Social media – not all platforms are equal

With more than two billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of the world’s most popular social networks – but surprisingly, it doesn’t dominate the social landscape.

In the 2017 World Map of Social Networks, Facebook led in 119 out of the 149 countries analysed – mostly in the Americas and Europe. Instagram, meanwhile, led in countries like Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Iran and Indonesia.

Of the 149 countries social media strategist Vincenzo Cosenza analyzed, LinkedIn leads in nine and Instagram leads in seven. VKontakte and Odnoklassniki are popular in Russia, while QZone dominates Asia with 632 million users.

Regional favorites

In SE10’s work for clients across the globe, we’ve noticed that two social channels from the Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent, which also owns QZone, dominate the Chinese market – WeChat and QQ. Both mobile applications offer opportunities to engage directly with a group or individual.

Meanwhile, in Europe and the Americas, we are seeing LinkedIn grow as a hub for thought leadership activities.

With such a diverse social media landscape, how can businesses choose the best social media channel for their strategy and business regions?

The power of listening

We recommend businesses to identify their customers’ demographic and conduct ‘social listening’ – in other words tuning into the existing social conversations and understand how customers are using each network (where they are interacting, who they are following, what they are sharing or tagging etc.)

For example, a global company could use Facebook to raise corporate brand awareness and regionally popular social platforms, like VKontakte or WeChat, to provide regional product or service updates.

Social media strategies are best when they are two-way interactions. Like a good conversation, it’s just as important to listen as it is to give voice to our opinions.