InsightsStrategy

Social Media Management for International and Multi-Location Businesses

By February 11, 2016 November 8th, 2017 No Comments

We live in a global world, where even relatively small businesses often work with clients, colleagues, and consumers in different countries or locations. This is great, since it means the international market is open to anyone with the right product and a good head for business. However, when it comes to synchronizing social media marketing across multiple offices or targeting different geographical locations, ensuring that the quality of your messaging and content remains consistent can be difficult.

It’s social media 101 that everything you put out on your digital channels needs to adopt the same tone and voice. If not, you put yourself in danger of diluting your message and losing your customers’ interest. To avoid this scenario, here are my tips for ensuring great social media management across different geographic areas.

One Man Band, Single Employee, or Team – All Require a SMM Tool

Depending on the size of your organization, you may do all of your social media yourself, hire one individual to do it on your behalf (this includes freelancers), or have one or more dedicated social media team. Because even the smallest business can operate internationally, any one of these types of organization may have to learn how to implement social media campaigns in different locations.

If you take responsibility for your social media campaigns yourself, then using a social media management tool will likely be essential – especially if you’re running campaigns in different time-zones. A good social media marketing tool will allow you to schedule content for publishing on multiple networks in advance, meaning that you can still maximize on the best posting times without waiting up till the wee hours. It will also allow you to review the efficacy of your campaigns (and even single posts) so that you can refine them for each of your demographics’ preferences.

If you hire a single person to run all of your social media campaigns, giving them access to a good social media marketing tool will also be necessary. That way, you put your employee in the best position to make the most of your digital channels. However, unless they’re extremely well qualified, it’s always best to lay down some ground rules in terms of what’s appropriate and what’s not. This means creating a “social media style guide”, detailing the tone that all social communication should take, how many updates are required for each of your sites each day, what type of content to link to or re-post, and so on.

If you employ a team to take care of your social media, then you, too, can benefit from a social media marketing tool. The best of these tools allow you to add multiple accounts so that members of your team(s) can see what other members are doing, see what’s already been taken care of, review how other’s posts are performing, and share content internally.

If you have more than one social media team, and they each operate in a different time zone, a social media marketing tool is a great way to ensure cohesion and transparency between your teams, since it will allow everyone to read from the same sheet.

Keep it Local

No matter which geographical locations you’re targeting, the people belonging to them will all have one thing in common: an interest in local news and local updates. Therefore, in addition to any interesting industry relevant news, you should also make sure that you regularly post interesting local news stories.

To make sure you don’t miss out on juicy local news, make the most of your social media management tool’s ability to set up RSS feeds. Do this for all of the locations you’re operating in and you’ll be able to hand-pick the most interesting and relevant news stories for each of the geographical areas you’re targeting with ease.

By showing your followers that you have an awareness of what’s going on in their area, you show them that your business isn’t a faceless entity, but rather one with human interests.

If you operate a B2C business, you want customers to get a feel for your personality. A great way to do this is by adding your own opinion whenever you republish a local news story.

There is a danger here, especially if you’ve outsourced your social media, since your staff’s opinion may not necessarily reflect yours – and you don’t want to have them run every story along with their opinion past you before posting. For this reason, it may be a good idea to stick to light-hearted local news stories, and avoid more serious ones.

If you operate a B2B business, local news is still important. However, since your followers will likely be visiting your page(s) from a professional perspective, you may want to stick to stories that are interesting from a business point of view. Most local publications have a business section, so be sure to follow any happenings and post the most interesting.

Stay Efficient

It’s true that operating social media campaigns in various locations can run into efficiency problems. Managing social media for one location is tricky enough, and adding more into the mix simply makes the whole process more complicated.

However, efficiency levels don’t have to drop as you add more locations and campaigns.

If you’re running multiple campaigns yourself, most good social media management tools allow you to schedule content way in advance, so that you can be sure your posting regularly. In addition, some tools (like www.meetedgar.com) allow you to automate the publishing of evergreen content so that it doesn’t go to waste. Keeping up of multiple campaigns on your own is possible, you just need to set aside enough time and work efficiently.

If you’re outsourcing social media, there is often an inverse relationship between good communication and low productivity. This means that, if you employ an individual to take care of your social media campaigns, ensuring that you regularly keep an eye on what they’re doing, tell them what you want and any changes that you’ve thought of, and read and assess social media reports with them, you’ll help them understand your needs and refine the campaign accordingly.

For the same reason, if you have multiple teams operating your social media channels, it’s imperative that these teams communicate what’s working for them, what things they think they could’ve done better, and ideas for future campaigns with each other. To make sure that this is the case, organize weekly or bi-weekly meetings (or e-meetings) between the teams, and attend as many as is possible yourself.

Now, most of the advice contained in this article depends (or is significantly easier to implement) if you use a social media marketing tool. There are lots of these tools available and, short of testing each one, it can often be hard to figure out which one is right for you (or whether you’re using the right one).

This infographic rocks

…has been created using ratings and reviews from real social media management tool users and shows which are the top rated tools for 2015. If you’re not sure which tool is for you, this is a great place to start. The infographic names Hootsuite, AgoraPulse, Spout Social, and Sendible as the best social media marketing tools of 2015.

Are you running campaigns in multiple regions? If so, how are you finding it? Or perhaps you have some tips of your own you’d like to share? Either way, let me know with a comment.

Written by: Lilach Bullock
Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach Bullock has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street with her presence! In a nutshell, she’s a hugely connected and highly influential serial entrepreneur – the embodiment of Digital Intelligence.

Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and likewise as one of the top social media power influencers, she is one of the most dynamic personalities in the social media market and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. Recently a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award (by the Global
Connections for Women Foundation, GC4W) for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.

After launching her first business within three years of becoming a mother, her financial success was recognised by being a finalist at the Best MumPreneur of the Year Awards, presented at 10 Downing Street. Following a resultant offer and wishing to spend more time with her daughter, she sold her first business to focus on social media, developing a multi-site blog and online marketing portfolio that generated in excess of 600,000 + visitors per month.

Co-Founder of Comms Axis, a Digital Marketing and Content Agency, Lilach is consulted by journalists and regularly quoted in newspapers, business publications and marketing magazines (including Forbes, The Telegraph, Wired, Prima Magazine, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Social Media Today and BBC Radio 5 Live). What’s more, her books have achieved No 1 on Amazon for Sales and Marketing and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

When Lilach isn’t working she enjoys spending time with her family and is an avid fan of Zumba.

Marc Smookler

About Marc Smookler

Marc Smookler has founded 6 companies—2 of which have been acquired and 3 of which are market leaders in their respective spaces—the leading brick-and-mortar retail analytics company (IdealSpot.com), a leading online retailer (SakeSocial.com), and a cutting-edge marketing services platform (Written.com). Marc’s companies have generated over $300M in lifetime revenues and sold over 150,000 products worldwide.

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