Corporate Eye

How International is your Social Media?

The web is ‘world wide’, right? Well, yes, in theory; everyone can access almost anything at any time, all over the world. Providing you have the right security settings and a wifi connection, the wealth of data you can access really is massive. However, this data is only  really useful if it’s properly understood and interpreted, and when you think about all the information from all over the world, there’s actually a lot of it that is not very friendly to the international reader.

Much of the time this isn’t a problem and we absorb only what we need to glean from the net, but there are occasions when things don’t quite add up. Different languages, dialects, currencies and timezones are all possible problem areas when it comes to social media, and if you’re looking to attract top international graduates, you need to be sure that your social media talks the language of the world.

Setting a Tone

It’s wise to set a businesslike tone across all your corporate web capital, but be careful when it comes to things like blog articles; it can be tempting to slip into a more informal mode of communication. While this is great for ninety per-cent of readers, be aware of the fact that some phrases might not translate all that well for the international reader.

Informal business jargon, for example, translates particularly poorly. Asking someone to ‘action’ something, for example, isn’t particularly helpful for someone who has learnt English as a second language – ‘action’ is normally a noun! Acronyms are just as bad for an international audience; while a native speaker can usually guess, an international audience may struggle.

Geographical Restrictions

It’s worth being aware of any geographical restrictions that might affect the exposure of your social media. Unless you’re using copyright material with particular restrictions or have any specific branding requirements that prevent you from issuing global content, there’s no reason for your content to be restricted just to the UK.

Be particularly careful with things like Youtube videos or external links, these can be notorious for denying access in particular countries. Though sometimes and in some countries there’s just nothing you can do, it can be worth having a chat to your IT department to see if they can help!

Working with Details

When at work it’s easy to assume that everyone is on the same level as you, but it’s not always the case! Keep a very close eye on the details of everything you post on social media sites; if you’re offering a live webcast at three o’clock, is that three GMT or BST or CET?

Currency often causes confusion, too, and though it’s unlikely you’ll ever have any serious problems, close attention to the details shows that you’re accommodating for those who might be reading from other countries.

If you’re looking to attract top graduates from all over the world, you should ensure that your social media is accessible, easily understood and free from anything that might be exclusive to those reading from your own country.

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Tom Goodsir

Tom started his career early; taking on an associate role at Deloitte just a few days after his eighteenth birthday, working in a technical role but with a focus on identifying and recruiting talented undergraduates. He is now entering his final year at Exeter University and he continues to work with the recruitment side of the firm and remains an active brand ambassador on campus. Over the last few years, Tom has spent time building up a reputation as a freelance writer and has developed both a strong client base and good knowledge of social media along the way. Though there’s still plenty to learn, experience working in both the smallest and the largest of businesses has served him well and given him a feel for balancing strong corporate ideas with a personal tone. As a student, Tom is able to offer a valuable insight into the way graduate recruitment works from the other side and how students and interns react to particular styles of marketing and recruitment. Eventually he hopes to take off his copywriting business before embarking on an MA in philosophy.