How social media can assist brands to enter new foreign markets

By our News Team | 2022

Firms can benefit from social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to boost networking, as well as from social tools such as Buzzsumo.

For any company – especially one with limited resources – expanding into a new foreign market is challenging. In this situation, acquiring enough high-quality market knowledge can be a matter of life and death.

Turning to social media can be beneficial to these new international ventures and help them to survive, according to a study from the University of Vaasa in Finland.

Market Knowledge

Photo by Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash

This shows that newly established international firms and start-ups with limited resources can effectively use social platforms to learn about foreign markets and customers in a fast and inexpensive way.

In his doctoral dissertation, Emmanuel Kusi Appiah recommends these organisations use ‘ambidextrous learning’, which Appiah describes as “using two diverse ways of learning: exploratory learning and exploitative learning”.

‘Exploratory learning’ helps the company to discover new threats and opportunities in its environment. ‘Exploitative learning’, on the other hand, utilises the current market information the firm already has.

Switch between these two approaches

“A company can use social media for exploitative learning, but also for exploratory learning to survive in foreign markets. The company can also switch between these two approaches, according to the situation and company strategy. The use of social media has a positive impact on ambidextrous learning,” Appiah says.

Firms can benefit from social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook in their networking efforts. 

In addition, social media tools such as Buzzsumo, Tagboard and AgoraPulse can provide the necessary knowledge about customers, competitors and existing and new markets, thereby reducing the difficulties a new firm would otherwise face in foreign markets. 

Acquiring knowledge is usually more difficult when a firm is new, especially if it is new and foreign.

“Ambidextrous learning can help firms to combine new external knowledge with existing knowledge and prevent inefficiency and short-sightedness. It can also help firms to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage,” the author explains.

You can find out more about the research here (English translation available).