Skip to main content

3 things you need to know when using social media to sell overseas

Social media network icons in world map shape concept

© Shutterstock

A recent workshop, as part of EEN’s Fuelling Ambition series, focused on understanding the different social media platforms available and how to use them effectively when building customer relationships for both the UK and overseas markets.


As it’s growing at such a rapid pace and won’t be slowing anytime soon – your business should take advantage of it if you want to survive. Here are some top tips to get your overseas strategy up to scratch.


Know your audience


What works in one country may not work in another so your approach should always be tailored to each market you’re penetrating. Your audience segments will use platforms for different reasons so it is useful to understand which cultures will respond to what content and on which channels before moving forward.


  • ASIA – Across much of this continent, audiences use social media for sharing and downloading music or videos.
  • INDIA – Social platforms are mainly used for online gaming and music sharing among users.
  • SOUTH AMERICA – This region has the highest number of Twitter users, audiences are avid bloggers and frequently access the internet on mobile devices.


Chose the correct channels


If you’re targeting overseas customers, you need to keep in mind that not all social platforms will be available in that market. Be aware that some home grown platforms are preferred over the more common, well known ones.


For example, in markets like China and Russia, Facebook is banned. It’s best to target customers on their alternative platforms: Ren Ren (China) or Vkontakte (Russia).


Create relevant content


To engage in genuine conversation your presence will most likely need to be localised. Although many social media platforms can be seen worldwide, in practice customers prefer to visit a page which has more locally-oriented content, in their own language. You also must consider cultural differences, the main one to consider is UK vs US spelling.


Does your content contain culture specific references? Or does it fail to take into account current cultural events? You need to watch out for how your content will be interpreted worldwide.


Once you’re on the right track, social media can bring a lot of leads to your business so you want to make sure you’re ready to sustain the potential growth. If it’s not working as well as you expect, then think about different measurement tools which could help identify what content works for you or not.

Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. Learn about how we can help you achieve your innovation goals.