As a native speaker of English and a resident of North America, like millions of others I use English-language North-America-based Social Media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit. Marketers use these networks to promote their companies, services, products and to build and nurture their customer base. I have always wondered if Social Networks that are geared for languages and cultures other than English speakers might be just as fruitful for a modern marketer in attracting a potentially untapped market.
In October 2012, Sorav Jain wrote an interesting article on the 40 most popular social networks around the world. At that time, Jain suggests that Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are the top three social networks. Fast forward two years and, according to Statistic Brain, Facebook still reigns as the predominant worldwide network. But is Facebook the only important social medium in the world to a modern marketer?
According to the infographic published by culture-ist, as of May 2013, 37.3% of the world's population (currently approximately 7.2 billion) uses the internet. Of these 37.3%, English is the most widely used language on the web, however Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese are the most popular. It is also interesting to note that 82.2% of all worldwide internet use is using one of only ten languages.
The chart above shows that people are using sites other than Facebook by the millions, and the numbers are growing exponentially as Facebook-like sites appear that people find cater to their cultural and linguistic preferences and environments.
Any modern marketer, regardless of the job level or role within an organization should consider using sites other than the 'big three' to expand the reach of the pool of prospects.
Marketers most likely take for granted that the 'big' social networks are the only ones that are valuable in attracting new customers. However, we must not ignore the fact that many people prefer to use localized avenues for sharing information, and by tapping in to those sites, a marketer could find and nurture a potentially enormous group of users who might otherwise not know about you. Considering that the Eloqua platform itself is soon going to be available in a number of languages, you may even find it easier to create the content that is so valuable to growing your business.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the discussion above - I can be found on Twitter at @EloquaAndrew.