There are more than 304 million active Twitter users globally. According to a study by MarketingProfs, more than 80% of B2B companies are using the platform for content marketing. The number of users is continually growing—and not only in the Western world. Nearly 25% of users come from Asia, of which 27 million alone come from India. The Arab world already has 4 million users and in also trending upwards. Given this information, it is easy to understand why Twitter is becoming a favorite platform to reach potential customers, build brand awareness, and increase customer confidence.
In recent years, many multinational companies have focused their B2B marketing efforts only on selected subsidiaries. Now, however, there is a growing push to become active in more countries through social media. Of course, there are several common stumbling blocks and challenges in managing campaigns and multiple Twitter accounts for different countries and in different languages.
Here we will share our own experiences in running global Twitter accounts and campaigns, and introduce you to the three most important things you should consider when making your own marketing plans.
1. Carefully Choose Language and Country
Our experiences show that English tweets in non-English speaking countries have substantially lower click-through-rates (CTRs) versus tweets in the local language. Also, the number of replies or retweets is significantly lower. In this way, it is a good idea to tweet in the language that the content is in and that your followers speak. However, in some cases it may be useful to tweet bilingually, if for example much of the content is only available in English.
Clarify Before Campaign Launch:
- Which markets do you want to target with social media?
- In which languages do you have the resources (time & proficient staff)? It is estimated to expect to need at least 40 hours per account per month.
- Does it make sense to create a global English language account?
- Are there reasons to tweet bilingually? In which countries or markets could this be useful?
2. Set Goals & Check Progress Regularly
It is important to be goal-oriented from the onset in order to stay motivated throughout the entire campaign. Goals such as “more followers” or “more website visitors” are unhelpful. Goals should be tailored to the company and based on specific business outcomes—and allow for a comparison with competitors. Therefore, a reporting system is essential to regularly monitor progress and analyze tactics.
We highly believe in the “trial and error” approach to social media optimization. Therefore, we recommend account managers to regularly create status reports on key metrics and goals. This allows for immediate feedback and helps to measure effort against defined objectives.
Here at effective world, we split our reports into a summary page, with an executive summary, and a more analytical part. The latter contains items such as data on the most popular tweets, popular topics, and frequently clicked links—as well as actions of competitors. This is useful in planning for future actions and tweets (types/topics).
3. Cultivate an Active Exchange for All Stakeholders
Social media platforms are evolving rapidly. On one hand, this is advantageous because it offers companies the chance to constantly interact and change streams with potential customers. On the other, it makes the lives of social media and marketing account managers more difficult. Especially at the beginning of a campaign, it is important to have some sort of knowledge exchange between account managers so as to facilitate learning and establish best practices. In our case, with account managers scattered in different countries around the world, having this active exchange infrastructure is incredibly valuable.
Therefore, we recommend:
- Monthly conference calls or virtual meetings (Skype, GoToMeeting, etc.)
- A dedicated email distribution list, with regular updates and best practices
- Encourage employees to use Twitter in their personal lives and share interesting information with their own social networks
- Integrate other tools such as internal blogs, wikis, or other own social media systems
Twitter has become a very strong medium that integrates perfectly into the marketing mix. However, our experience also shows that Twitter only makes sense when a company deals seriously with it and invests adequate time and resources. These include, as mentioned above, a linguistically proficient staff with sufficient time, clear objectives, and regular meaningful reporting. Only then can Twitter contribute meaningfully to marketing goals. Companies that are not sure whether or not Twitter is right for them should first try focusing on only a few key markets in order to determine the capacity, strengths, and weaknesses of future campaigns.