Social media is both a domestic and intercultural phenomena as individuals not only communicate with others from within their same borders but with those from other countries as well. The fact that the reach of social media platforms extend throughout the entire world is one of its greatest leverage points. Internet users in North America only make up a fraction (13%) of the total users online throughout the world. As a result, there is much more web landscape beyond our borders than within, and the more in tune with what is happening in these markets, the better off companies will be.

Relating to marketing, efforts SEO companies make to optimize international online properties serving markets in their respective countries take much into consideration. Culture and language play a central role in the content that is optimized but culture also influences what types of social media to pair with SEO efforts. For the best results international SEO (ISEO) and social media campaigns work in concert with one another through extended optimized on and off-site content and interlinking that are given more juice by specific social media integration.

Now, statistics put out by Forrester Research last week shed new light on global social media usage informing international SEO and social media campaigns. The findings touch on many facets of the online social experience, but in terms of takeaway, the research is important in three main ways :

  1. We know social media is used widely, but the report offers the specific percentage of users which is very helpful.
  2. Knowing how many is great, but knowing HOW is even better. The research delivers details regarding how individuals use the social media offering characteristics of use along with the percentages of people who engage in such activity.
  3. All of this information is gathered across cultures, making cross-country and cross-culture comparisons possible, which is extremely valuable.

The research shows that internet users use social media differently in different countries. Thus, differing ways of utilizing social media need to be applied to countries based on the habits of their internet users – negating a generalized strategy across the globe. Thus, international SEO and marketing campaigns paired with social media will be influenced. Look for the next installment of this post tomorrow for more on the specifics of the research and its implications.