Social Media and the Global Culture: Who Should You Be Targeting

Social Media and the Global Culture: Who Should You Be Targeting
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Social media as a method for targeting key audiences is standard practice among Internet marketers nowadays, but as social media itself continues to expand beyond domestic borders, so too does the reach of your company. Addressing a global audience of various cultures, languages, and preferences is no simple task and its mishandling could hurt your reputation overseas.

The sheer scale of international brand messaging carries certain inherent obstacles. A primary obstacle is the language barrier While English is certainly more of a universal language in the business world, this does not always apply to the consumer. If all of your content is in English, it will not only be lost on those who don’t understand, but it will send the implied message that their market is an afterthought, never mind the lack of specific content for their region.

Social Media and the Global Culture: Who Should You Be TargetingRound up your analytics and monitoring tools to pay closer attention to how your brand is being mentioned. Google Trends can give you a good idea of how people search for related products and merchandise based on geographical location. Once you’ve identified what is important to each region, you can tailor your content to their interests.

Once you have a system in place, you’ll want to consider how you will expand your communication to handle the increase local demand. Best practice says the spoke-hub distribution is most effective. Build a central point of contact, your English blog for example, then direct all channels to link back to the main hub. This is the largest source of your content and sets the standard of content by which all subsequent branches behave.

Create a second tier whose primary objective is servicing the target communities. This branch will have a clear understanding of their individual foreign markets, what appeals to them, and what will not work. They will be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the translated text and other cross cultural issues that could arise.

Your third tier will consist of those on the ground, so to speak. Here are the people manning your social media channels, responding, listening, and engaging your foreign audience in their own language and timezone.

Social Media and the Global Culture: Who Should You Be Targeting

The content you put out will be viewed by a global audience. Avoid content that will be irrelevant or too region specific. Operating content from a central hub in this way reduces the need for multiple social media accounts, which not only dilutes the strength of your online presence but creates more moving parts with the potential for miscommunication, misinformation, and increased resources in terms of oversight.

Expansion creates the potential for more problems as you bring on new staff and find your footing in untested waters. Take the time to create a thorough and clear map of proper behavior for your employees and departments to follow across the entire spectrum of Customer interaction, including when and how to handle escalation, crisis management, guidelines for acceptable content, and inter- and intradepartmental communication. The devil is in the details, and when it comes to a global campaign, he’s in joints that link your infrastructure together.

New markets will require refinement so monitor the effectiveness of your strategies to ensure that you are delivering the highest caliber of content for each specific market. Adjust content or protocol as necessary to hedge against your losses.

Internet marketing provides a means of global communication unprecedented at any other time in history, but it also carries the added risk of large scale public failure. Keep a tight rein on your system from the ground up to avoid too much freedom in how content is distributed and with what language responses are issued.

Maintain Your Business (Not Your PBX) with Quality Virtual Phone Systems

Maintain Your Business (Not Your PBX) with Quality Virtual Phone Systems
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Maintain Your Business (Not Your PBX) with Quality Virtual Phone Systems

In every business, there is the potential for new technology to usurp the old in terms of cost, functionality, and efficiency. It’s important to keep a close eye on the trends so that you might discern which are worth investing in compared to those which need to further mature. Phone systems have long been a staple of office-based business, but they can be costly to install, maintain and upgrade without necessarily generating a worthwhile ROI. Technology, in this instance, has surpassed the need for a hardware-based system altogether by way of a Virtual Phone System. The benefits are clear.

In years past, Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems, the private telephone networks used within the companies, were cost prohibitive to any but the largest of businesses. As the cost of implementation has become cheaper, smaller businesses have started to use them as well, but they are still hardly cheap. When you factor in the cost of the hardware, features and installation, the average PBX system can cost $1,000 dollars per employee. As the cost is affected by the quantity of devices, a smaller business with less than 100 employees would likely pay even more.

What’s in a Virtual Phone System?

