Should You Develop an International Strategy for Social Media?
Thanks to the low cost and ubiquity of digital media, our view is that wine brands are global regardless of their export strategies. But no one can be Facebooking in every country. Let’s say a California winery exports to Germany and Japan; should it have a social media strategy customized to each market, a single “global” approach managed from California, or a combination? With offices in the US and France, and an international client roster, this seems to be the question du jour.
First, should you have a multi-country social media presence? Note that this does not necessarily imply that you need a multi-language strategy. Wineries meeting some of these criteria are more likely to benefit:
- Sales goals in specific countries will require greater consumer brand awareness;
- DTC assets, especially a tasting room, already provide the launching pad for increased consumer engagement and marketing;
- Cross-marketing opportunities existing within a portfolio of winery brands.
Second, let’s assume you want a multi-country social media program. Here are three options:
One global strategy, managed from one location (e.g., one Facebook page for all countries)
– Time savings: only one strategy to manage
– Efficiency: communicate with all fans at once
– Potential miscommunication given language barriers, cultural differences
– Diminished opportunity to develop relationships with fans in each market
Local Page Strategy (e.g., a Facebook page for Japan, a separate Facebook Page for Ger- many). These can be run from one location or each run on the local level.
– Content more relevant to local audience and wine culture
– Easier campaign targeting for local areas
– Less likely to encounter cultural misunderstandings (especially if run from local level)
– Once launched it is difficult to change to Option 1
– Time commitment
– Possible overlap in outreach to individuals
We recommend combining local and global strategies. Wineries can start this journey by creating a written plan that provides local agencies with broad, directional guidance — e.g., “our brand messaging is focused on innovation.” Then let your local teams creatively interpret and adapt your branding for the local culture. That keeps branding consistent across borders, allows for better in-market campaigns, and adapts to local audiences and wine culture.