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Building Global Networks: Social Media’s Role in International Entrepreneurship

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  • Building Global Networks: Social Media’s Role in International Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs have been moving online for decades. Building global networks is possible on many online platforms. Everyday social media platforms are becoming international business centers.

Social media platforms enable a seamless connection between entrepreneurs and audiences. Whether in the same country or across the planet, contacts are a few clicks away. Customers and fellow entrepreneurs can be reached anytime, anywhere.

This will continue to have a massive impact on the global economy.

Let’s look a bit closer at this trend.

The Power of Social Media in Business

Social media platforms give businesses the tools they need to reach a global audience. This is especially important for startups. Social media is now an essential part of business strategy for entrepreneurs starting with very limited finances.

Traditional marketing channels are often prohibitively expensive. This is the first traditional barrier that social media breaks down. Television and radio commercials, for example, eliminate aspiring business owners with limited capital.

Social Media's Role in International Entrepreneurship

With social media, there are completely free ways to grow a business. Even when it comes to paid ads, the costs are not prohibitive. Compared to traditional marketing channels, paid social media ads are very cheap.

Organic (Free) Outreach

You can start building an audience and turning it into a customer base for free. It’s not easy, but there are strategies that you can use to reach out for free.

One such method is “community building”.

With a community-building strategy, you would post content and encourage engagement in a way that is focused on community and information. You don’t directly advertise your business. Instead, you deliver high-quality informative content and focus on increasing your following.

Building engagement is a crucial part of community building and any other methods. Social media users are inundated with interesting content that demands attention. That means you will need a little flair to get people interacting with your posts.

This can be hard to pull off at first, but it can snowball into a great success story. As more engagement with your posts builds up, more people will pay attention to it. The view will be that the more people follow and interact with a business, the better that business must be.

There are numerous cases of entrepreneurs growing businesses on social media.

It could be from gaining 2.6 million followers without ads. Or, it could be from viral marketing. With persistence, testing, and some creativity, small and large businesses have maximized profit with minimal initial expense through social media.

Global Social Media Marketing

Businesses, including small businesses, can unlock new markets internationally through social media. Paid social media ads enable anyone or any business to show ads to a very specific audience. If you want, you can even target users in a specific foreign city.

Airbnb famously broke into the Chinese market in 2015. While more difficult than other countries, Airbnb reached consumers through WeChat and Weibo.

Coca cola and Sephora are two giants that have leveraged social media to expand globally in a relatively short period.

Each social media platform requires its own approach for successful international marketing. But it’s been proven time and time again that social media platforms are the easiest gate into most international markets.

Leveraging Social Media for International Growth

Leveraging social media platforms for international growth is a step-by-step process. With the right research and data-driven decisions, you can make international growth easier.

There are a few terms and strategies to keep in mind when using social media for international growth.

Content Localization

Localization includes each aspect of making content useful for local audiences. Every global audience segment you are reaching out to requires special care. Differences in the following categories should be approached carefully to ensure successful marketing:

  • Languages
  • Local markets
  • Cultural differences
  • Local SEO
  • Formats
  • Regulations

As with any marketing, localization is a simple question of research. Due to the severity of the differences, in most cases, it is recommended to contract local professionals. Simply translating content and targeting a specific region leaves too many chances for failure.

Choice of Platform

The social media platforms that are most popular in your country may be meaningless in another. Choosing the right platforms and making the right strategy is half the battle.

Think of the example of Airbnb moving into the Chinese market. The company needed to become proficient in using new social media platforms that are ubiquitous in China but seldom used elsewhere. They then had to overcome all of the localization challenges in addition to that.

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Some platforms are a better bet, in general, everywhere. For example, Instagram is popular and growing in the vast majority of countries. Then its parent, Facebook, is declining in the US, but expanding rapidly in much of the developing world.

While there are broad trends to consider, it’s best to research one country at a time. People use different platforms, but they also use each platform differently, in each locality.


TikTok is another platform with rapid growth globally. With over two billion users as of 2024, TikTok is highly dynamic and quickly changing. The business use of the platform has already been demonstrated.

TikTok has an outsized market in countries like Indonesia and Brazil. However, it’s a good option in many countries where it is quickly growing.

Emerging Trends

Pay attention to emerging trends around the world. For example, before choosing a social media platform and strategy for a specific region, consider:

  • Growth trends in that country
  • Legal processes to ban or control the use of specific platforms
  • Local competition in your niche on that platform
  • Social dynamics on that platform


LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B marketing and networking in the world. In any country, it is a place where you can find warm leads. Many people will be seeking out relevant B2B products and services.

LinkedIn directly facilitates local and international professional networking opportunities. They do the same with sales with their Sales Navigator and InMail messaging.

