Posted by Sara Hansson Sep 14th, 2012
The following post is part of the Mindjumpers Network series and written by our Community Manager, Sara Hansson. Mindjumpers Network is a global network of local country community managers enabling international companies to execute and maintain brand communities in a structured, quality assured and cost effective way across markets with the aim of creating effect and value.
Culture is one of the largest components of how people communicate. Cultural trends and norms are therefore something marketers and advertisers closely have to track and take into consideration when working with community management for brands who want to create business value through social media. For international brands and companies, it can be a challenge to control and maintain product perception worldwide. There is a wish to convey a global communication across markets and at the same time have the possibility to do marketing initiatives on a local level. In this blog post, I put focus on the value of using local community management to connect with consumers on local markets and how this process has created value for our client Ben & Jerry’s Nordic.
According to the Facebook IQ 2012 report, 41% of international brands maintain at least one local country page. These local Facebook pages have grown at twice the rate of global communities and register 50% higher engagement. International brands have to tap into local community management in order to optimize the chances of turning Likes into revenue. When managing communities on a local level, brands can assure three key points that are essential for successful communication – language, culture adaption and real time.
Talk to your fans in their language
It’s proven that communication in local language gains more engagement as a natural result of the messages being easier understood and consumed by the audience. In the case of Ben & Jerry’s Nordic markets, we therefore make sure that our community managers in the respective markets translate the text of the updates and images attached as well they contribute with updates themselves based on local events or happenings. We would not be able do the translation by using e.g. Google Translate or someone at our office who had a language course in Norwegian as the most authentic way to communicate on a local level is through a person living in the given country. A person who holds the language as mother tongue and knows about local expressions.
Adapt to the culture of your fans
It‘s of great value to have the local page monitoring done by a local community manager who has an understanding of the local culture and who is staying updated on local traditions and norms that may affect how people perceive your brand message. Some subjects are also more or less sensitive to speak about depending on which country you target. E.g. we are thanks to our Ben & Jerry’s community managers in Sweden, Norway and Finland able to post social content that implement local traditions into the conversations we want to create, conversations that are easy for the target groups to relate to and engage with. The images below show an update on the Finnish Ben & Jerry’s page creating engagement around a local celebration of the Week of Women and an update on the Swedish page celebrating their Midsummer tradition.
Leverage content in real time
Another key element is real time. What goes on in the country right now? Tracking happenings and events as well as local campaigning through other media channels is not only important to be aware of, you can also strengthen the integration of channels to connect with your audience in a well-organized and cost effective way. To include another example, our local community manager in Finland noticed that a documentary on Ben & Jerry’s social mission was to be shown on Finnish television. Gaining this kind of input from our local community manager, helped us to produce social content and create awareness around it in the Finnish community. In addition, it provided our users with further knowledge about what Ben & Jerry’s represents as a brand at the same time as it helped us strengthen the message we aim to communication for the brand on social media.
Local campaigning means business revenue
With local community management, international brands and companies are able to do editorial planning on a global as well as local scale. It’s also about adding value to your fans as you can create more relevant content and do local campaigns with interesting deals and offers. Further, this means that you have possibilities to create business revenue on the markets your brand wants to penetrate.
A central hub for quality assured processes
For international brands and companies, tactics should include leveraging local community management in order to connect and engage local markets with authenticity. Concentrating social media strategies and guidelines to one common hub where the local markets gather and find support, can secure an aligned global communication and enable best practice across local markets. Try to create a hub where you can share knowledge, best practice cases and processes such as editorial planning helping local managers follow the global social media marketing plan. A central hub is also a cost efficient way to use your recourses.
Ben & Jerry’s Nordic is a client of Mindjumpers Networks – a freelance network of local community managers who enable us to activate and engage markets on a local level with Mindjumpers as the main and central source for account and project management.