4 ways you’re reaching international markets unintentionally

Online websites and the use of social media have expanded all markets in ways most people can only partially comprehend. While people dabble in new media to stay connected with family and friends, industries have been learning new sales and marketing strategies and both have some unintentional side effects in reaching international markets.

Social media and search

There have been hundreds of new online and social sites created and each one is capable of linking to the others. Internet browsers gather data and share relevant information with anyone who requests it, anywhere in the world. You may have noticed Google+ invitations to join circles from other countries in your Google account, you may have had someone from another part of the world “like” your Facebook page, an article you wrote in a blog, or your latest “pin” on Pinterest. Your content is very possibly more well-traveled than you or I will ever be. I doubt it crossed your mind when you opened those accounts to share in your community with family and friends that it would reach across continents and oceans.

How does this happen? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) uses keywords, descriptions, and tags to tell browsers what information to pull when a person types in an inquiry for information. As individuals and companies learn more about how to use this tool, it gets easier to maximize and direct our ideas anywhere, anyplace, and anytime. Search browsers have been using algorithms for this process since they began, but users didn’t understand what has been going on behind the scenes until recently.

Sales, marketing, & negotiation

What used to be face to face or phone dialogue to reach customers has become more about understanding needs and providing information using digital content marketing across devices, all prior to attempts to sell. Social media has made it nearly impossible to contain a marketing campaign within its given target audience. Advertising has been evolving rapidly and industry has learned the hard way how national marketing can turn into international marketing through accidental social media kickback. Companies are now incorporating new communications with a semi-global scale intended from the outset, resulting in changes in marketing and regular sales negotiation training. It integrates and anticipates the constant use of social media and content leaks potentially going into unintended areas.

Global comments, reactions, & opinions

Company and consumer feedback in one part of the world is impacting the feedback in another. We are exchanging ideas that are new to our cultures and economies, changing the way we view and interact globally with each other. We are beginning a process of blending certain societal norms in different regions to be more like worldwide societal behaviors. It’s necessary to pay more attention to writing styles in content and personality traits when interacting and negotiating. Consideration in the choice and style of the social media platform being used determines the degrees of formality and we’ve begun developing new concepts for international acceptance.

Removing the language barrier

Recent statistics tell us that barely 27 per cent of Internet users speak English as their primary language. Getting more personal by erasing barriers with people in other languages happened mainly through the use of video (consider YouTube) and image content, but also with translation software. This barrier has faded due to the use of subtitling to copy content into many languages increasing communication traffic everywhere. By putting out content in different languages, it multiplies the chances of content being seen. Search engines don’t count this content as duplicated.

It is through mistakes and unintended results that we learn the most valuable lessons. It would have been hard to have predetermined how the the Internet would have led us to adopt social media, which would then lead us to learning greater global intuitiveness.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful.

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