Marketers Adjust Messaging on a 'Glocal' Scale

Globally, social media users typically share informative or funny content, for they see such behaviors as an extension of their personalities.

Though companies constantly strive to produce valuable content, few understand what specific messaging motivates consumers outside of their countries to share such work with their various social networks.

However, one recent study published by Social@Ogilvy explores how consumers around the globe interact with the available content and the reasons behind their sharing habits. Conducted in partnership with SurveyMonkey, the survey polled 6,522 social media users from 16 countries to establish how consumers engage with brand content worldwide to determine the "why" and "where" behind social sharing. Once brands understand the underlying motives that drive content shares, marketers can then begin to develop targeted strategies and create tailored content that connects with the given culture specifically.

The following statistics highlight the average consumers' basic sharing behaviors, as well as the cultural differences that require special attention and an adaptive strategy:

  • Emotion stands as the key driver behind why users share content, as 13 percent claim such behaviors help define their personalities, while 36 percent do so to promote an issue or cause for which they feel strongly.
  • Of those surveyed, 49 percent view content sharing as one way to feel useful and thoughtful. In particular, Chinese users (30 percent) also claim to feel 'creative' when sharing via social.
  • Mature markets (43 percent) tend to share informative or educational content more frequently, while emerging markets (40 percent) gravitate toward funny or entertaining content.
  • Forty percent of those polled say that the content's source isn't important as long as it's interesting, while only 7 percent cite too much volume as the most off-putting content they see.
  • Country barriers to freedom of speech and press play an integral role in the type of source users engage with and trust. For instance, Asian markets (27 percent) commonly share content from an established media outlet to depict their personal perspective, while only 19 percent of European markets do the same.
  • Thirty-four percent of emerging markets are open to maintaining or increasing the current amount of social advertising, as Mexico (55 percent), China (52 percent), and Poland (51 percent) lead the charge.
  • Korea (73 percent), Japan (74 percent), and the United States (83 percent), however, are overwhelmed by the abundance of social media advertisements. Furthermore, American and Japanese respondents are also most likely to rate branded content poorly and less likely to watch or share said content regularly.

Key takeaway: When working to develop social strategies that span the globe, brands must tailor their tactics to meet the needs of the given country. Known as "glocal" marketing, this approach allows companies to uphold the brand's enterprisewide promise while adapting to the local market so as to deliver the most relevant, interesting content possible. Because brands are quickly becoming content creators themselves, they must understand what motivates consumers to share across regions, for cultural differences are crucial to success. By studying such consumer behaviors, companies can quickly adjust to ensure their marketing messages maintain consistency and preserve integrity. Different countries are bound to respond differently, as each comes with its own traditions and preferences. Thus, marketers must remain vigilant and proactive so they may continue to tap into this emotion and build upon brand DNA as they enhance their global strategies.