A problem that I ran into during my first day at the internship was that I didn’t know anything about Italian social media. Because I am a member of Generation Z and in a major related to the internet and technology, I never thought I would have any trouble with being able to use platforms like this. At this point I realized that the cultural differences stretch much further than the language, food, or modes of transportation.
Italian Social Media vs. US Social Media
The first few days of my internship included doing research on what social media platforms people in Italy use, and how they use them. In the US the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but here in Italy are YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
We were asked to focus mostly on Instagram, however the Italians that use Instagram and those in the target market of Essére do not really line up. Because of this we are posting content for both locals and tourists which means in Italian and in English.
Instagram Marketing 101
In previous months, Essére had been using a software on Instagram called Tooligram which finds the target audience of a business and can mass-follow profiles in order to gain up to 1,500 followers daily.
Although Essére’s Instagram account has over 10,200 followers, the posts only get around 30 likes. This tells us that a majority of the followers on our profile are bot accounts or ghost followers. One of our goals for the Instagram account is to find more engaging followers from the local Florence area that are genuinely interested in the content posted.
Unfortunately, this internship is only over a six-week period, so our ideas are limited by the time we have to complete them. Interns will receive a list of ideas including YouTube look books, a Facebook business page, documentary videos, and more.
I was able to see how social media and technology usage differentiates around the world. It is important to determine how a target market uses their platforms, and then tailor business strategies to this.
Where I Traveled: Cinque Terre
This past weekend I traveled to Cinque Terre, Italy for some time to relax. Cinque Terre means ‘five towns’ and is a string of five fishing villages positioned high on the Italian Rivera. It is possible to travel to all five towns in one day by train, boat, or on foot, stopping in each for a snack or drink. I loved the stunning views over the water along with the laid-back attitude of those who travel there.