Welcome to the eleventh extract in my series from my book ‘Grow Fast, Grow Global: 6 steps to unstoppable international growth in the digital age’. Here’s an extract from chapter three, delving into the concept of local social media.
Local social media platforms
Beyond the big players, there are a whole host of popular local social networking sites available in different countries that you probably wouldn’t have heard of unless you’d actually done business there.
In Europe, there is XING, which is a professional social networking site that’s a bit like LinkedIn and used a lot for recruitment. It is popular in German-speaking countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Viadeo is another professional social network that is popular in French-speaking and Spanish-speaking countries.
After our world tour of social media sites, we come to China, where the social media landscape is very different. This is mainly because some of the big global social media names I have just mentioned are not present. Have you heard of the Great Firewall of China? Well, China has some giant ‘homegrown’ social media networks because of this.
Sina Weibo is a Chinese micro-blogging service for Mandarin and Cantonese speakers, similar to Twitter, which has over 400 million users. It’s also used in other Chinese speaking countries, like Taiwan. It is incredibly popular, being one of the most used sites in China.
YouKu is China’s biggest video site and is widely used instead of YouTube, with a new arrival, called YY, which is a video-based social network. Qzone is one of the original Chinese social networking websites, now with over 500 million users. Needless to say, chat apps are much more widely used than social media sites in China, with WeChat and QQ being the largest. They both are around 1 billion monthly active users.
Outside of China, the general trend is for users to migrate to the larger, more global social media networks that you all know and love, as they can be accessed in more and more languages. However, there are still rare occasions when these are closed down by national governments for political, security and regulatory reasons. So, if you feel that social media is absolutely key to your business success, you might want to build a presence and following on a local social media network in a particular country too, just in case.
Where should your business be visible?
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To see more extracts in this series click here.