Are You Thinking Global With Your Social?

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twitter-bird-white-on-blueThe power, transparency and connectivity social media provides has contributed to making the world a much smaller place. It’s gotten much easier to get your brand in front of global consumers and conduct business with foreign customers. That means that now is the time for you to take social by the reins, and look at your content creation and engagement from a global perspective.

Be Aware of Time Zones

If you do business in a foreign country, it’s important to issue your tweets/posts in conjunction with the specific time zones that your company does business in. For example, if your company is headquartered in the United States with offices in the United Kingdom and Australia, make sure that you have tweets/posts that go out during the duration of their business working hours.

Let’s look at a localization schedule for tweeting in the US/UK/AU:

  • US:  7:00am PT – 5:30pm PT
  • UK:  12:00am PT – 6:00am PT
  • AU:  6:00pm PT – 11:30pm PT

Greater Resonance and Relevance

Because Twitter only allows you to issue the same tweet once, you’ll need to localize your posts to reach the right countries.

Localizing posts also helps increase both the resonance and relevance of your message. This can be accomplished in two ways:

  1. Look for country-specific hashtags such as #UKBiz, #UKTech, #AUSBiz or #AUSTech, and include them at the end of your post to make sure your tweet is searchable by citizens in that country. To find country-specific hashtags you can play with certain vertical industry words (expect a bit of trial and error) and add the country code to the front of it (e.g., *UKFashion). Use the search bar within Twitter, HootSuite and/or TweetDeck to find good hashtags, or check out Topsy, an app that can give you an overview of the usage and momentum of a specific hashtag, as well as provide related hashtags to consider.
  2. Secondly, you can (and often should) localize the language used in the post itself. This might mean using different words (UK “bonnet” for US “car hood”; lorry/truck, underground/subway, etc.; see for common differences). Measurements are different; rather than inches, miles, and gallons, you’ll need to use centimetres, kilometres, and litres. Find someone in a local office who can do a quick review before you post, until you get comfortable with the differences.

Here are some common global spelling differences between the US and the UK/AU to make note of:

  • In American English the final ‘l’ is not usually doubled if it is not stressed
    (US) traveler, leveling (UK)/(AU) traveller, levelling
  • Some words end in ‘ter’ in American English and ‘tre’ in British English
    (US) theater, center, meter (UK)/(AU) theatre, centre, metre
  • Many words ending in ‘or’ in American English end in ‘our’ in British English
    (US) labor, honor, color (UK)/(AU) labour, honour, colour
  • Some words end in ‘og’ in America and ‘ogue’ in Britain
    (US) catalog, dialog, analog (UK)/(AU) catalogue, dialogue, analogue
  • Often the American Z is the British S (generally in some version of the “ize/ise” verb suffix):
    (US) optimize, organization, analyze (UK)/(AU) optimise, organisation, analyse
    Some individual words are spelled/spelt differently:Screen shot 2013-01-14 at 10.55.39 AM

Good luck with your globalisation/globalization efforts!

Don’t forget: Act-On’s Insight feature lets you track and benchmark your social media against your competitors, so you can see how they use globalization too. Watch this short video to see Insight in action.


Just remember….you can be a small business but still think BIG!