Locally Sourced: Not Just for Produce

Although Russian use of the Internet and social media is high enough to warrant the country’s ranking as the fourth largest social networking market in Europe, Russians are using homegrown versions of social media apps. Sharing varying degrees of similarity with social media tools used in the United States and other countries, the Russian applications have been customized to the local market and feature Russian-language interfaces. Their popularity makes it essential for marketers to have a good understanding of the social media structure and applications available in Russia, and how they are being used. (Hint : Facebook probably won’t cut it, but Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte likely will. Ditto for LiveJournal, chosen by President Dmitry Medvedev as his blogging platform earlier this year.)

As with traditional tools and campaigns, marketers must ensure that they are catering to the local audience on their terms, deftly navigating local social and political waters to gain stakeholders’ trust and deliver the goods and services they need and want. For brands wanting to use social media to reach audiences in the Russian market, the results would well be worth the effort.

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One Response to Locally Sourced: Not Just for Produce

  1. You start by making the important point that Russians seem to prefer “home-grown” sites and networks as opposed to whatever is popular globally. Once you grab your reader with this observation, you need to do more to share your point of view on what this means for any brand wanting to get involved in the market. Go beyond sharing that they need a local strategy and aim to offer any thoughts you can on what it may be. It’s certainly not an easy challenge to do this for a market in which you may not have much personal familiarity – but there are plenty of sources that can help you to break down a few examples of what brands are already doing, and work backwards to pull some learnings from that. Ultimately, we just want to hear more of your voice in these posts sharing what you’ve learned about what could work and how a brand might start to think of a real local strategy (which they clearly need). (2)

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