Social media, keywords and diversity

This post in Ad Age is quite interesting in its analysis of diversity and the implications for marketers using social media to engage with culturally diverse audiences. In particular, the post raises the issue of colloquialisms and culturally specific keywords and search terms that ‘mainstream’ marketers may not be aware of.

Naturally, the post got me thinking about the process for developing a social media content strategy and how one could cultivate knowledge of these ‘hidden’ keywords. I had one specific question in my mind that I wanted to address: Can you develop a real understanding of colloquialisms and cultural nuances simply by, for example, using Google’s keyword tool, or do you need to work with a culturally diverse set of people who will already be accustomed to the ‘language’ of the people that you are trying to engage?

Either way, given the rich cultural diversity that exists both at home and abroad, colloquialisms and cultural nuances should be key considerations when creating a social media content strategy, particularly when looking at campaigns targeting diverse groups.

While pondering on this issue, I turned to Eb Adeyeri, Senior Digital Strategist at Ogilvy. Here’s Eb’s written response to my thoughts.

One of the benefits of social media is that it has forced marketers to focus more on building and nurturing communities rather than the spray and pray one-size-fits-one-model that has defined the industry for decades.

But how much of a role does diversity play when it comes to really understanding the different communities marketers seek to engage with? And what how much should search marketers get to know or exploit colloquiums when optimising keywords?

Search is a particularly hot topic for PR professionals now. Perhaps not quite as sexy as social media but many in the industry are starting to realise that search is very much interlinked (excuse the pun) with its more glamorous cousin in helping a marketing campaign meet its objectives. They might be late to the party but PR pros are starting to wake to the importance search engines play in communicating a message. While they might not have the technical skills of SEO marketers, PR brings a certain advantage when it comes to relationship building but also in the form of keyword research and understanding what audiences are actually looking for when they ‘Google’ something.

Added to this is the rise in social search. This is where recommendations from your friends show up in your search results. You type ‘football boots’ into Google and within the search results that come back you’re alerted to the fact that your brother-in-law who had a trial at the Emirates recently ‘liked’ the latest Nike boots on Facebook. As a consumer, you want to know personal recommendations before making buying decisions. And as a marketer, you can finally get some of the coveted ROI that your finance director has been hounding you for.

Web search image

Web search image

As a web evolves to fit around our lives having a social element to marketing campaigns will become the rule rather than the exception. Having a diverse campaign team that is not only able to tap into local lingo and jargon but is also astute enough to spot and capitalise on opportunities in the mainstream media that drive search trends is worth its weight in gold.

Eb Adeyeri is Senior Digital Strategist at Ogilvy Worldwide and you can connect with him on Twitter @eba.