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How Do Social Media Styles Differ by Culture/Nation? (Part I)
Posted on April 28th 2014
Last March, I sent my friend and social media mentor, Natascha Thomson, a DM via Twitter, asking her view on the differences in social media usage around the world.
We decided to write a post together as co-authors gathering information from people in our network around the world. We conducted a survey on how people see and use social media in each of their different countries.
We make no claim that the results of our informal survey are statistically relevant but they represent insights from people who use social media regularly for business.
We asked the following questions:
- In your country (or region or culture, if you prefer), how do the majority of people view social media?
- What would you say is a unique characteristic about social media usage in your culture?
Here are some of the results.
I decided to start with myself:
Well , I have to speak as the Latino that I am who lives in the United States but was born in Perú. I do, however, have interactions with some peruvians.
1 – In Perú, for example, they often use Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter.
- They use LinkedIn a little bit, and they very rarely use Instagram (more use from Kids/Teens).
- Only big media companies, radio, and television use G+.
- They do not care too much about privacy, and they use social networks for fun rather than for information or business in most cases.
- Blogs are mostly about political issues or fashion/showbiz . There is a lot of interesting opportunity in this growing market.
2 – They use Facebook all of the time.
- For Peruvians, the main use of social media is for fun and bragging with little openness for others, including compatriots abroad, to collaborate.
- There is very little interaction with English-speaking people.
United Kingdom / England
1 - Half of the UK population have Facebook accounts and see Social Media mainly from this platform, however, there are 15 million UK users on Twitter.
- Pinterest is the biggest growing network in the UK, we only had about 200,000 users in 2011 and we now have over two million.
- Everyone has their own views, some love it, some hate it; some see the business benefits, so have hopped into the Social Media bandwagon.
- Opinion is divided. Women rule the Social Media landscape and the majority of the women I know, love it. I think it has, what we call in the UK, a Marmite affect. You either love it or hate it.
2 - I’m not sure we have a unique way of using Social Media.
- Some use it as a way to complain to a company, others use it to keep in touch with friends and family, sharing photo’s and stories. Other use it to see what celebs are up too, or find inspiration.
- More and more businesses in the UK are turning to SM; they realise it’s not going to go away and it’s a great way to increase your brand awareness, keep in contact with your existing customers, find new ones and aid your SEO.
1 – Social Media primarily Facebook is very popular in an everyday kind of way, people use them to upload pictures and posts in a casual manner.
- In a coffee shop you will see people taking pictures and uploading them on Facebook (very usual thing to see). Twitter is user mainly for more “serious” conversations, sharing the news, political views etc but also talking with famous Greek (for example) singers.
- Professionally Social Media Marketing in Greece is still raw and highly connected to advertising or general online services (such as site building or logo design). If you are asking me about how the Greeks “feel” about Social Media, I would say it’s part of their life, kind of like a normal thing to do/use
2 - That is a tough one , I think Greece might be a country standard usage.
- I think staying in touch with a friend and staying up to date on new is the most frequent use of social media.
1 – In my opinion, social media exists as two distinct groups.
- One group includes regular users of social networks, and the other group includes users that don’t use social media at all. People In this group think that social media is has no worth and they see no reason to use it.
- For people who don’t use social media for their professions, the uses are mostly for fun, so most people are on Facebook. Young people, however, use Twitter more. The majority of people don’t even know that Google Plus exists. Linkedin and Instagram are known, but they had not been used widely until recently.
2 – Generally, people like to use social media, especially Facebook to entertain and spend time with friends, comment on any topic that interests them, and above all, to share their experiences.
- I would add that Young people are much more integrated with this generation of social media than older people.