While many international countries are still warming up to social media, a recent study by Forrester Research revealed that countries like China and India have some of the highest social media engagement figures in the world – even surpassing parts of the U.S. and Europe.
Forrester compiled results from more than 330,000 surveys around the world, including seven countries in Europe – UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. The company found that social media users in China and India have a much more aggressive approach than the U.S. or Europe.
The study broke down countries into different categories, including creators, conversationalists, critics, spectators, inactive, and so on. In the U.S., nearly 73 percent of social media users fall into the spectator category, meaning that individuals spend a lot of time consuming content – such as reading blogs or watching videos. Europe wasn’t far behind with 69 percent of its social media users falling into the spectator category.
Creators – those that publish blogs and upload videos – accounted for only one quarter of social media users, while conversationalists – anyone that tweets or posts updates on a social network – accounted for 36 percent of the U.S. and 26 percent of European users. However, in India, 80 percent of the countries social media users are creators. China also saw high creation numbers with 76 percent of its users falling into the creator category.
It’s also interesting to note that many U.S. and European users sign up for social media accounts and then forget all about them. Alternately, in these emerging markets, only 7 percent of online users are inactive, compared to 14 percent in the U.S. and 21 percent in Europe.
The study also found that while Facebook and Twitter are popular platforms in the U.S. and Europe, Orkut and Weibo have a major share of the market in India and China respectively.
When developing an international marketing or outreach strategy it’s important to tailor your efforts around each countries’ social personality. Since India tends to create more than consume, give your international communities an opportunity to experience something with you rather than just giving them something to read or ignore.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.