With the recent news that all businesses in the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein are banned from using Facebook fan pages and ‘Like’ social plugins, we should be mindful of how we adopt social media strategies in different countries and consider the varying cultures that exist.

If your business is looking to engage socially with a global market, here are a few tips to help you plan your global social media strategy:

  1. Establish a presence on the right social networks. Whilst the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are popular in the western world, not all countries are such prolific users of these channels.  Japan, China and Brazil are just a few countries where the majority of social media users are more likely to be found on platforms such as Mixi, Qzone, Renren and Orkut. Find out which networks your target regions are using and make sure you’re on them.
  2. Think about the type of content you’re going to deliver. British social media users always love a freebie whereas in Japan, sharing your knowledge and expertise is what attracts people to your brand. Find out what makes your market tick and tailor your content accordingly.
  3. Time your updates appropriately. If micro-blogging using a channel like Twitter is part of your social media strategy, be sure to post your updates at a time when your global markets are online. There’s no point tweeting to followers who are still in bed!

Does your social media marketing target countries other than your own? What experiences have you had engaging with different cultures?