AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

It is Time to Market with Social Media Abroad

Posted by vickydanqingzhang on June 26, 2013

Social media marketing is now a key strategy for any business’s global marketing communication strategy. There is no better way to market a company online than using social media. However, many English-speaking marketers are missing out on the huge opportunity of foreign-language social media marketing. There are number reasons why this may be the case, the most obvious being a lack of knowledge about this social media platform to target abroad. According to data published by Internet World Stats in June 2010, the top five countries with the highest proportion of Internet users are Chines with 21.4%, the USA with 12.2%, Japan with 5%, India with 4.1% and Brazil with 3.9%. This means that four of the top five internet-using nations are non-English speaking countries. Reaching these overseas audiences with the right social media platform is the key. Read on for some starter tips below. There are some popular social media platforms in China, Japan, India and Brazil.

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.19.39 AMChina: (I will talk more about Weibo, since I am a big fan of it.) dominates the Chinese social media scene. Since Facebook and Twitter are not available in China, the knowledge of these two websites is even more crucial for online marketers.

Weibo is the Chinese word for “microblog.” Among all weibo websites, Sina Weibo (Weibo) is the most popular one. Over 30% Internet users in China use Weibo, a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook launched in 2009. Same as Twitter, Users may post with a 140-character limit, mention or talk to other people using “@Username” format, add hastags with “#Hashtag#” format, follow other people to make his/her posts appear in users’ own timeline, re-post with “// @Username” similar to Twitter’s retweet function “RT @Username”, put a post into the favorite list, verify the account if the user is a celebrity or a company. URLs are automatically shortened using the domain name like Twitter’s Official and third party applications make users able to access Weibo from other websites or platforms. Additionally, users are allowed to insert graphical emotions or attach own image, music, video files in every post. Comments to a post can be shown below the post, the commenter can also choose whether to re-post the comment, quoting the whole original post, to commenter’s own page. A unique feature of Weibo is that users are able to block certain people from commenting their posts and stop those persons’ posts from appearing in their own timeline.


Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.47.55 AMJapan:

The Japanese market is dominated by and Mixi is by far the largest with over 80% market share, which equals to around 30 million users. Twitter’s official Japanese site was launched in 2008 and has around 5 million active users. has an interesting revenue model whereby users can charge their followers to view their tweets, either on a monthly basis or per single tweet.

In Japan paying for content, particularly on the mobile web, is something users are willing to do. From a marketer’s point of view it’s interesting to note that writing in Japanese and Chinese characters enables Twitter users to squeeze a lot more content into single tweets than writing in English.


Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.46.36 AMIndia:

In India, Facebook has edged ahead of Orkut in terms of monthly unique visiotrs, with with Facebook now at 20.87 million, compared to Orkut’s 19.87 (based on July 2010 Comscore data).

These two networks are already well-known to internet marketers in the English-speaking world, which may help to make India an attractive market to target. BharatStudent is another popular network in India with 4.32 million monthly active users. As its name suggests, this network is aimed at the younger demographic.



In Brazil, Orkut is the most popular network. In fact, over 51% of Orkut’s total traffic comes from Brazil. That’s around 20 million monthly visits. is another popular network, closely targeted to Latin American users, which has around 8 million members in Brazil.


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