In working with several large, global companies, we see an interesting new trend that swings the pendulum of “the world is flat” globalization back towards protectionism. In creating social networks, many of these clients are setting up separate channels for each major region of the world (Europe, Asia and the Americas). While the social networks-of-choice vary from country to country as well as the language of preference, many of our greatest innovations come from being cognizant of our cultural differences and trying to view things from a different perspective.
How should major companies handle this? For now, we recommend embracing the individual languages and network choices. We also recommend working to syndicate content across different networks in native languages (translated, of course, by native speakers). This helps force everyone to reflect on the content and gain an essential, outside viewpoint.