Social Media in Different Cultures

Social Media in Different Cultures 

Social media usage is a global phenomenon across different cultures. It has rapidly changed the world we live in and continues to do so. New users are joining social media networks constantly for varying reasons and it has significantly changed social behavior. Being a medium that allows people to easily share their social lives with others, lets it influence our lives and our habits. It’s use therefore affects cultures differently because of differences between social norms across various countries and cultures.

As social media continues to change social behavior and become more popular among younger generations worldwide, it is likely that social media will continue to affect cultures differently. As the younger and diverse generations evolve with its use, these norms will likely change as well. 

It’s important to note that differences are not just found country-to-country, continent-to-continent or state-to-state. They can also be found city to city! Residents of a small town will most likely view and engage with social media differently than residents of a larger city like Chicago. 

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to understanding social media in different cultures.

Understanding social media in other cultures:

  1. What is openly accepted in a country can be shunned on in another.
  2. Some cultures might use social media predominantly for one thing over another. A culture might use it for business purposes, while another culture uses it for education. 
  3. Some cultures might use one platform more than the other. Some might use Facebook more, while others use LinkedIn more.

This lets you know how important it is to understand how cultures use social media if you plan to do business globally. If you are not mindful of the items listed above, it could lead to unwanted results.

How do you then know what is accepted or more effective when using social media for marketing or business within other cultures? It helps to do a little bit of research and here are a few ways to go about that.  

Networking

Networking with people from different backgrounds and cultures can be very informative and eye opening! Asking them questions about their culture, business and practices is a great way to learn about how they use social media. The key is to ask marketing questions, since most businesses use social media for marketing these days. When learning about other cultures, you should ask the right questions pertaining to your business intentions. Do less talking and way more listening. It will surprise you at how much you can learn.  

Culture or Location Research

Taking a trip to a small town to learn more about their social media practices may seem silly, it can be surprising. Looking at what the smaller communities are doing may introduce you to avenues you weren’t covering before regarding your social media and business in general. So if you are looking to start a business in a new location, it helps to know what social media platforms they mostly use and how they use it. If they mostly do business through Facebook groups and shun ads, you’d be smart to create a strategy for marketing to groups over ads. Research the location and make connections with local people to learn more about how they interact and do commerce using social media. 

Conclusion

Countries and cultures embrace social media differently and social and political dynamics influence how they use it. Organizations need to be aware of these dynamics if they intend to do business with certain cultures. Imagine investing on a campaign on Facebook within a certain area to find out that they prefer buying through Pinterest. That may give you the results you didn’t want.  

As you may notice, knowing about how other cities, countries, continents and cultures use social media can be eye-opening. Knowing how others use technology can help you create exciting innovative social media, marketing, or business strategies. So, next time you see an out of state/country/continent networking event, consider going. It never hurts to learn about other cultures outside of your bubble are utilizing social media to accomplish their goals.