diego dacal

Social Media: The schizophrenia of a brand

Global Brands

What is the most popular soft drink?

Yes, most people should answer Coca-Cola. What is the most famous fast food chain? McDonalds, right? The most visible characteristic between these brands is that they are multi-national and are present in most countries around the world. They are widely recognized as north american brands, but they don’t speak only english. These brands speak to their customers in whatever language is spoken in their countries (I love watching ads in catalan at the movie theathers), and create ads for that country they are. It’s pretty simple to communicate  through the traditional media, in a “little” and “controled” ambient.

Thinking Social Media Locally

In Social Media, if the base strategy is focused on localized networks as Orkut or Tuenti, in a first sight it’s also very simple to be executed. Orkut was the main social network in Brazil for years and many brands were present there speaking to their customers in portuguese. Tuenti’s case is a bit more complex, as in Spain four languages are used. Spanish is still the main one though, understood by the majority of Spanish people, so it can be used as default in national campaigns.

Globalized World

What happens if we start thinking about global brands in Social Media? In my opinion Facebook or Twitter stand as the big cause for a brand schizofrenia. There is no standard language or cultural behavior in these networks, analyzed globally. Facebook is translated to 77 different languages including different englishes or spanishes. My big question is how should a multi-national and cultural brand behave in these networks? I have two fast answers for this question:

  1. Just create different pages to each language used. Not the best way. There’s a big difference between the spanish used in Latin America and the one used in Spain. Even only the latin american countries have big differences between the used spanish. Cultural differences are a big barrier too.
  2. Ok, create a profile for each country. Have you ever wondered in how many countries McDonalds is present? Now imagine this number of Facebook pages, now add a couple of more for the countries where more than two languages are spoken.

Focus on Users

In my opinion, an “easy” way to solve this problem would be to link localized brands to a main brand. Something like Coca Cola Brasil being part of the master Coca Cola account. So users would like/follow Coca Cola and choose in which language and countries they would like to receive updates.

And you, what’s your opinion about it?



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