It’s hard enough to keep up with all the emerging social networks on a national level, but this becomes even more challenging when looking at international developments. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter put every company that joins them on an international stage. However, in order to effectively reach audiences globally, it’s neccessary to look at countries individually. It’s a paradox: social media is global but at the same time deeply local. In some cases it can be sufficient to use single platforms that span several countries, in others this doesn’t work at all. Not only language can constitute barriers, many regions also have their own dominating networks. In China QZone has more users than Facebook and in Russia VKontakte is the most popular social media site, to name two prominent examples.
When putting together a global social media strategy, going with the most popular networks is not always the best approach. Which platforms are most effective really depends on the individual goals of a campaign, the target groups and their demographics. Nevertheless, getting an overview of the networks that are important in each country is a good start. I recently came across a few visualizations that all try to map the global landscape of social networks. Here are four of them that I found helpful. Do you know any other good overviews I didn’t mention? Just let me know in the comments.
World Map of Social Networks
On this world map, color-coding of individual countries marks the dominating social networks. Maps from previous years provide a nice way of tracking the developments and changes.
Social Web Involvement Map
This interactive world map lets you select countries to get insights into the dominating forms of social media in this region of the world. Categories include uploading photo or video, social network profiles, maintaining a blog and more.
The Conversation Prism
Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas developed The Conversation Prism to visualize the social media universe organized in groups. While the original version focuses on social media in the US, communities in several countries have adopted this graphic to depict their local landscapes. This currently includes Germany, France, Japan and China.
A World of Tweets
This website provides a live view of the volume of tweets around the world. It also includes an interesting chart that ranks countries based on their Twitter engagement. While statistics are usually outdated quickly due to the rapid speed of change in social media, A World of Tweets shows results in real-time.