I've had the opportunity to interview two people so far for my research in London. I've learned that, although we speak the same language, our cultures are very different. By extension, social media habits are also different.
Send In the Clowns
I spoke to Maria Surcel, the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Ronald McDonald House Charities U.K. In my interview with her, I found a huge difference between the RMHC branding here in the U.K. versus in the U.S. In the U.K., the role of Ronald McDonald, RMHC's clown mascot, is downplayed.
Surcel said that clowns simply aren't as popular in the the U.K. as they are in the U.S. Completely opposite of that, Laura Doyle, Communications Manager of the RMH of Cleveland, told me that some children are disappointed to arrive at the House only to find out that Ronald doesn't live there!
Although Ronald plays less of a role in the U.K. branding, his hand is still visible in the logo.
Quality Over Quantity
I learned of some other differences when I spoke to Rhodri Harries, Managing Director at Kaizo in London. One of the things that stood out the most to me from my interview with him is that it's not always a priority for U.K. organizations to post to social media every day. Harries said that when people see too much "rubbish" being posted by an organization, they are more likely to leave the page. He said that it's more important to make sure the organization's posts really mean something to the audience.
Not So Different, Really
Despite the differences I'm starting to notice in my research, RMHC in the U.S. and RMHC Global are still very similar to RMHC U.K. In both countries, the social media managers are using social media to tell the organization's story. They choose content that appeals to the audiences emotions, and use their respective pages to build relationships.
In May of 2013, I had the opportunity to participate in a research trip to London. I conducted research comparing how nonprofits use social media for public relations in the U.K. versus in the U.S. The entries in the blog contain my findings.