If your company is working on an international market, you have to decide whether you want to stay in your native language or adopt a multilingual approach. My advice would be to use more than one language because you need to target the right people in the right place at the right time. Social media encourages communication The MIT Sloan Management Review states that one key positive of social media and social networking is that it encourages communication. Do not assume that one campaign can just be translated and will work for all. Do not assume that a Facebook campaign will work everywhere. Considerations for social media translations Sure Languages lists three important considerations for social media translations: 1. Knowing when to translate and when not is a key issue for any social media translation. Bernadine Racoma is right when she says that translation facilitates communication but that there are times when translation fails from social media posts and other online sources can elicit various emotions. However, it also shows that professional translations are needed if your company wants to communicate with an international audience properly. In How to Plan Digital Content Like a Professional, you will find several steps and tools that can help you.
Last week, I published the ultimate guide to a perfect social media strategy. There is one issue to consider that might be added to that guide, which is social media translations. If your company is working on an international market, you have to decide whether you want to stay in your native language or adopt a multilingual approach.
My advice would be to use more than one language because you need to target the right people in the right place at the right time. You may be wasting your time and money if all your posts are in English when fifty percent of your customers are Spanish. In this blog post, you will find background information regarding social media translations, tips for launching a multilingual social media campaign as well as some considerations for social media translations.
Social media encourages communication
The MIT Sloan Management Review states that one key positive of social media and social networking is that it encourages communication. However, particularly among international organizations, there is one key drawback: language. MIT Sloan Management Review’s 2014 social business report identified an interesting paradox. While respondents from multinational companies indicated that social media often enabled their organizations to work more effectively across global boundaries, they indicated that it also introduced new problems. As it became easier to communicate with people using social media, the obstacles imposed by differing languages became more pronounced.
There is little a company can do but meet the customer in their own tongue, the authors say. Translation tools may aid in the response but they are still imperfect solutions, particularly in the unique context of social media communication: 280-character Twitter exchanges are sometimes difficult to translate, even for fluent speakers.
The authors urge you to make sure that your externally facing social media team is fluent in a wide variety of languages and not to insist they all be situated in the same geographic location. After all, it may be easier to coordinate a team across global boundaries rather than to find all the necessary skills in a central location.
Launching a multilingual social media campaign
Pangeanic offers five tips for launching a multilingual social media campaign:
- Do your market research.
Identify your target customers and find out their interest and habits.
- Create specific campaigns for specific countries.
Do not assume that one campaign can just be translated and will work for all. Sometimes this can work but it is not always the case.
- Keep up to date with local news and events to avoid pitfalls.