Almost 240 years ago a group of upstarts in a backwater colony decided to declare independence from the United Kingdom – then the most powerful Empire on the planet. But it wasn’t just political freedom that emerged from this act of revolution. The emergence of new personalities, characteristics, and even language evolved as a result of this rebellion.
Fast forward to 2013 and the results of that little tiff can be felt in the blogger world – and in social media in general. It might not be the most important difference that evolved, but this is a blog for a blog conference so give me a little leeway for a bit here.
People act differently on each side of the Atlantic. I know, because I have lived in Canada, the US, France and the UK. Every country has its quirks. In New York it might be fine to tell anyone and everyone about your lithium prescription. In London? Not so much.
Every day in my position as Head of Communication at HouseTrip.com, I get approached by bloggers from around the world pitching me for partnerships, free accommodation and more. Before I even look at the blog, I can usually tell you where the blogger comes from just by the way the pitch is written.
American bloggers always focus on the numbers. If the pitch is littered with Klout scores, traffic numbers and any other random bit of tracking data you can think of, then the pitcher is from the U.S. of A. Brits are much more apologetic. Common phrases include: “I hope I’m not asking too much, but” or “It would be really helpful if.” Not for them the jugular vein.
But social media use goes beyond the way bloggers pitch. It’s also reflected in how the locals of each country decide to interact and engage with their friends and influencers.
Bloggers need to make choices in the way they choose to promote themselves, create, and amplify content in order to attract the natives of the countries they want core readership from. Content questions need to be asked:
- Am I being too personal?
- Am I using the right language and tone?
- Am I blogging about the kinds of topics readers from (insert country here) want to read about?
- Am I using the right platforms to publish and distribute my content?
Brands also want to know that you are aware of your market and readership. I work for a European brand so I am always going to be more interested in European readership or viewership when I am choosing bloggers to create partnerships with. The fact that you have big numbers is great. The fact that you have big number in the UK, France or Germany is even better.
Know where the brand wants to target and rule out the ones you know are looking to attract different visitors. There is no point in trying to go after the Bhutan Tourism Board to sponsor your trip if France represents just 200 inbound passengers a year and your blog is read by the French market.
Think smart and vive la difference. Make your content decisions work for you – and you might find that a new market opens up to you if you make simple changes to your site or URL.
Author Bio: Ryan Levitt is PR Director of HouseTrip.com, one of the world’s largest holiday rental websites offering over 230,000 rentals in more than 19,000 destinations worldwide. Prior to this time, he spent almost a decade in travel PR representing NYC, Bermuda, Mauritius, Queensland, Malaysia and many other destinations, hotels and cruise lines in Europe. Also a former travel journalist, he has written over 20 travel guides and contributed to The Independent on Sunday (UK), Arena Magazine, Wallpaper, South China Morning Post, Toronto Star – and was a guide writer for VisitBritain and the German National Tourist Office.