Break into new markets through social media

By Rowan Grace Evans | 21 Jul 2015

When looking at international social strategies, there are some scenarios we come across time and time again. What doesn't change, however, are the principles which should found the basis of entering a new market through social media.

How do you approach this?

As always, whether you're taking a local or international approach, it's key to clue up on your audience by conducting research to understand what makes them tick and piques their interest. That being said, when launching an international social media campaign, it's these subtleties and nuances which will make or break your brand in a multinational setting. Thorough research will help develop quality content and engage different markets based on their interests. It's important to remember that social is a very personal form of advertising and, as such, it is vital that brands take local sensitivities and cultural idiosyncrasies into consideration across the breadth of their strategy.

If we take the example of the UK and the US, it's easy to see why we might expect there to be many commonalities in how we would choose to communicate with each. It'd be wrong to assume that because the two countries have a lot in common that the US wouldn't be deserving of a more targeted approach, and it's this consideration which will help a brand stick out from the rest. The US has its own set of concerns and preferences which are dissimilar to those of the UK, therefore investigating social tools such as Crimson Hexagon and Sysomos is highly recommended. Such tools allow small businesses to understand how their social audience is behaving in a given location, as well as in their sector.

It's key to note that when breaking into new markets, having a strong social media strategy is not about being present on all social platforms, but about really understanding your audience, speaking to them in a targeted way, in order to grow brand awareness and gain customers in each market to power the growth of your business.

Attracting and retaining new customers overseas

Making the decision to delve into new markets is a big task, and the last thing you want is for it to flop and tarnish the brand. In order to avoid this worst-case scenario, research should be undertaken into the actions taken by your main competitors and what messages they are promoting in the region. This will help evaluate whether the market is crowded and what kind of messaging is already being used so that you can differentiate your brand and carve out your own space within that market. Establishing a unique and relevant voice, that plays to the benefits of your product or service, enables engagement and the ability to forge a connection as you'll have created an identity that sparks the attention of the right people.

Entering new markets

We're living in an age where our audiences are clustered based on very specific social nuances, speaking to their interests as well as their geographical location. This is something that has to be taken into consideration when thinking about entering new markets. It's not a case of zooming out and looking at huge groups of people and finding basic commonalities. It's about understanding what really sets different markets apart and why, and what this might mean when targeting different promotions. Do it right, and you'll be off to a flying start in any new market you enter.