August 6, 2018

2.2 : Social Media – National Differences

2.2 : Social Media – National Differences

Dr. Tahir Rashid, Senior Lecturer, Salford Business School, UK

Most of us use social media platforms for sending messages, sharing photographs and videos, or participating in some kind of forums.

Social media engagement is first of all about engaging audiences and second about driving traffic to our website where the ultimate conversion (purchase, sign up, comment, etc.) takes place

But it’s all about managing the social presence and gaining audience participation, as well as perhaps gaining customer feedback through social media marketing.

Social media optimization is using a number of social media platforms to drive traffic to our site. There are a number of social media platforms available and again, depending who we are trying to target and which audiences in terms of geographic and demographics, we would need to consider the most appropriate social media platform for our campaign.

Facebook, again, is the most popular social media platform around the world. Twitter is a micro-blogging service and is the second most popular platform for getting leads. LinkedIn is the business to business social media platform and used to maintain professional networks. Renren is a Chinese social media platform. VK (KOHTaKTe) is a Russian version of Facebook.

So, again, we need to consider what is the purpose of our marketing campaign and what is the purpose of digital marketing campaign, to use the most appropriate social media platform for us.

Colin Telford, Managing Partner, The Candidate Ltd, UK

For example on Facebook, we produce content that’s going to appeal to as wide as network as possible, that’s going to be shared as many times as possible. And, for example, for us, we have a referral scheme which works really well on Facebook where, if you introduce friends to a job, the person who introduces them will receive a referral fee.

Business objective – increase referrals

Implementation – Facebook campaign that encourages friends to recommend a friend and based on this receive a reward

Now, that works on Facebook but obviously that sort of activity wouldn’t work on other social media channels, for example Instagram, where we would more likely post photographs and graphics relating to the business that showed different objectives like photographs of the team or photographs of graphics and infographics that we want to share.

Business obective – brand awareness

Implementation – Instagram photographs of the team having a good time and being very approachable

Going back to Facebook example and the referral fee, we may want to change the wording in the actual article itself or we might want to change the amount that the referral fee is paid. That way we are optimizing the content, making sure it is shared in the best way, gaining the most reach, and maximizing the amount of engagement that comes from that social media platform.

Facebook referal optimizaton:

Making sure that the referral fee is attractive enough and still makes financial sense for the campaign

Alex Charalambidis, Digital Marketing Strategist, MONKS, Greece

It depends of the platform. Usually it’s the main material, let’s say if it is YouTube, it’s the video, it’s the description of the video. And don’t forget that search engines are looking for relevance so it has to be relevant with your product and service.

Social Media is about off page optimization

Different platforms are optimized in different ways:

YouTube video:

  • title
  • description
  • play list
  • keywords

Always keep the relevance to your target audience in mind!

The main content and if it’s something like Instagram or other networks using images, you have to optimize and again you have to change again, let’s say, the titles of the pictures and something relevant to the initial query.

Image SEO: integrate your keyword phrases into:

  • the title of the image
  • image file name
  • alternative text
  • description around the image

Consider if you can allow your image to be used by others for free under creative commons attribution license

Additional materials

Where are you based on the world map?

Please use this map to show approximately where you are based around the world on my ZeeMap:

  1. On the ZeeMap below, click Additions (plus sign) > Add marker – simple >
  2. Enter your name or pseudonym and highlight location
  3. Enter the social media platforms that you think are most relevant in your country
  4. Press submit

Have a look around the map and study what other people think are the most popular social media networks in their countries.


Aaltonen, S., Kakderi, C., Hausmann, V., & Heinze, A. (2013). Social media in Europe: lessons from an online survey. Paper presented at the 18th UKAIS Annual Conference: Social Information Systems.

Business culture in 31 European countries incluing the use of Social Media

Hassan, S., Nadzim, S. Z. A., & Shiratuddin, N. (2015). Strategic Use of Social Media for Small Business Based on the AIDA Model. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 172, 262-269.…

Please see following pages for chapter 2:

2.0 Understanding the different nature of digital channels based on geographic, demographic and digital fit for a campaign
2.2 Social Media platforms differences in countries and how to they can be used
2.3 Email marketing and how it can be used
2.4 Affiliate marketing and how it can be used
2.5 Mobile marketing and how it could be used
2.6 Paid channels overview – search and social
2.7 Communities focused engagement