in Globalization, Localization Tips, social media

3 Things to Remember for a Global Social Media Campaign

With over one and a half billion Facebook users, half a billion people on Instagram, and 100 million on LinkedIn, the potential for businesses to use social media to market their services is immense. By tapping into this pool of prospective customers, you stand to widen your audience and increase profits. But successful social media campaigns can go of track easily. In one such case, ballpoint pen manufacturer Bic released a now notorious Facebook campaign on International Women’s Day encouraging women to look like girls, act like ladies, but think like men. Needless to say, this did not go down well. So with that in mind, here are three things to remember to get your social media campaign off to a good start:

Localize your global campaign

The popularity of social media platforms varies widely from country to country. A successful Facebook campaign in the US would do less well in Japan, where Twitter reigns supreme and far fewer people use Facebook. Likewise, VKontakte would be your best bet in Russia, and QQ or WeChat are the ones to use in China. To successfully penetrate each country’s market, using platforms that are locally popular is imperative. Once you’ve decided on which platforms to use, make sure you localize your content. China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba recently renamed its travel booking app as ‘Flying Pig’, which was met with condemnation from many of China’s ethnic Muslims, many of whom were offended on religious grounds. Bear this in mind: material acceptable to one market may be insulting to others and may cause lasting damage to your brand. There may be some added effort and cost in considering local customs, but localizing your global campaign should not prove too hard a task.

Develop a strategy

To maximize the success of your social media campaign, you’ll need to have developed a strategy and planned your resources. This involves setting attainable goals, creating a message, and engaging customers through social media. An example of this is TOMS Shoes, a company which, every time a pair of their shoes is sold, donates a pair to a child in a developing country. TOMS harnesses the power of social media and is active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram, increasing name recognition (and profits) by spreading its charitable message. Instead of extortionate global advertisement campaigns, TOMS has opted for the cheaper method: effectively utilizing social media. In 2016, the company used social media to organize a ‘no shoes day’ and successfully engaged 3.5 million people over its social media platforms.


Failing to engage with customers could ruin your campaign. However, by interacting with them and addressing their feedback, satisfaction with the brand increases. Over the past few years, Frito-Lay’s global ‘Do Us a Flavor’ campaign has set a good example for successful market engagement. To grow sales and market penetration and to drive social media engagement, the company invited the public to submit flavors, several of which were then released in stores. The public used social media to vote for their favorite, with $1 million awarded to the person who submitted the winning flavor. Frito-Lay also made sure the flavors were localized so that, among others, roast beef was released in the UK, mac and cheese in the US, and poutine in Canada. As a result of this customer engagement interaction, the company saw increases in market penetration and brand satisfaction.

At CSOFT, we understand how important social media is in achieving success on a global scale. We are at the forefront of the translation and translation technology industries, and so for companies looking to kick start their global marketing campaigns, our talented team stands well-equipped to consult you on how best to market your services.

Written by William Simpson- Senior Technical Writer at CSOFT International

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