Addressing Culture In Social Media Marketing

orginal content Giles Crouch

What makes our world so incredible is the mix of cultures on this little planet. This diversity is exemplified and amplified in Social Media applications. One might ponder that Social Media could be a way of uniting us, resulting in less wars, greater societal wealth and more. Coming back to earth for a moment, there are some serious implications in regards to marketing and communications in Social Media in cultural terms.

Failing to understand cultural issues is a key, yet often overlooked, factor in the success or failure of Social Media activities. Done right however, reaching and succeeding with cultural clusters in the U.S., UK and Canada can mean highly loyal customers and vital feedback on product development.

When looking to implement a Social Media marketing effort however, the considerations go beyond just language planning and resource allocations internally. Each cultural group has specific social rules, etiquette and behavioral issues that should be addressed. These can range from who is making the buying decisions and how those buying decisions are divided in the household. Different cultures have different traditions regarding the handling of finances. Then there’s “how” ethnic and cultural groups make decisions on sharing. There are many variables, failure to understand or plan for them can result in a failed effort. If you truly fail, the results can also be very long term.

Simply translating the creative and campaign elements when targeting an ethnic group will likely result in failure. As with language support, you need to have the back-end support and understanding in place. Not doing so can result in abject failure and long-term loss of potential customers. So while implementing a Social Media campaign or strategy that engages cultural groups can be very rewarding, take careful planning and consider you’re ability to commit to maintaining that relationship. Many non-Western cultures place extremely high value on familial and social relationships, so engaging needs commitment, research, resources and empathy.

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~ by vwbora25 on 10/17/2008.

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