US Brands: Social Media No Remedy for Global Marketing Woes

BMLOGOWe’ve previously reported that most companies are unclear about their social media brand strategies. For US brands, global success has always relied on localization of messages and tactics – factors that are no less relevant with social media marketing. A poll just released by Buddy Media describes the extent of and reasons for the gap between the perceived potential of global social media marketing and the current level of achievement.

The survey of 105 brand managers [PDF] of Fortune 1000 companies was conducted by Harris Interactive. It reports that 72% agree that social media offers great opportunity to reach existing and potential customers across the globe, but they are lacking tools and information to leverage it successfully. And while 75% of Facebook users are outside the US, only one-third of large companies with revenues of $100+ million are currently using Facebook to reach customers globally, with the biggest challenges with Facebook being the management of information, measurement and fresh local content.


Key findings include:

  • Brand managers perceive the following as the most effective tactics to reach customers in local geographic markets across the globe: web sites with local content (81%); print ads (72%); and local programs that offer products (64%).
  • However, 93% of brand managers say it is challenging to reach existing and potential customers in local markets across the globe with a unified brand message. The biggest problems they face are related to finding cost-effective tactics (89%), managing costs (88%) and determining an appropriate and cost effective channel (81%).
  • 87% of brand managers say it’s important for retail and franchise managers in local geographic markets to be able to manage customized content so it is consistent and organized.
  • The biggest obstacles brand managers face when using social media to reach customers in local geographic markets across the globe include: tracking or measuring success (48%); managing and maintaining information (45%); engaging audiences (42%); identifying influencers who can carry brand message (39%); and keeping region and country-specific content fresh (32%).


“In order for brands to effectively reach consumers across the globe, they need to heed the traditional marketing/PR maxim of thinking global and acting local,” said Michael Lazerow, CEO and Founder of Buddy Media. In June, we reported that Buddy Media released the +GLOBAL add-on to the Buddy Media Platform that allows global brands to maintain a unified Facebook presence across multiple countries and languages.