Whither improved Social media tools ?

New York :As Facebook continues to grow internationally, brands are in need of better global social marketing solutions, according to a poll of brand marketers released today by Buddy Media, and conducted by Harris Interactive.

Buddy Media, the leading Facebook management system for the world’s largest brands and agencies, found that 72 percent of brand managers agree that social media offers great potential to reach existing and potential customers across the globe, but they are lacking tools and information to leverage it successfully.

The findings come on the heels of Facebook’s announcement that it has reached 500 million users worldwide, which makes it the largest and fastest-growing two-way communication platform in the world. But with only 25 percent of Facebook users logging on from the U.S., there is a large untapped market for major brands that don’t have a global Facebook solution in place.

While there is a large opportunity for brands to expand their global reach – and the majority of marketers polled believe that social media would provide an effective means for doing so – few companies are using Facebook to reach customers globally. According to the poll – Reaching Customers in Local Markets – only one-third of large companies with revenues in excess of $100M are currently using Facebook to do so.

The biggest obstacles brand managers at large companies face when using social media to reach customers globally include: Managing and maintaining information; Measuring success; and Keeping region and country-specific content fresh.

“In order for bands to effectively reach consumers across the globe, they need to heed the traditional marketing/PR maxim of thinking global and acting local,” said Michael Lazerow, CEO and Founder of Buddy Media, which recently introduced a unified global social marketing solution called +GLOBAL that addresses many of these challenges. “Cost, scale, segmented audiences, inconsistent design and incomplete analytics are all local branding dilemmas that companies have faced in the past when it comes to social marketing.”

According to the poll, nearly all brand marketers – 93 percent – find it challenging to reach customers in local markets across the globe with a unified brand message. The biggest problems marketers face when creating a strategy are related to finding cost-effective tactics, managing costs, leveraging social media, and establishing metrics that track ROI.

Buddy Media, which was recently named to the 2010 AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Companies for demonstrating significant market traction and pursuing game-changing technologies in digital media, introduced the +GLOBAL add-on to the Buddy Media Platform in June. The offering allows global brands to maintain a single, unified Facebook presence across multiple countries and languages. By serving a customizable platform to everyone who likes a brand, +GLOBAL enables brands like Starwood Hotels & Resorts to bypass the challenges associated with maintaining a Facebook presence across multiple countries.

This online poll of 105 brand managers who are responsible for managing the marketing or branding of their company’s products or services was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Buddy Media from June 10 – June 14, 2010.


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