LinkedIn offers many opportunities for research. You can find company pages, see who’s hiring, and investigate tactics.

Where LinkedIn shines is in terms of thought leadership. It’s a truly global platform where thought leaders around the world make arguments and discuss key issues. While you can do this on any platform, you can get the most from your time investment on LinkedIn.

If you want to recruit talent to manage your growth in foreign markets, LinkedIn is also one of the best tools for that.

All in all, LinkedIn is a global social media platform that has a part in any international business plan.

Challenges and Solutions

We’ve gone over the monumental power of social media when doing business internationally. However, international social media strategies present several unique challenges. You cannot treat international social media strategy the same.

There are a few ways you can adjust to meet these challenges. Thanks to technological solutions, overcoming these difficulties is easier than ever.

Pay attention to these challenges and solutions to unlock the world via social media.

Time Zone Differences

This simple challenge can make a world of difference. If you want to reach out to a global audience and time your posts just right, you can use scheduling features.

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Scheduling social media posts can be standardized through management tools. Tools like Hootsuite help you time posts for optimal results. This includes doing so in different time zones.

It is suggested that you time posts for the opportune times in each different target market.

Use social media features to research when your audience is most active in your target region. Social media insights tools and analytics provide this data. You can use it to make sure you reach out at the right time.

Customer Support

Reaching out to a global audience means more complex customer support needs. Businesses that normally offer support only during regular business days may find this challenging. They may have to adopt and become adjusted to a more complex customer support system.

The easiest way to ensure you can provide support when needed is to assume 24/7 support is a baseline requirement. Chatbots are now a great option for immediately handling customer support needs. You can customize them heavily.

Likewise, ticketing systems and email response systems can be partially automated. It’s not an ideal solution, but it can be surprisingly affordable.

Compare the different customer support software options available to you. There are several all-in-one solutions that offer the above features and more.

In the end, you will often need to distribute support teams globally. This is the only way to ensure that all customer queries receive timely responses around the clock. Even the best helpdesk and chatbot software has limitations.

Customer support, like other areas, also faces language barriers.


All the content you are distributing must be translated into your target audience’s language. Likewise, product descriptions and customer support must be available in their language. This is another challenge that is made easier through tech-based solutions.

Hiring translators globally on a contract basis is easy. You can use freelance platforms, social media job boards, and forums to find talent.

This is another area where chatbot and helpdesk software can shine. Most of the top solutions offer their complete service in at least several languages.

If you are on a budget, you can take advantage of free or inexpensive translation tools. Then, hire an editor to look over your posts and content before they are published.

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences sometimes can’t be accounted for with translation alone.

In marketing, the solution is localization. That means you must have content tailored to the preferences of the intended audience. Whenever possible, hiring local professionals is advisable.

Regulatory Compliance

Lastly, consider that advertising and quality control laws differ by jurisdiction. Make sure that content is made according to local regulations. Likewise, ensure that the products you are presenting don’t go against local regulations or cultural sensitivities.

Supporting International Operations

Most of the challenges we’ve covered are not particularly difficult to manage. However, international operations require seamless and affordable financial transactions. This issue can present the most serious challenges if it’s not prepared for.

When businesses expand and create local entities abroad, these challenges are constant. Sending money to any individual or entity abroad comes with unique challenges.

International Money Transfer Challenges

The two issues that often arise are:

  1. Accepting international payments
  2. Sending money for products, services, or payroll

As businesses expand into international markets, they need to consider the most effective methods for transactions. This includes international purchases, invoicing, and currency exchange.

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Inter-currency transactions always come at a higher cost. Banks normally offer a standard markup on the conversion rate for any transaction made. There may also be delays and security concerns may cause payment halts.

These challenges can be a real pain if you don’t prepare for them. You don’t want to lose business or ruin vendor relationships due to banking difficulties.

Seamless Transactions

Many financial applications and platforms support international transactions. However, they vary when it comes to:

  • Money transfer fees
  • The currency exchange rates they offer
  • Reliability
  • Availability in different countries

You need to consider these issues when comparing your options. Choosing the right platform for your business can save you time, money, and headaches in the future.

To ensure smooth and instant financial support to your operations in countries like Cameroon, consider utilizing services that allow for instant cash transactions. Such facilities not only simplify business transactions, but also ensure that your international networks are well-supported financially.

The Future of International Entrepreneurship & Social Media

Social media now forms a key part of building global networks for entrepreneurship. You can gain customers or partners alike with a good social media plan.

Don’t take for granted that international entrepreneurship through social media is easy. There are several serious challenges you will have to overcome to succeed. However, social media has still made international marketing much easier than it once was.

Get out there and start reaching out to international audiences!

It’s now easier and cheaper to get started. With some help from local professionals, you can start expanding your business internationally.

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