Social Media and International Marketing: Simple Tips for Success


Our world plays host to a population that has ballooned to over 7.53 billion people. About half of the people that are living on the planet access the internet regularly.

That simple fact describes the incredible opportunity that exists for businesses today.

Here’s the thing though: If your business is solely focused on domestic sales, you’re missing out on the vast majority of the population pie. The United States only has 327 million people living in it. That’s about 4% of all people.

So then, if you run a company and want to start selling the remaining 96% of the world, you’re thinking big! Where’s the best place to start, though?

In our opinion, social media offers the easiest means of engaging with and marketing to international audiences.

Below, we share some excellent tips on how you can maximize your social media international marketing strategy.

1. Figure Out Which Platforms Are Important in Your Expansion Territory

Assuming that you’re used to marketing in the United States, your go-to social platforms are probably Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Just because those are the platforms that see conversions stateside though doesn’t mean that those platforms are going to get traction or even exist in the territory that you’re pushing into.

China doesn’t even allow Facebook and Twitter access.

To that point, your first international marketing social media hurdle to get over is to find out which platforms resonate with your target audience. Once you find out what people are using, build profiles, and figure out how the platforms work.

2. Consult With a Cultural Expert

We don’t have to tell you that different audiences can have very different reactions to marketing messages.

While some people might find something funny, others might not get the humor or may even find the same message offensive. This is especially true when marketing to international audiences.

To avoid a snafu that could land your brand in the garbage, hire a cultural consultant before you post anything on social media. Many affordable social media management services can handle this aspect for you.

A good consultant can hold training that can make your domestic marketing team privy to what flies in a certain territory and what doesn’t. They can also be brought on permanently and can act as gatekeepers before posts go up.

You can read more here about the value that localized experts and applications targeted at bringing transparency to foreign markets can bring to your strategy.

3. Do Market Research

With your social media international marketing infrastructure in place, it’s time now to figure out what matters to your new territory’s consumers.

If you already have a product that you need to sell, we’re not necessarily advocating that you create a new one based on your research. What we’re saying is that understanding what people are buzzing about in a territory can help you figure out how to position your existing inventory.

Let’s say that your product solves 3 different problems. If you find out through keyword research or surveys that one of those three problems is 90% more common than the other two in a given territory, you’re going to want to lean on that issue over the others in your messaging.

4. Set Up Your Purchase Gateways

No amount of international marketing on social media is going to do your company any good if consumers can’t purchase what you’re pushing. The great thing about social media is that many platforms allow consumers to purchase your products directly from your posts.

Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, for example, have that feature.

If the international platform that you’re on doesn’t have the ability to buy directly through their platform, ensure that the links that you’re sharing to your product pages are compatible with your new territory’s internet providers, make sure that those pages load quickly and are prepared to take international payments.

5. Engage

Social media is a two-way street. It’s not like television advertising where you talk at a consumer for 30-seconds and then expect that your business will see a boost in sales.

The brands that see the most traction through social platforms, both domestically and abroad engage with their consumers.

They like their audience’s posts, share their content, etc.

We can’t stress this point enough because this is where we see the vast majority of businesses failing when it comes to organic marketing through social. You need to be a member of your consumer’s community in order to get them to care about you.

As a general rule, try to take 10 actions on other people’s posts for every 1 message that you push out to the public.

6. Assess Success and Continue Refining Your Strategy

International marketing can be a tricky beast to get the upper hand on. Even if you do a ton of research and position yourself to succeed, you’ll still run into some roadblocks along the way.

Our recommendation is that you take the same approach with circumventing and avoiding roadblocks as you would with a domestic marketing campaign.

Simply pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Do less of what isn’t getting you results and ride the things that you’re doing that seem to be winning propositions.

Through trial and error, eventually, you’ll become a social media international marketing master!

Our Final Thoughts on International Marketing and Social Media

Social media is a platform that, thanks to the internet, transcends most borders. Consequently, If you’re a company that’s looking to expand your international marketing reach, there are few easier ways to do it than through social.

Our insight above should help you to get your footing in a new territory. If you find that you’d like to learn more about leveraging technology to maximize your organization, we invite you to visit our in-depth guide on how to start social media marketing agency?