I have written before about how Bryan Eisenberg introduced me to his tools site and how there were several tools that stuck out as “must try now” tools. Among them was a tool based on the data from a WordPress plugin called AddThis.
When reviewing the data it got me thinking that there was another dimension to it, especially when we look at how users across various nations and countries share the content they read.
When companies go global, and are targeting various markets, they tend to fall into the trap of generalising their approach. By that they might be taking something that works in the U.S. or UK and applying it to Germany, Russia and China, to mention a few.
Why is this important? Well let me illustrate: If you are running a content rich site that you want the user to share with others, it is important to understand that not all sharing options are equal in all countries. If you are choosing the four most used in the U.S. you might opt for targeting Facebook, Twitter, Print and Email.
However, despite the fact that the U.S. is one of the leading online nations in the world, the rest of the world use various other channels, as well as the aforementioned.
Here are few random samples:
- Russia has Vkontakte, Twitter, Facebook and Mail.ru
- Saudi Arabia has Facebook, Facebook Like, Google and Google
- The Netherlands has Facebook, Twitter, Print and Hyves
- Brazil has Facebook, Facebook Like, Orkut and Twitter
- India has Facebook, Email, Twitter and Google
- Switzerland has Facebook, Ping.FM, Print and Twitter
- China has Twitter, StumbleUpon, Facebook and Favorites
So, while you might be safe with Facebook in most countries, it is important to understand that there are other channels unique to each country you are targeting. This is vital in order expand your content’s reach to local users.
Bottom line: Do not generalise, localise!
Kristjan Mar Hauksson
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