For all businesses that have an online presence, the two critical elements to address when it comes to going global are cost and chance of success. If you aren't sure that both will succeed, you might want to think twice.
Chance of success
When it comes to determining whether your business has a good chance of succeeding on a global level, it is extremely important for you to do your homework before you attempt anything in the direction of going global. The approach that you choose when it comes to your global customers will not be the same as the approach that you take when interacting with your customers domestically. This will include looking at the market very carefully, identifying how your target market actually buys products and/or services, and exactly who your competition is and what they are doing.
The danger with the money element when it comes to considering taking your business to a global level is the number of schemes that are out there. It is very easy to be charmed into a money making scheme that seems relatively painless to the wallet (and seems too good to be true). The chances are very good that it won’t pay off and will, in many cases, end up costing you much more money than it should.
Social media’s involvement with globalizing businesses can potentially contribute negatively to your business’s success on a global level. It seems like an easy and logical choice when considering whether to expand your business to a global level with all that social media and surrounding technology has to offer. However, it is very important to remember to proceed carefully in the beginning. As an organization, you need to make sure that you transcribe your business’s social media activities properly and appropriately. There are some sticky points that you may encounter as you are going through the process of taking your business to the global level.
Segregate your social media activities from the rest of your global marketing campaign: The approach that you took on a domestic level will serve you just as well on a global level, although you will have to make some adjustments that fit more appropriately in the global context. First of all, you should have the same diligent approach when it comes to keywords as always. Your content should be relevant to what your business stands for and what you are offering and your approach to getting the word out should be just as aggressive (if not more aggressive) than it is on the domestic level. Research before you put anything out there is extraordinarily important so that you ensure that you are touching your audience in the most suitable way to satisfy their needs (always remember: WIIFM [What’s In It For Me]).
Base your marketing campaign on your social media activities: When you were running your business on a domestic level, you were most likely enjoying a tremendous amount of success, due in large part to your marketing efforts. You must bear in mind that as translatable as the marketing skills are, you will need to do some adjustments to make sure that what you are offering fits your international market.
Use social media marketing abroad that fits your audience: The basic elements of social media that make using it a success are the same in any country in the world. First of all, social media is about relationships. It is about interacting with people and building trust and credibility. Technology is the tool that you use to help your business to succeed. It is not the most important thing by any means. The human interactions are at the core of your success. You must be engaged with other people.
Your biggest investment in social media should be at the beginning of your campaign: It is very important to remember that you are in it for the long haul. When you choose to use social media for your business, it means that you are committing to investing time on a very consistent and regular basis. The more top-quality content you are able to share with other people, the more valuable your relationships with others will be. It is critical that you keep on top of your social media channels consistently and monitor the interactions. It is all about interactions—on a domestic and a global level.
Attracting new followers: Remember, it is extremely important to constantly add new people with whom to engage. The more high-quality traffic you have coming to you, the greater your chances of increasing business. Social media allows that to happen on a widespread and relatively easy basis.
If your business is doing well on a domestic level and you feel that it is time to take it to the next level, the global level, you should go for it. It is important to understand that you need to keep up with other companies that have added a global aspect to their business. Remember that your plan must be well thought out and impeccably executed so that you ensure yourself greater success for your business.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).