Twitter, like Facebook before it, has become a global phenomenon. The company recently said on its blog that over 60% of Twitter users are based outside the United States and it now provides its interface in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese – with more languages likely to follow.
Twitter said that introducing different language versions dramatically increased the number of users signing up from countries speaking those languages – and just as people search predominantly in their own language, they tweet in it too.
Therefore, global organisations need to implement a multilingual Twitter strategy if they intend to use the medium to promote their brands in non-English speaking markets. Leading hotels brand Hotels.com did just that, and SEO manager Oscar Carreras will be sharing their experiences at the International Search Summit on 13th May in London.
Here Oscar gives a brief insight into his experiences of international SEO and running multilingual Twitter campaigns.
If you could give just one tip to search marketers working on global campaigns, what would it be?
Work on proper website localisation with SEO in mind and leverage the power of the flagship site in order to pass value onto the foreign sites.
Why should global brands include Twitter as part of their marketing strategy?
Global brands should test Twitter as a brand awareness and cheap market research. Not all marktees are going to be receptive to the use of Twitter, which is why testing is crucial.
What was your biggest challenge when implementing an international Twitter campaign for Hotels.com?#
To coordinate marketing managers, external agencies, time zones and tools. It is crucial to test the procedures beforehand and analyse what tools are going to help and then train the different offices – ensuring that specific market nuances are taken into account.
Is it effective to just use Twitter in English, even when targeting non-English speaking markets?
No, we tested this and English tweets were usually responded only by English users.
Are there any Twitter applications/platforms that are particularly useful in international campaigns?
We don’t use any tools which are specifically tailor made for international campaigns. Tweedeck is a useful tool as several people can interact and create output into a single Twitter account. Bit.ly is useful tracking tool.
What value do you think the International Search Summit offers delegates?
The International Search Summit is a unique conference because it addresses a niche area of SEO that affects most big online brands. That level of expertise at that granular level is usually difficult to find at more general SEO conferences.
The International Search Summit in May is looking at innovations – recent developments in search and social media which are changing online marketing. In your opinion, what is the most significant innovation in recent years?
Unfortunately, the most significant innovation in terms of SEO, in my opinion, is the inclusion of behavioural data in Google’s algorithm. Brand engagement with the end user is going to become more essential in the future – making our job as internet marketers much harder as a result.
Here from Oscar and other global search marketing experts at the International Search Summit, at The Barbican in London on 13th May. Tickets are still available and speakers include Bruce Daisley from YouTube, Steve Capone from Nokia and Gillian Muessig from SEOmoz.