Archive for the ‘Developing a European social media strategy’ Category.

European social media strategy: develop common aims not common tactics

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At FreshNetworks we work with many clients to develop and implement their European social media strategy - either for US companies who want to translate the work they do in their domestic market for their European brands, or for multinationals who are looking to develop a social media strategy that they can use across their European markets. For many brands who are developing how they are using social media this will be a common need. They want to understand where social media fits internally, how to manage it across their markets and how to measure and evaluate the success you are having. For many multinationals, these decisions might be made across markets. Or at least a series of guidelines and processes need to be defined that are then interpreted in each market.

A common mistake that multinational brands risk making is to build a European approach to social media by taking a tactic that has worked in one country and trying to implement this in other markets. For example, taking a campaign that might have been run on Facebook in Italy and trying to implement similar campaigns across all their European markets. Such approaches - socialising tactics across Europe - tend to be very difficult to make a success. For the simple reason that a tactic that works in Italy may not work in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain or other European countries. In these different markets, different consumers use social media in different ways; and different consumers want different relationships with brands. You cannot just take a tactic that works in one country and apply it across Europe. When you are developing a European social media strategy for a brand you should develop just that - a strategy, not a set of tactics that you hope to use in each market.

The ideal European social media strategy will provide a framework in which each market can operate. Ensuring that all markets are contributing towards the same overall aims, although they may do this in different ways. You should be able to measure and control each market according to the same set of metrics (although individual markets may add their own measures to these). And you should be able explain and understand why each market is doing what they are doing according to a common set of goals and direction.

A successful European social media strategy for a brand is not a set of tactics to implement across all markets. This never brings as much success as a brand might realise. Rather it is a framework and common approach. A strategy that each market can adopt and work within. Developing their own tactics and creative solutions that all contribute towards the same end goals and the same measures. You may find great insight and innovation from sharing these tactics, and you may find that some do translate between certain markets. But your strategy should not be based on these.

Over the coming fortnight we are going to be looking at a set of issues that brands face when developing a European social media strategy - from sharing best practice and the need to produce a common set of measures and reporting, to the challenges of working across languages and how to implement social media monitoring across markets.

See all our posts on developing a European social media strategy

Developing a European social media strategy

An issue for many brands who are developing a social media strategy is how they translate what they do in one country into other markets in which they operate. As a European social media agency, we are very used to helping clients take a US or UK strategy and then roll this out across the rest of Europe. And in doing this we have looked at organisations who have done this well. And those who have done it badly. The usual mistake is to assume that what works in one country can be taken and implemented in another country with no changes. More often than not this is not the case.

In this week’s video post, Matt Rhodes talks about how to approach developing a European social media strategy and why what works in one country might not work in others. Matt discusses how each country in Europe has different ways of using social media, and how these influence the way strategies should be developed. He gives three areas that brands should investigate when launching social media activities across Europe:

  1. The audiences are very different in each country in Europe - they behave in different ways and have different needs
  2. The social media landscape is different in each country - Facebook is not always the right tool, you need to understand what is right in different markets
  3. The position of a brand is different in each market - your brand may be different in different countries and your aims in each might change

As more brands are looking to develop European and even global social media strategies really understanding these issues is becoming critical. It would be great to hear about your experiences in this area so far and how you see the differences across Europe.