Social media is a big deal in Italy – and we don’t just mean Facebook or Instagram. Italians’ love of connecting online gives your brand the perfect chance to get creative. Here’s how to make a success of social media in Italy.
Expanding into Italy? Then a solid social media strategy is a must.
59% of the country’s population are active on social media – with an average of 7.4 accounts each. Engagement levels are high too. Three quarters of social media users actively engaged with or contributed to a social network last month.
All of which means social media in Italy represents an excellent opportunity to build meaningful cross-platform relationships with customers.
Of course, you should include the big hitters like Facebook and YouTube in your strategy. But don’t be afraid to cast your net wider. Sites like Pinterest are also popular – and they could be the difference between standing out and fading into the background.
THE BIG GUNS
81% of Italian internet users are on Facebook – giving your ads a potential audience of 31 million people. That makes it a great place for gaining a wide swathe of customer engagement. The site is so prevalent even government agencies and cities include it in their comms strategy. So whatever you’re selling, make Facebook a top priority.
Instagram is also growing rapidly, rising from 16 to 19 million users in 2018. This means you can reach 32% of the entire Italian population on the site. Plus, the gender split is fairly balanced (49% vs 51%). However, as is the case in other European countries, it’s more popular with younger audiences. In a country that prizes beauty and luxury, Instagram can be a particularly potent marketing tool for photogenic brands.
SNAP OR TWEET?
Snapchat and Twitter are less popular than Facebook and Instagram. Each boasts just over two million accounts, and their audience sizes have been shrinking. But don’t abandon them completely just yet – they’re worth considering if you want to appeal to specific demographics.
Snapchat’s users are predominantly female, making up 73% of the accounts. It’s the place to go to catch the attention of young Italian women. Conversely, if you’re after a more male audience, opt for Twitter – men make up 68% of its ad audience.
PIN IT TO WIN IT
Pinterest allows users to create curated mood boards around a theme. It’s popular among aspirational buyers, making it a natural fit for luxury brands. (If that sounds like you, check out our advice on how to position yourself in Italy here.)
You can also integrate Pinterest with your site, so users can pin your pictures, articles or recipes on their boards. Plus, in March 2019, they launched Pinterest Ads in Italy, meaning you can now target users with specific content.
Pinterest Ads are very versatile, so feel free to let your creative juices flow. Take a leaf out of Levi’s and IKEA’s book – they’ve launched successful campaigns on the platform in the past.
55% of Pinterest users use the site to discover new looks, so Levi’s created a Styled By Levi’s Fashion Finder. They combined their content with the Pinterest Developer’s API to generate individual inspiration boards. It was a huge success – thousands of boards were created in the first few months.
IKEA used Pinterest to engage their audience in a new way online. In their Inspire My Home campaign, IKEA asked users to choose their favourite from a selection of home photos. They then analyzed the users’ boards to identify their favourite styles, before creating a personalized board filled with recommended IKEA products. These were linked to the IKEA site, so users could easily buy what they liked.
If all that feels overwhelming, keep it simple and just place ads in customers’ feeds. For best results, make sure you choose a great image of your brand or product, subtly incorporate your logo and consider adding a text overlay.
VIDEO IS KING
Youtube is by far and away the most popular social media platform in Italy. 87% of Italian internet users visit the site, with the most subscribed brand accounts including Lavazza, L’Oreal, Ford, Samsung and Garnier.
Benetton had great success with their ‘Clothes for humans FW16’ campaign. Launched on TV and online in Italy, the campaign featured a series of 15-second clips with a twist. One clip showed a smartly dressed woman finishing a Skype interview and standing up to reveal she wasn’t wearing trousers. Another ad showed a woman dropping food on the floor. The campaign brought people together around the idea of a brand made for real people and had great success online. So don’t be afraid to skew quirky with your videos, as long as doing so fits your brand personality.
There’s no one way to succeed on social media in Italy. Your strategy will depend on your brand and target audience. But don’t be afraid to mix things up and get creative. Maximize your reach by combining solid Facebook and Instagram strategies with more niche platforms like Pinterest. Invest in video too. It’ll increase your reach and pay off in sales.
If you’d like help creating a social media strategy that works for Italy, get in touch. Our digital team would love to help.
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