A Virtual Phone System includes a wide array of features, lines, and extensions at a fraction of the cost. Such services operate within an existing infrastructure that essentially gives you numbers specific to your business that can be linked to any existing phone system within your business, including cell phones, by way of call forwarding. A company wide system can save you tens of thousands in overhead cost, just from the initial installation alone. This doesn’t even take into account the total cost of ownership which includes the added cost of upgrading or the hidden cost of downgrading.

Changes to the size of your system, including both quantity and quality, as well as the doubling of your installation costs during a relocation or expansion to a new building, can set you back thousands of dollars, and that only with respect to your phone system.

In every business, there is the potential for new technology to usurp the old in terms of cost, functionality, and efficiency. It’s important to keep a close eye on the trends so that you might discern which are worth investing in compared to those which need to further mature. Phone systems have long been a staple of office-based business, but they can be costly to install, maintain and upgrade without necessarily generating a worthwhile ROI. Technology, in this instance, has surpassed the need for a hardware-based system altogether by way of a Virtual Phone System. The benefits are clear.  In years past, Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems, the private telephone networks used within the companies, were cost prohibitive to any but the largest of businesses. As the cost of implementation has become cheaper, smaller businesses have started to use them as well, but they are still hardly cheap. When you factor in the cost of the hardware, features and installation, the average PBX system can cost $1,000 dollars per employee. As the cost is affected by the quantity of devices, a smaller business with less than 100 employees would likely pay even more.  What’s in a Virtual Phone System?  A Virtual Phone System includes a wide array of features, lines, and extensions at a fraction of the cost. Such services operate within an existing infrastructure that essentially gives you numbers specific to your business that can be linked to any existing phone system within your business, including cell phones, by way of call forwarding. A company wide system can save you tens of thousands in overhead cost, just from the initial installation alone. This doesn’t even take into account the total cost of ownership which includes the added cost of upgrading or the hidden cost of downgrading.  Changes to the size of your system, including both quantity and quality, as well as the doubling of your installation costs during a relocation or expansion to a new building, can set you back thousands of dollars, and that only with respect to your phone system.  Inherent to a virtual system is the lack of upgrade/downgrade costs or hassle. As the entire hardware side of the system is handled by your provider, it’s not something that even has to factor into your budget. If you expand and require additional lines, it may not cost you anything if you’re still within the hundreds of lines often included in a normal virtual phone package. If you need to purchase more, it’s still a drop in the bucket of your telecommunications budget when you compare it to the traditional cost of upgrading a PBX system.  PBX systems usually require a specific type of compatible phone hardware, which can be expensive when considering each employee requires the same hardware setup. Virtual Phone Systems are compatible with any SIP phones, in addition to the call forwarding feature.  Good for Business  The byproduct of a reduced cost to expansion is an increase to scalability. A reduction in expenses allows not only for a wider profit margin, but the also the ability to readily expand without affecting the existing bottom line. Consider the minimal cost required to upgrade and expand a virtual phone system versus the prohibitive cost of a PBX system, add to that the increased customer volume possible with a larger system and you can easily see how quickly your scalable margin would increase. Your fixed costs will shrink dramatically while your growth will open up exponentially.

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Inherent to a virtual system is the lack of upgrade/downgrade costs or hassle. As the entire hardware side of the system is handled by your provider, it’s not something that even has to factor into your budget. If you expand and require additional lines, it may not cost you anything if you’re still within the hundreds of lines often included in a normal virtual phone package. If you need to purchase more, it’s still a drop in the bucket of your telecommunications budget when you compare it to the traditional cost of upgrading a PBX system.

PBX systems usually require a specific type of compatible phone hardware, which can be expensive when considering each employee requires the same hardware setup. Virtual Phone Systems are compatible with any SIP phones, in addition to the call forwarding feature.

Good for Business

The byproduct of a reduced cost to expansion is an increase to scalability. A reduction in expenses allows not only for a wider profit margin, but the also the ability to readily expand without affecting the existing bottom line. Consider the minimal cost required to upgrade and expand a virtual phone system versus the prohibitive cost of a PBX system, add to that the increased customer volume possible with a larger system and you can easily see how quickly your scalable margin would increase. Your fixed costs will shrink dramatically while your growth will open up exponentially.