Kyler and Joana

Your social media content needs to bridge connections across languages and regions. Wondering how? The answer lies in crafting an epic global social media strategy!

Setting the right course for a marketing strategy is essential for marketers, especially those steering the global social media ship.

Discover what a great global social media strategy should include and how to start building one.

What is a global social media strategy?

Check out our summary of the six steps to developing a solid global social media strategy.

A global social media strategy is a brand’s guidebook for managing social media across international target markets. Its goal is to expand your brand’s presence into new territories.

There are many global social media marketing approaches, and the right strategy will look different for every brand. What works on Instagram for a visual-first fashion brand might not work for a B2B software company.

Remember, more than half of the world’s population uses social media—that’s over 4.80 billion people. Not every region, culture or market will react similarly to your content. 

“Multicultural marketing is more than just words. It’s connecting with people over their region, cultures, shared experiences and relationship with language. Localization shows that you understand these aspects of language and the human experience. Your marketing will be more successful when your texts are localized—and your audience feels heard and understood.”

Scott Rose, Project Manager at VeraContent

Creating a successful global social media strategy relies on knowing your audiences, evaluating what you’re already doing right (and what you see other brands doing right) and then making consistent choices in line with your brand’s objectives.

See also: Why brands invest in hyperlocal social media strategies

6 steps to developing a global social media strategy

Here are six steps to developing an effective global social media strategy: 

1. Conduct a global social media audit

Before unrolling a new global social media marketing strategy, first use your social media analytics to assess the current performance of your social media accounts.

  1. Compile a list of all the pages you currently have and how long each has been active. 
  2. Then, look at the frequency of posting and the amount of engagement you have on each page. Is one doing significantly better than another? Does there seem to be a consistent pattern?

Pro-tip: for a step-by-step guide to auditing your social media—and digital presence as a whole—take a look at our article: How to do a full audit of your multilingual digital presence.

“We do social listening to understand more about the market. We do brand tracking exercises, have customer panels, and do qualitative and quantitative research. Then we also look at our data, and we’ll have a look to see what posts are performing well and why.” – Euan Brown, UK-based head of digital & content at Virgin Red.

Euan Brown, UK-based head of digital & content at Virgin Red.

By the end of an audit, there should be a strong picture of which international audiences are most important for your brand and which strategies are currently working to reach and engage with them regarding organic content and paid social media ad campaigns. 

2. Do a competitive analysis

A competitive analysis is observing other brands’ messaging, social media engagement and reviews in your target regions. 

It doesn’t necessarily have to be direct business competitors; rather, anyone who is successfully interacting with your target audiences. See what is entertaining and informing your audiencesand what isn’t. 

Finding this information comes in two ways: 

  1. Use benchmark tools, such as the one from Meta Business Suite. This will allow you to directly compare your content’s performance to that of similar businesses. 
  2. Browse through the information. Look at a brand’s popular social media channels. What platforms are they on, and what gets the most engagement? What topics seem to generate more conversation? What types of images and captions do they use? What are people saying in their comments? 

With this research, you can be better informed about what kind of content to make and how. 

See also: International audience research methods: How to reach new markets

3. Decide on which global and local channels

A global social media approach means managing one global page on a social platform—including Facebook, Instagram, X/Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok. The goal is to centralize your social media marketing presence and deliver one globalized message to all followers from every language and region. 

“For us, it’s really important to keep as centralized as possible—in terms of having one team and one tool to manage everything—and within our team’s expertise.”

Adriana Carles, former head of content, brand and communications at Ladenzeile

In contrast, you may want to take a more local approach either through localized social media, or by creating a unique content strategy for key local markets.

When going local, remember that it’s advisable to carry that strategy to all areas of your business. So, if you have a French Instagram account, you’ll also need a French website and likely a French sales and customer support team.

“To sell your product, a user must have at least seven interactions with your brand. So, most likely, they’ll see your post and then visit your social media profile. If your profile isn’t in their language, you’re likely to lose them—and that’s a waste of money.”

Joana Aina Sánchez, head of project management at VeraContent

Whether to go global or local on social media depends on your brand’s goals. 

Are you more interested in presenting a unified image and expanding your reach? In that case, global might be better. If you have a product for niche markets, tailoring it on a local page could be the better approach. It’s also possible to use a combination of the two—for example, maintain a global account and include a few local accounts in key regions.

Whatever you do, every account should have a full strategy with all these elements included.

We dive into this topic deeper in the blog posts below:

Download our free guide to managing multilingual social media platforms:

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4. Create audience personas

As part of developing your global social media strategy, it helps to know exactly who you’re trying to reach. When posting on social media platforms, who are you talking to?

Part of the answer comes down to demographic information:

  • Age, gender, education, income, etc.
  • Purchasing and platform preferences within the country—for example, US and UK shoppers tend to buy online more than their European counterparts
  • Multilingualism in one country—for example, Belgium speaks both Dutch and French
  • How they engage with ads 
  • How they search—for example, Google search, TikTok search or voice search
  • Characteristics and senses of humor and tone

Above all, an audience persona answers the question: what is their pain point?

