There are many reasons for the different usage of social media networks across the globe. Differences in culture and consumer behaviour between regions and countries affects the amount of time spent on these networks.
For example, people in one country will have various motivations that drive their social media use and posts will differ in frequency and times. It is interesting to see how significant cultural disparities affect our behaviours online varying from Europe to the US.
The UK has the highest smartphone penetration in Europe and is way ahead of its neighbours France, Germany, Spain and Italy, although in line with its Scandinavian counterparts Norway and Sweden.
The social stats, from here to Australia
Facebook still dominates as leading social platform worldwide, in 2016 Facebook has 1.86 billion mostly active users! In the UK YouTube and Facebook are the most popular platforms among adults online.
Twitter is another social media platform used worldwide and there are differences in usage of the UK and the US. UK users tend to seek connection and conversation, 67% of the posts samples was back and forth conversations with other users. Whereas 82% of US users are more likely to retweet a friend or a celebrity.
It is interesting to see as both countries are westernised but still have some major differences. US users are more emotional and are likely to share things about feelings compared to people in the Uk who are more reserved.
In Australia almost 60% of users aged 14 and over are active on Youtube and Facebook, 25 % on Instagram, 23 % on Tumblr, 17.8% on LinkedIn and more than 14% are active on Twitter.
Twitter is used the least amongst Australians compared to the US where it is the second most popular social platform for marketers and it is used highly in the UK too.
There is still a large amount of growth for the twitter market in Australia, but it hasn’t caught on as much as in other countries and regions.
The Netherlands, Italy, Norway and the UK have some of the highest rates of social network usage in Western Europe, 69 % make regular visits to social platforms.
But France and Germany rank at the bottom of usage (55.7%, 57.1%). Research in Emarketer reveals that these countries have some privacy concerns and mistrust of companies like Facebook and Google. Also, German cultural norms are more conservative and users don’t like to reveal as much personal information. Commonly Twitter isn’t used as much by German users because of language barriers and an absence of national personalities embracing social media.
China is a good example of a country who’s social activity is changing and growing. The country has made some restrictions and some top networks have been blocked.Weibo is said to be the Chinese equivalent of Facebook and twitter. This platform is commonly used by UK businesses to try and reach this market.
As an international fashion marketing graduate it is interesting to see how businesses differentiate their and social strategies across different countries, in particular, the Chinese market.
Chinese internet users rely heavily on social media for information on fashion and new trends. Many Chinese consumers tend to do their shopping outside of the country, social media content is a great way of communicating with users, without them physically coming to store.
An example of a brand who has internationalised In China is Tommy Hilfiger. In May 2015 the American designer held his 30th-anniversary fashion show in Beijing and opened one of the largest stores in China. Content around the event led to a 2,000% increase in visits to the Tommy Hilfiger Weibo page, sales increased by 21% and its Chinese e-commerce business almost doubled. Social media networks are a great way to gain a foothold in other markets across the globe and to get engagement from internet users.
Many countries around the world have their own versions of fashion weeks and fashions are localised to specific areas. London is often seen to be experimental and inspired by the street, Whereas Paris more focused on couture and sophistication and Japan as technologically forward and innovative.
Online fashion retailer ASOS have got it right using when it comes to their digital platforms. They have no physical stores and have 8 million active users and ship to over 200 countries worldwide. They use all social media platforms to reach a wide audience and have made a huge success doing so. The brand did, however, fail to get the name off the ground and pulled its growth into the Chinese market this year.
By Lauren Whitnell
FVR Marketing Executive