Lee Odden

3 Steps to Create a Global Social Media Content Plan

Global Content PlanNote from Lee: I’ve known Michael Brito for about 5 years (he hired my agency TopRank Marketing when he was at HP) and I’ve followed his moves around Silicon Valley from Yahoo to Intel to his current role as SVP, Social Business Planning, Edelman Digital. Michael’s new book on Social Business (Included in our list of Optimized Online Marketing Books) is something I’ve been looking forward to and I asked if he’d share some tactical insights with our community. This post focuses on content and social media for companies operating globally.

Michael BritoCreating a social media content plan is easy if you own the customer experience in one country (well, not that easy). It’s a whole different story if that level of responsibility included countries in Latin America, Europe or Asia. When expanding into global markets, strictly from a content perspective, there are 3 important things to consider — the establishment of governance policy, a content library and community management.

Establishment of a Governance Policy

Governance can mean a lot of different things. In this context, it needs to be the foundation of the content plan. Not in terms of content creation but in terms of standards and processes for expanding into a certain market. For example, Company A wants to launch a Facebook page and Twitter channel in Latin America to support its operations into that region. A governance model will ensure that the regional marketing team has the following lined up before launch:

  • A content plan to include frequency and context of Tweets, Facebook Updates, blog posts (or whatever relevant tools/platforms are used in that region)
  • An established moderation policy
  • A crisis communication plan
  • An understanding and “buy in” of the measurement philosophy (everyone in the organization SHOULD be measuring social media the same way)

More importantly, a smart governance model will have checks and balances to determine if there is even a need to create additional social channels in specific regions. It may be more effective to leverage a Facebook tab for regional, specific content.

Content Library

If it’s one thing that marketing teams in other regions lack, it’s content. The reality is that most brands do have really good content. It’s just scattered all across the internet, various internal portals and even within employees’ inboxes. Content can include videos, PDFs, spec sheets, FAQ, blog posts, infographics and the list goes on.

A content library is an internal web property that aggregates, hosts and/or links to branded content. Like the screen shot below, content can be categorized by product, language or by a timeline of when the content was created; and it’s very easy for a region (or employee) to share the content with their social graph or branded channel.

Content Library

A content library can also include hashtags and other campaign elements, specifically for a product launch or event. This ensures that employees, regions and even partners are consistent when sharing content which is good for driving awareness about a particular initiative as well as pulling metrics reports.

Community Management

Without an active community manager, a content marketing plan will fail. A community manager will not only be responsible for actively posting and aggregating content; but he/she is essentially the face of the brand and should be sanctioned to solve customer problems. A proficient community manager will answer questions and provide real and “tangible” solutions to disgruntled customers. Additionally, he/she should have the authority to provide rewards to random customers simply for being customers.

Michael Brito is an SVP, Social Business Planning at Edelman Digital. He just released his new social business book, Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media in Your Organization. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1.  Thanks Michael for the post.

    The Library above seems very helpful. The screen shot seems to be wireframes. Are there actual tools out there that you know of to manage this?

  2. Lee — tried to leave a comment earlier from the tablet and I don’t think it went through. I wanted to quickly say thank you for allowing me to post on TopRank. I have been a fan of you and this blog for many years! Thanks for providing awesome content day in and day out.

    Toby — I think Yammer can do something similar to this, but most likely it will have to be home grown.

  3. Thanks for sharing the post Michael. I enjoyed reading it was very insightful.

  4. I really like this idea. Thanks for the post.  I have been thinking about what tool I would use  to organize everything on my marketing site.  The more we grow the more confusing it is for the members. I am looking at different options so members and visitors can easily find what they need.  This looks like it might be the solution. Does it have an RSS feed for the Internet?  Or is it something like white papers or slide share? 

  5. great stuff for a newbe like me

  6. 1. Props on the picture – it is one of my all time images! 
    2. Great content, I especially love the section on a content library. It is so easy to skip the step of organization but it makes life so much easier down the road. 

  7. Avatar Laura Christine says

    You have clearly described about the Create a social media content plan. I would like to thanks for this great blog.

  8. Avatar Mahsa Ahmadi Zadeh says

    I truly do agree with you about community management and it’s importance. I have actually had arguments before with people who undermine the importance of the right person being chosen for contact with customers. Thank you for proving my point.