Getting local with regional social media platforms
In our social media series, so far I’ve discussed the basics of the most-popular globally-focused social media platforms. Some businesses though may need to use a social media platform other than those I’ve already covered. Some areas of the world have niche platforms that are widely popular on a local level, but haven’t caught on as strongly outside of that area. Today, I want to cover a few of those more regional platforms.
While more than half of the world's 2.4 billion Internet users sign in to a social network regularly, a recent report showed that the focus is gradually shifting away from North America and Western Europe and into Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. If your and/or your audience is located in one of these regions, you may want to learn more about the following social media platforms:
Sina Weibo is a Chinese microblogging web site often viewed as a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook. With more than 536 million registered users, 49.8 million who are actively each day, Sina Weibo is a powerful social media tool that you can’t ignore if you want to reach an audience in Chinese-speaking regions.
Plenty of companies and businesses have embraced Sina Weibo, both locally and internationally. If you can harness the power of Sina Weibo, the opportunities in the Chinese market are huge.
With more than 47 million user each day, VKontakte is one of the largest social networks in Eastern Europe, particularly among Russian-speakers. The site, popularly known as VK, offers features similar to Facebook, including business-friendly functions like groups and public pages. Additionally, VK supports hashtags and user mentions. VK users often share multimedia content on their profiles.
While more recently, business professionals have been migrating to Facebook, VK is still a good way to generate conversations and interactions between you and your customers in Russia. In fact, many international brands such as the BBC and National Geographic have active campaigns on VK.
Sonico is a large social networking web site that targets a Latin America audience with more than 50 million registered users. One thing unique to Sonico is that it offers users three different types of profiles—private, public and professional, allowing users to share content with friends without sharing it with professional colleagues. In a way, it’s like a hybrid between Facebook and LinkedIn, which lets you promote your Facebook- or LinkedIn-specific content on Sonico to easily increase engagement across different audiences and drive traffic to your web site.
Keep in mind
When you start your efforts on regional or niche social media websites, be aware of the social media etiquette of each region. Consider working with local social media experts to understand online behaviors and local social media etiquette.
If you use the same content across different platforms and in different languages, make sure the translation makes sense for native language speakers, so that your message is understood and perceived the way you intend.
What about you?
Do you use any of these sites for your social media activities? Any other social media sites you recommend?