“Listen to your audience. Really look at what they care for. What are their problems? What is their critique as well? If you don’t listen to your audience, it will be really difficult these days.”

Carlo Speth, Germany-based chief editor at HolidayPirates

The best way to know their problems is by talking to your audiences. Read comments, run surveys and polls and conduct audience research. Knowing who your audience is and what they want from their brands is critical to speaking their language. 

See also: International audience research methods: How to reach new markets

5. Develop a content mission statement for each channel

Just a sentence or two long, a content mission statement answers the why, who and what of your content strategy on a given platform. 

“To work, your mission statement has to be all about the pain points (in other words, ‘What keeps your customers up at night?’) of your readers and followers. If it isn’t, it simply won’t work.”

Joe Pulizzi, author and founder of the Content Marketing Institute

As outlined by the Content Marketing Institute, a great content mission statement has three core elements:

  1. Core audience: who you aim to target with your content
  2. What will be delivered: the type of content you’ll provide
  3. Outcome or benefit: what your audience gains from your content 

A simple structure could look like this: 

“We’re on [social platform] to [activity and purpose] for [audience]. We will [how you’ll provide value to your followers] and, in turn, will [how it benefits/supports your brand’s goals]

“One mistake that brands often make is thinking they must have a presence on every social platform that exists. By determining your brand’s audience, social identity, and goals, you can narrow down the channels that will work best and ensure energy (and money) isn’t wasted developing the ones that won’t.”

Holly Ringerud, Content Strategist at TallWave Digital Agency 

While CMI originally created the concept of a content mission statement for blogs, at VeraContent we’ve found it to be a useful tool for social media channels as well. Just writing a couple of lines stating what the channel is about and why it exists can be more useful than a detailed presentation that is rarely reviewed. 

Once you create your mission statement, use it to create the “About” content for your channel so your audience and content creators have a clear reminder about the “why” behind your channel.  Note that your mission statement might change for each channel or market.  If you have several different channels you are updating or relaunching, consider putting all the mission statements into a spreadsheet and consider how each should be tailored for its specific audience. 

To help develop your mission statements, consider talking to experts with experience in international social media marketing.

6. Build your content calendars

If you post too infrequently, the account might not be up-to-date or engaging. But if you post too often, and your posts might become overwhelming for your audience or even cannibalize your other posts. It also differs per platform, while posting multiple times a day is needed for relevancy on X, it’s generally not the norm for brands on LinkedIn. 

Finding this balance can be difficult, especially when you’re juggling multiple languages, regional holidays, local events and news, etc. 

“To produce content that connects with people, you must be tuned in to what’s happening in the region. For example, something could happen tomorrow that makes a certain post inappropriate. So it’s super important to plan and be versatile in your approach.”

Kyler Canastra, head of business development at VeraContent

Content calendars are essential for keeping track of all the moving parts and approvals from different stakeholders. A professional agency that knows how to manage global and local social media pages can help design solid workflow and content calendars.

See also: How to make a blog editorial calendar in multiple languages

Case study: VeraContent’s global social media strategy for Ria Money Transfer

the VeraContent team discussing the social media strategy for Ria Money Transfer

In April 2023, Ria Money Transfer partnered with VeraContent to develop their global social media marketing strategy for Facebook and TikTok. 

As a global brand, they needed content that was appropriately localized to their four main languages: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. We created Facebook pages for each and then began the work to create localized strategies based on insights from local experts natively familiar with the markets.  

We considered all the key elements of what a global social media marketing strategy requires. 

Above all, our purpose was to create a strategy that aligned with their brand’s identity: authentic, down to earth, and aware of the common struggles migrants face when sending money. 

An example of localized Facebook posts from Ria Money Transfer’s global page (left) and French page (right). The caption on the global page’s post includes a link to the brand’s global FAQ page, while the caption on the French post includes a link to the French FAQ page.

Ria Money Transfer wanted to target a global audience, so we didn’t want just one face or one representation of a city. We wanted to represent the diversity of users on their social channels. For that, we decided to use user-generated content and influencer marketing. While each influencer spoke in English, we were able to represent users from all around the world.”

Paula Uccelli, Project Manager at VeraContent

In collaboration with Ria Money Transfer, we began with a series of localized posts on each page that encouraged followers to engage and connect with the brand.  

For more examples of how we helped Ria Money Transfer elevate their brand through their social channels, read here: Social media strategy in 4 languages: Did you know? Ria Money Transfer

You don’t need to create a strategy aloneget help from experts 

There are many elements to consider when creating a stellar global social media strategy. Ultimately, many of them hinge on your company’s goals, current social media platform presence, and time and budget. 

As you build out your strategy, we highly recommend partnering with a specialized agency with local experts who truly understand the markets you’re working on. 

At VeraContent, we help global brands create localization processes and multilingual marketing strategies from scratch. We also help brands manage their local social media pages with the right team of local community managers and linguists. 

Get in touch with us and see if you qualify for a free content consultation!