I learned some interesting stuff from the folks at BuzzFeed last week, and no, not how extreme my devotion to pizza is (I hardly need a quiz to answer that), or what super power I should actually have (sidebar: I got the power to shoot lasers out of my eyes…I’m still not sure what that says about me).
BuzzFeed had a webinar last week about a more serious topic: Things You Need to Know about International Social Publishing. The VP responsible for BuzzFeed’s international growth and expansion (and creator of the disaster girl meme), and VP of international advertising shared some things they’ve learned during editorial newsroom expansion and working with brands on a global scale.
If you interact with audiences around the world – great, you’ll probably want to listen to the entire webinar here. If you engage with audiences on a smaller or more local scale, keep reading, this post is for you too. The things you need to know about international social publishing also apply to engaging audiences on a smaller, more local scale.
So here’s some of BuzzFeed’s advice and some of mine, too:
- The Internet is universal; use it to your advantage. The internet allows us to interact with people around the world, sometimes with people we don’t even share the same language with. For example, dogs wearing panty hose – which started in China. Even if you don’t speak or understand Chinese, the internet brought people together from around the world to laugh and share hilarious photos of their dogs wearing panty hose. The internet has caused a huge shift to a globally connected culture in the world, so take advantage of the ability to connect with new audiences.
- Always think about your audience. This seems like a no-brainer, but making sure your content really speaks to your audience isn’t just knowing what they like to read and share. It’s also important to know what kinds of content they don’t like. For example, according to BuzzFeed, in France, people will share politically charged things, media criticisms – smart content with a particular point of view. They won’t, however, share lighter pictures or posts, like cute animals. Pay attention to the kinds of things your audience is sharing, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.
- Go mobile, or go home. Worldwide, half of Buzzfeed’s more than 130 million unique visits each month come from mobile devices. According to BuzzFeed, “if it doesn’t work on mobile, it just doesn’t work.” In the United States, as of August 2013, 78 percent of Facebook’s daily users were mobile – that’s 101 million people. When you’re creating content, it needs to be sharable on mobile devices. Make sure photos you’re sharing show up correctly, and don’t direct your audience to a link that’s not compatible with their mobile device.
This last tip is important for engaging with local audiences specifically:
- Be easy to find. This goes for business info online and especially on mobile sites. Almost 3 out of four (74 percent) smartphone owners use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location. Cell phones make it easier for people to find your business, so don’t make them search around for you. A Google Mobile Movement Study found that 88 percent of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. Don’t miss out on opportunities by having inaccurate or missing information online. I’m working with a client on a project to claim and add information to sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, etc. Without claiming the locations, most of the information was correct, however, some of it was either wrong or missing. It’s tedious and time-consuming, but worth it to make sure your information is correct across multiple search and social platforms. That way, when people search for you, they find you quickly and easily.
These are just a few tips on the basics of local and global social sharing and content management. Check out some of our other blog posts on things like making sure your audience actually reads your blog, picking the right social platforms and getting the most out of content curation.