Social media campaigns are becoming more integrated into the overall online marketing mix. And as with anything on the Web, you need to think global to succeed in the long term.
To succeed with social media marketing for different cultures, you need to familiarise yourself with what’s happening in social media around the world.
You must research the emerging trends and identify where the social media hotspots are. You also need to consider that different social networks are popular in different parts of the world. You should carefully research which networks are popular in the regions you aim to target
With that in mind, here is a summary of the most popular social networks in various countries around the world.
Skyrock.com is a popular social network in France. It’s second to Facebook but it has over eleven million users locally. Skyrock began as a blogging network and many prominent French political institutions have chosen Skyrock as their preferred blogging platform.
German people have been relatively slow to adopt social media. In 2009, an article on ReadWriteWeb suggested that Germany was five years behind the USA in terms of social media adoption.
The VZnet group of social networks is popular in Germany with over seventeen million users across its studiVZ, meinVZ and schülerVZ websites. Two of the networks, studiVZ and schülerVZ, are aimed at students and schoolchildren, while meinVZ is for non-students.
With over half a million users, IRC-Galleria is Finland’s largest social network. It started life as a photo gallery for Finnish users of IRC (Internet Relay Chat), but now less than a fifth of its members are IRC users. Most visitors to the site are aged 13-22 with the average user being twenty years old.
Renren.com and Qzone.com are the biggest networks in China. Renren is a Facebook clone. It is popular with students and claims to have over 120 million users. Qzone claims to have over 380 million users, but many of these are likely to be dormant accounts opened via QQ network, which is China’s largest instant messenger service and owned by the same company.
Twitter’s official Japanese site has grown to around five million active users since it was launched in 2008.
Twitter.jp employs a revenue model where users can charge their followers to view their tweets, either on a monthly basis or for each single tweet. In Japan, users are willing to pay for content, especially on the mobile web. Many online marketers are excited by the fact that writing in Japanese and Chinese characters enables Twitter users to squeeze a lot more content into a single tweet than if it were written in English.
In mid-2010, Facebook overtook Orkut in India in terms of monthly unique visitors. Facebook now has 20.87 million visitors, compared to Orkut’s 19.87 (according to July 2010 Comscore data).
Most English-speaking online marketers will already have experience of creating campaigns on Facebook and Orkut, which makes India an attractive market to target via social media. BharatStudent is another popular network in India with 4.32 million monthly unique visitors. As its name suggests, this network has a young demographic and is popular with students.
In Brazil, Orkut is by far the largest social network. In fact, over half of Orkut’s worldwide traffic comes from Brazil, which equates to around twenty million monthly visits.
Despite the size of audience, it represents a fairly narrow demographic with half of Orkut users being under 25 and 80% male. Sonico.com is a popular network targeted at Latin American users and has around eight million members in Brazil. MySpace has been the third biggest social network in Brazil for some time, but it now seems likely that Facebook will take the number three position.
Russians are avid users of social media. Twitter and Facebook are both popular, but the largest Russian social network is Vkontakte.ru. It has over seventy million registered users and at least fourteen million visitors per day. Many Russians tend to use English for personal posts on social networks, and revert to Russian for business and work-related networking.
About the author
Christian Arno is founder of Lingo24, one of the UK’s fastest growing translation agencies. With 150 full-time employees, and a network of over 4,000 translators, Lingo24 secured a turnover of $8m in 2010.