Facebook is the largest social networking site in the United States. To many businesses, it may seem as though it is the most important location for advertisements, but this is not always the case.
Yes, Facebook is extremely important in many countries, but globally, the social networking sites vary. If your business is thinking of marketing on a global scale, learning how to use these international social media sites will be important to boost sales.
1. Facebook: The powerhouse of the social networking world and is mostly used in the United States, Brazil and India. Facebook allows users to connect with friends, but it is also a great place to advertise. Recently, General Motors decided to stop advertising on Facebook. This decision does not mean that Facebook is no longer valuable. GM did not build the right campaign for the social tool. On Facebook, there needs to be a clear call to action in the ad to take the potential customers to the next step, purchasing products. Understanding the benefits of this tool and other social media tools are key to a good advertising campaign.
2. Mixi: Mixi is the Facebook of Japan. There is more privacy on Mixi than on Facebook, leading to Mixi’s domination over Facebook. Japan is a huge market that Facebook cannot penetrate. To enter this growing market, Mixi is the best option.
Mixi collaborates with many large Japanese businesses. Mixi allows viewers to comment on books and movies while at the same time providing links to online stores and retailers. Even the audio player will direct users to outside CD retailers that have any of the songs in the Mixi music section. This combination of privacy with subtle pushes towards the market place is the ideal method for the culturally conservative Japan.
3. Orkut: This dominating social networking site, popular in Brazil and India, is a perfect place to reach the economically growing nation. The main marketing technique of Orkut is the ‘promote’ tool that allows content to spread. When a person makes a promotion live, it will go to all the friends listed. Once these friends click on the ‘promote it’ button then all of their friends will be able to see the promotion. This continues, allowing the promotion to spread throughout Orkut. Businesses can take advantage of this new feature to spread special promotions or even just spread the word of typical offers. There are so many new and creative ways to use this feature. Although ‘promote’ will allow for more spammers and people may become discouraged, a well-placed and creative ad can still travel and reach a large amount of potential customers.
4. Mobage- Town: A Japanese virtual reality site that is opening up new worlds not just for the users but for the markets as well. Mobage- Town has created a sensation in Japan. With the desire to gain Moba Gold, these virtual reality players need to buy their characters new clothing and accessories. However, to buy these products, they leave the virtual reality by clicking on ads that then take them to real businesses to buy products. NIKE and Coca Cola are just some of the brands that are taking advantage of this social networking site.
5. Tencent QQ: China’s instant messaging service is a great way to reach the mass of Chinese citizens. In China, privacy is the enemy. Many Chinese users want to be able to connect with strangers, so privacy protection on the QQ service is limited. Therefore, all of the information that a user provides is now available to any other user, friend or stranger. This provides a great research opportunity for businesses since they have unlimited access to the minds of any age group in any location.
The advertising on QQ is also very “in-your-face”. Once a user logs in, there will be pop-up windows and advertisements. These are a perfect place to have your name heard and recognized.
6. VKontakte (VK): Russia and Eastern Europe’s version of Facebook. VK‘s general look and feel is like the original Facebook format. To market on this network, businesses can pay for unique clicks and impressions. Also, the statistics of the effectiveness of the ads are available, so businesses can tweak ads and draw in the largest revenue. VK makes it very easy to target specific audiences like Facebook, and it provides a detailed help center to create the best advertisment possible. Servicing Russia and many surrounding nations such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Belarus, VK has reached 100 million users and potential customers.
When targeting an international audience, it is important to know the social networking culture. Being aware of the different opportunities can enhance sales and garner a larger audience.
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