We often hear that social media works best for brands when its posts are shared.

Why is that so important?

First off, shared posts get more reach. Shared posts are amplified by your audience and can be amplified again by their audience (and so on).

Also, shared posts get extended reach for free. Marketers are now so used to paying to promote posts, that its easy to forget this aspect of social media.

Most of all, however, shared posts give your brand credibility which cannot easily be engineered. Your shared posts have been given the stamp of approval by someone and so look more authentic and more interesting.

Brand marketers know this, so it's likely that they already know quite a lot about how to get their content shared.

They can associate the brand with 

  • a current news event
  • a contemporary meme
  • or a well-known celebrity

 These techniques all work very well, but only when you're plugged in to the same media as your audience. That is, you need to know what your audience recognises and cares about to make this work.

But what happens when you are trying to reach an audience in another country? One which may even speak a different language?

Being shared in foreign lands

Getting a post shared in a foreign country is not easy. You don't know what your audience cares about and so you don't know what to associate your brand with. 

But, as mentioned in a previous post, localising your social media is a great way for your brand to connect with audiences in other countries.

So how can you find out what people in other countries care about?

One way is to surf through foreign language social media, but that can be quite difficult and demotivating.

There are, however, tools to help you do so, and here is an overview of three of them which will help you come up with localised posts worth sharing.

1) Google Trends

Google Trends is a tool which shows you the relative popularity of particular search terms on Google. 

Sometimes news outlets use it to show how a particular term or concept has either come in or fallen out of favor.

It can also be used to track brand popularity...

 

The relative importance of current events.

 

Or even political candidates.

 

Where it's useful for getting your social media posts shared, however, is through the 'Trending Now' section.

Here you can see what searches are trending and even see the approximate amount of searches on the term that particular day.

Why this is helpful for sharing

Google Trends allows you to change the country and see what is trending in various places. Here we can see the top two search queries for Malaysia on July 13th, Perodua Bezza and Pokemon Go.

Finding what is popular in your target countries will help you find an appropriate, popular topic on which to base your post.

Twitter trends

Whereas Google can tell you what things are being searched for, Twitter can show you what is creating buzz on social networks.

Twitter's Trends menu has clickable hashtags which are sorted according to their current popularity.

 

Though by default it shows what is trending where you are, Twitter Trends can be configured to show what is trending in a particular country or city. This lets you see what hashtags are currently most popular in another part of the world.

Simply click on 'Change' next to 'Trends' and type in one of Twitter's set locations. The results are often quite illuminating and different geographic locations reveal that people around the world are having very different discussions.  

Social media tools

There are also a number of tools available which will help you find out what is trending on various social media platforms

ContentGems, Buzsumo and Klout all let you search for new content using keywords. Using a location, such as a city name, will certainly help you find trending topics in the location that you are targeting.

But one tool which offers more is SocialBakers Inspiration Pro. Like the other tools, the search is initially quite simple. You simply pick a keyword, the social network and how recent you want the content to be.

And, like the other tools, on the results screen we can further refine results based on media type (link, photo, video, etc.) and post type (business or personal).

But where Inspiration Pro will help you find relevant content for another country or city is that you can then filter posts by industry and country. That way you can see, in just a few clicks, what conversations are happening which are relevant to your industry and target country.

It's interesting to see just how different the most talked-about topics are in different countries. Here is a recent example of the most popular posts from The Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore in the past seven days.

Once you have found a relevant topic, you can then click through and see some more detail about the post and how quickly it was shared.

This sort of information is incredibly valuable when deciding whether a trend is still important for your audience, or whether it is yesterday's news.

So...

So by using Google Trends, Twitter trends, or a tool like SocialBakers you will have a good idea about what is trending in the country you are targeting.

Armed with that information, it should be much easier to write a post which will be relevant to your audience and, with some luck, be shared more often.

More on social strategy:

Jeff Rajeck

Published 27 July, 2016 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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