Social media enables brands to easily connect with international audiences. And the benefits go far beyond engagement and reach. From quicker customer service to lower marketing costs and more effective customer research, both brands and customers worldwide are benefiting from the connectivity that comes with social media. Keep reading to learn more about how social media affects international business.

How Social Media Has Revolutionized International Business

Social media has changed the international business environment in many ways. Consumers can now easily connect with their favorite brands from anywhere in the world and get immediate feedback. An increasing number of people are also turning to social media to do research on various businesses before making purchasing decisions.

Even healthcare organizations are taking advantage of social media to disseminate vital information and to attract new patients. For example, BC Government News used social media to encourage followers to take relevant vaccines.

As brands open themselves up on social media, the need for social media crisis management becomes more important. Without it, businesses run the risk of jeopardizing their reputation.  

Benefits of Social Media for International Business

Social media plays a vital role in the international business environment. Here are a few ways social media can benefit international business:

Brand development 

A unique, easily recognizable, and highly reputable brand is a necessity for success in today’s competitive business environment. Since social media serves as a primary means of research and entertainment for younger generations, it’s also an ideal place for establishing a brand. 

Different social platforms allow brands to represent themselves in a variety of ways (via the use of videos, images, tweets, and more). With consistent messaging on one or more social sites, brands can differentiate themselves and attract potential customers both locally and internationally.

Increased customer engagement 

Gen-Z and millennials, who represent the majority of social media users, are looking to build deeper connections with brands they love. They want to feel like they are a part of the brands they choose to do business with. One way to accommodate this newer dynamic is by building a community around your brand. Open up the lines of communication and allow customers to freely share their feedback and suggestions – and respond to them.

Social media makes this much simpler for businesses with an international audience. Whether it’s a tweet, a comment on TikTok, or another form of engagement, customers can connect with their favorite brands 24/7 at no cost to them.

Lower marketing costs

Social media marketing often costs less than traditional forms of marketing. Businesses can get started free of cost with social media marketing by focusing on organic reach. This can be as simple as creating an account and posting regular content to attract potential customers.

Even with paid advertising on social sites, the costs can be significantly lower than traditional advertising. For one, social media platforms generally offer hyper-targeted advertising, which means a higher return on your marketing dollars. They also offer cost-per-click and cost-per-metric advertising, which means you’re only spending money when a potential customer engages with your content.

Easier market research and surveys

Social media polls are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. It’s an effective way for brands to get measurable feedback from their audience, and it’s easy and fun for users to share their feedback on topics that interest them.

But polls are not the only way to get valuable customer insight on social media. The POV (point of view) trend is a great way to stimulate free and honest conversations among your audience, and it’s not just limited to YouTube and TikTok. 

Sharing your take or “POV” on a topic or product works wonders in triggering responses from viewers. These posts can be a gold mine of useful information.

Social monitoring or listening is another way to gather useful data for research. Brands can monitor their social sites to learn what others are saying about them, which can help them improve their products, customer service, and other aspects of business.

Impact of Social Media on Different Industries

It would be hard to pinpoint an industry today that has not been influenced by social media. From healthcare to hospitality and more, here’s how social media affects several industries.

Entertainment Industry

Social media allows entertainment businesses to connect directly with their fans, which makes event or content promotion more effective. Social media is also a great way for entertainment brands to stay on top of industry trends and gather feedback from their audience.

Using social listening tools, entertainment brands can track in real-time what their audience is saying about their content, which means they can more effectively adjust to meet their audience’s needs.

Technology Industry 

A good social media marketing strategy can do wonders for a technology brand’s visibility and reputation. Posting regular content about new products or updates is an effective way to generate interest in a brand. Social media also provides a convenient medium for tech shoppers to ask questions about their purchases, which encourages better engagement between brands and customers.

In today’s social-first environment, tech businesses are now having to sharpen their social media marketing skills to build loyal communities around their brands and to provide on-demand tech support.

Hospitality Industry  

The hospitality industry is possibly one of the most obvious examples of how social media affects international business. Social media offers a convenient way for international hospitality brands to connect with customers worldwide. Whether it’s for a holiday overseas or a local getaway, customers are looking for accommodations that will give them the best experiences. 

Because the core focus of this industry is to provide memorable human-to-human experiences, hospitality relies heavily on online reviews and word-of-mouth. Social media allows customers to easily rate and recommend their favorite brands, which can quickly generate more interest in those brands.

Further, online review sites, more frequently grouped with social media than before, can offer a way for brands to engage with their customers, address negative commentary, and improve customer experiences.

A large part of the overall experience in the hospitality industry is stellar customer service. Social media allows international brands to respond to customers anywhere in the world in real-time.

Food & Beverage 

Young people aged 16-24 are turning almost exclusively to social media for restaurant and other food recommendations, so a solid social media presence is necessary to attract this audience. Maintaining an active presence on social sites allows brands to better interact with potential customers, and to build and manage their online image.

Similar to hospitality, since customers can freely leave comments and reviews on your brand’s social profiles, reputation management must be prioritized.

Pharma & Healthcare 

Today, 58% of adults use the internet for health and medical information. In a 2021 study related to the COVID-19 pandemic, 75% of users reported using social media at least “a little” for health information related to the virus. 

There can be serious challenges for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies when navigating the conflicting and opinionated seas of social media – especially in a topic as important as collective or individual human health. But providers, companies, and research institutions that are both strategic and proactive with how, and how quickly, they distill information on the internet and social media will be more successful than those who disregard these platforms or neglect their growing influence. 

Plus, having an active social media presence is also an effective way for medical providers to attract new patients. Most people check online for reviews to determine the reputation of practices before visiting. Apart from establishing fact-driven information, having an active social media presence can also help establish your practice or brand as a trusted authority in the industry.

Success Stories of Businesses Leveraging Social Media for International Success 

Many businesses are successfully using social media in their marketing strategies. Two noteworthy examples are Zoom and GoPro. The key takeaways from these two brands’ strategies are the importance of adapting your marketing strategy for each social media channel, and the effectiveness of user-generated content.

To get a better understanding of how social media affects international business, let’s explore these two companies’ strategies.

GoPro

With over 20 million followers on Instagram and over 10 million on Facebook, GoPro is a lifestyle gear company that’s reaping great success on social media. Their main strategy? User-generated content and appealing to their audience’s desire for adventure.

Instead of advertising their products directly, they regularly post high-quality images of their customers’ adventures, which generates even more interest from other visitors.

Zoom

This tech company prioritizes regular engagement with its customers which effectively humanizes the brand. With over a million followers on X and half a million on Facebook, a part of Zoom’s strategy is to adapt its content to fit different social platforms. 

For example, on their Instagram account, they focus on offering helpful tips for using their products, while on TikTok, they post more funny and lighthearted content to appeal to that audience.

Building an International Social Media Strategy 

A good social media strategy can help with brand development and building loyal communities with your customers, even on an international scale. ICUC’s social media strategy service can help you improve engagement, drive sales, and adapt to new social platforms.

Learn more about how social media affects international business, and start engaging your audience on social media. Book a meeting with us.

 

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