World Social Media Day – Why you should look beyond Facebook and Twitter

World Social Media Day - Why you should look beyond Facebook and Twitter

Social media. You either love it or hate it, but chances are you’re using it. For many of us, social media has become our primary way of communicating, whether it’s with family via WhatsApp, with friends on Facebook, or with colleagues and business partners on LinkedIn.

It’s important to note, however, that many countries have social media platforms of their own. These exist outside of the international giants such as Facebook and Twitter. In celebration of today’s World Social Media Day, we have taken a look at some of the lesser known social media platforms from around the world. These platforms may be interesting to consider if your organization is hoping to expand internationally.


1. Xing – Germany

Most people, especially business professionals, are familiar with LinkedIn. But did you know that countries such as Germany and France have their own professional networking platform? Xing, a social network for business professionals within the DACH region, is quite popular in Germany. In fact, we did a little research to determine how popular Xing is in comparison to its American competitor LinkedIn. We looked at the online presence of 121 companies within the translation industry.

Of the 76 companies present on at least one of these platforms:

  • 65 had a LinkedIn account
  • 55 were present on Xing
  • 45 were present on both platforms.

Of the companies that could only be found on one of these social networks, 21 were exclusively present on LinkedIn, and 10 on Xing.

This bit of research clearly shows that Xing is an important network in Germany. Within an industry that is internationally oriented by its very nature, Xing is almost as important as LinkedIn. If you’re specialized in B2B, or targeting business professionals, Xing may be worth considering as a networking platform. Do keep in mind that the platform only targets people living in German-speaking countries, so your content or ads should be in German too. But a translation agency such as Nimus translations can easily help you with this!


2. WeChat – China

WeChat is a well-known application used by a billion users in China and other parts of the world. As a multi-purpose app that can be used as a messaging, mobile payment, and social media tool, WeChat has become the number one application in China. It is even used as a method of internal communication within companies!

WeChat also has its perks for companies trying to enter the Chinese market. Since 2018, international organizations in more than 100 countries can set up an Official WeChat Account. With an Official (or Public) Account, companies can market products, keep the target audience up to date, and drive them to their website. This can be critical for international companies, as other social media platforms such as Facebook are not available in China. Besides, if you want to be found by your new target audience, being present on WeChat is the way to go: the app has its own search engine that only searches for results within WeChat! Being present and findable here can massively increase your financial performance. After all, many users like the convenience of being able to search for something and buy it directly via WeChat, without ever closing the app. You can also start a Flash Sale to determine the interest of your Chinese target consumers.

While WeChat is available in many countries around the world and is open to all users, it is still mostly popular among Chinese people. It’s therefore crucial to translate your marketing content – which is something we are happy to do for you!


3. VKontakte (VK) – Russia

VKontakte (VK), the Russian version of Facebook, is a force to be reckoned with. It is one of the most visited websites in Russia alongside Yandex, a search engine that is much more than just that – but more on that some other time!

But what exactly is VK, and why is it important to know about it as an internationally oriented company?

First and foremost, VKontakte is a social networking website used by individuals living in and around Russia. Although it is available in several languages, most of VK’s users use the Russian version of the platform. Approximately 90.000 active users log into the network on a daily basis. This number has been steadily increasing over the last couple of years, as social media is still on the rise in Russia. Most of these users are under the age of  34, which is good to keep in mind should you want to use VKontakte as a marketing tool.

Knowing the demographics of a platform can be valuable insight, but we can do better than that. Previous research has shown that advertisements for leisure and health-related products/services are quite effective on VK users. However, this is no reason for companies in other industries to shy away from this Russian social media platform. VKontakte, similar to WeChat, has an integrated search engine (although this one is not limited to the internal database), so your profile may show up during a search. Having a VK profile would reduce the time required for your target group to find you – which is always a bonus.



We hope this short insight into three social media networks from different countries has provided you with a sense of the scope of social media. Even platforms that are less known among those of us used to Facebook, LinkedIn etc, can have millions, if not billions of active users. And these are just a few examples; there is a considerable number of smaller platforms and websites that are still kicking. For example, Viadeo is a French social network for professionals, Wykop is a Polish platform similar to the American social media website Reddit, and if you’re living in the UK you may have heard of Mumsnet, the UK’s biggest social network for parents.

As you can see, social media is so much more varied than it often seems. It’s not just a couple of giants that rule the world (although their overwhelming presence is undeniable). Social media also includes all the smaller websites and apps that allow those who live in the same country, speak the same language, or have similar interests to connect with one another. So on today’s World Social Media Day, take a second to consider what these platforms could do for you in terms of expanding internationally.


Would you like us to support you by translating your content or advertisements for a social media platform that is not available in English? Or would you like to know more about social media platforms in different countries? Just contact us! We’re always happy to help.

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