fifth.
If you use social media platforms to promote your offers and lead visitors back to your site (hint: you should), make sure your website and its content are mobile optimized -- because 61% of customers who visit a site that isn't mobile friendly are likely to visit a competitor's site. Similarly, be sure you're sharing content that appeals more to mobile users. That means more short form content that can be quickly consumed and shared, as opposed to your meatier assets that might be better reserved for other channels.
Strategy 2: Understand which social networks are best for your target demographic.
6) 60% of Australian consumers have ceased engagement with certain brands because of poorly targeted communications. (Source: Marketing Mag) Tweet This Stat!
7) Norwegian marketers might want to target younger users with Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest since they are particularly popular for those under 30, and among technology innovators. LinkedIn tends to attract users of higher education and income. (Source: Kampanje) Tweet This Stat!
8) In Russia, however, you might target early adopters with Facebook, who also tend to be young, global-minded, and have money. Odnoklassniki users tend to be older, at 25-35 years old. (Source: Kampanje) Tweet This Stat!
9) You could target college students and recent graduates in Spain with Tuenti, whose users are typically between 18 and 24. Users who use social media a lot tend to be on Facebook, while light users tend to be on YouTube. (Source: ECCO Social Media) Tweet This Stat!
12) If you are a B2B company, consider LinkedIn for your US audience. Our study showed that 65% of B2B respondents had acquired a customer through LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter are more effective for B2C companies, and 77% and 59% have acquired customers through the channels, respectively. (Source: HubSpot) Tweet This Stat!
Not every social network is created equal. It’s important to know which platforms your target audience is using and customize your message accordingly so that you don't waste valuable marketing hours and dollars. Choosing the right platforms for a global audience, however, might mean doing a little research into social networks you never even thought of using -- or some you never even knew existed!
Strategy 3: Understand your audience's online activities, and tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.
14) Russian social networkers use V Kontakte heavily, which lets users stream music and movies. They spend an average of 20 minutes a day there, compared to only 3 minutes a day on Facebook. (Source: DreamGrow) Tweet This Stat!
15) Young men in Sweden spend the most internet time playing online games, while young women spend their time online reading for leisure or blogging. (Source: Science Daily) Tweet This Stat!
16) Viewing videos is the top online activity in Brazil. In December 2011, Brazilians viewed more than 4.7 billion online videos, a 74% increase from the previous year. (Source: comScore) Tweet This Stat!
It’s great to know where your audience interacts in cyberspace, but it's even better to find out what activities they engage in on those spaces. Do they love posting and browsing photos? Launch a photo submission contest. Are they streaming and sharing videos? Create a how-to video they can learn from. By knowing what online activities are most popular among your audience, you can customize your campaign content to be even more targeted, making even better use of your precious marketing time and dime.
Strategy 4: Offer online promotions and encourage user-generated content.
17) 81% of Brazilians use social media to look for new products, and more than 75% look for special discounts. Users see social media as a good source to learn about brand experiences. (Source: Latin Link) Tweet This Stat!
18) 67% of Irish people research brands/products on social media, and 74% of Irish users writing about brands do so because of a special offer. (Source: MrLukeAbbott.com) Tweet This Stat!
19) 71% of Australians read other consumers’ opinions and discussions about brands online. Also, 24% of Australian consumers say they use social media to make purchase decisions. (Sources: Branding Personality, Econsultancy) Tweet This Stat!
20) Chinese users are 3 times more likely than Americans to make a purchasing decision based on user-generated content on social networks, such as blog posts or comments. (Source: ClickZ) Tweet This Stat!
Our research shows that using social networks to research products, read reviews, and look for promotional offers is a worldwide phenomenon. And these folks are probably already interested in your product, service, or brand ... which means they're qualified prospects you don't want to miss out on! That means you should ensure there's plenty of customer reviews and useful information about your product online. If you need help accumulating online reviews, check out this blog post that breaks down how you can get started.