A Social Marketing Dilemma: Local vs. Global Instagram Handles

Mar 25, 2021

One of the brilliant parts of social media marketing is that there are no hard and fast rules. Marketing professionals have the freedom to build and maintain a unique brand voice on social media, and can adjust strategies according to best practices, and shifts in consumer preference. Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, testing what works takes time and resources. There has been an ongoing debate in the social media community on the use of local versus global handles on Instagram and the ROI gained from each. In this article, Dash Hudson breaks down the benefits of these two strategies, and spotlights the leaders of both approaches.

Local Instagram Handles

Many successful global brands like Spotify, IKEA and L’Occitane use localized handles to reach different regions within its international audience. Here are some of the key benefits to using a localized approach on Instagram:

1. Region-Specific Trends
Trends often vary by region. Brands that create accounts for different countries or continents benefit from being able to use colloquial language and can incorporate cultural values into its social media strategy. The more adaptable your brand is in the way you communicate, the more consumers you can reach and turn into loyal brand fans.

2. Product Offering
If you offer different products depending on region, a localized strategy might be for you. The ability to promote products that are relevant and available to a targeted audience increases the chance of purchase. Features such as Shopping Tags, and link-in-bio solutions can be used in a more strategic way when they pertain directly to the audience.

3. Meaningful Engagements
It can be easier to make meaningful connections and build a unique sense of community when you have a page dedicated to each region. Answering product questions, engaging in discussions, and understanding your brand's conversation on a per-location basis can be invaluable for guiding your marketing and product strategy in the future.

Global Instagram Handles

In contrast, international brands such as Bentley Motors, Zara and Otto Group see success by opting for global handles and a consistent brand message. Below are some of the key benefits to using a global approach on Instagram:

1. Consistent Messaging
For any international brand, consistency across digital touchpoints is important and speaks volumes to brand identity. One global handle ensures that brand messaging for all markets is aligned and provides a single source of truth for any new users that might visit your page for the first time.

2. Consolidated Fanbase
Global handles give brands an accurate picture of your fanbase’s size and allow you to keep a pulse on engagement. The consolidation of your audiences enables brands to deeply understand what content resonates with them as a whole. This makes it easier to make strategic content decisions moving forward.

3. Streamlined Workflow
As the scope of a social media manager roles continue to grow, time and resources are often scarce. A global handle makes community management more straightforward and allows time to make sure each post has strategic messaging.

A Social Dilemma

All in all, maintaining real engagement and growing loyalty amongst brand fans is key on Instagram. Whichever strategy you choose should be contributing to a growing engagement rate and serve to streamline community building for your team. To learn more about Instagram measurement and best practices, check out Dash Hudson’s 2021 Benchmark Reports.


Header image: @zara


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Olivia Fitzpatrick

International Growth Coordinator