This post was most recently updated on April 17th, 2022
[A collaboration post with Day Translations – all thoughts are my own.]
After the pandemic began in 2020, offline shops around the world started building their multilingual social media presence right away to keep their customers satisfied. I’ve seen some companies in Bali start hiring a lot of people who graduated or are experts in the IT, marketing, or content creation field.
Building a multilingual social media presence isn’t an easy task tho. There are around three billion active social media users around the world. Businesses need to have a social media presence these days. However, businesses fail to understand that those billions of people also speak many different languages. The potential for the outreach of a multilingual social media presence is enormous, unfortunately, most businesses think using only English (the lingua franca of the web) is enough!
While it still ranks as the top language in use, its share is giving way to Chinese and Spanish. The online use of India’s languages is also rapidly expanding. By 2021, 73 percent of India’s Internet users will prefer to use languages other than English. Multilingual social media has never been more relevant.
Language also affects consumer confidence. More than 70 percent of consumers require information in their language before making a purchase. Your customers or audiences are more likely to trust your business and purchase your products if your social media posts are written in their own language. It’s just like how Balinese people are very grateful when you speak Balinese (the local language) with them.
If you want to make the most of this, keep reading these 5 tips to build a multilingual social media presence.
Know your audience demographic
Find out where your potential audiences/customers/clients are. You can use your analytic tools like Google Analytics and market research to narrow down your target audience. Marketers should always know who they’re marketing to. That includes what language their audience speaks.
All social media platforms provide analytics dashboards with audience language statistics. Keep an eye on this section and create content accordingly. This way you can create tailored and localized content for them and design your multilingual social media strategy accordingly.
Don’t rely on machine translations tools
Simple translation errors can be devastating for a company’s credibility and it showed that they are not committed to investing in quality content. Although CAT tools are essential, your content needs to be professionally checked by a translator before you post it.
Machine translations are getting more accurate, but they don’t usually pick up on cultural nuances. Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon have made exciting advances in auto-translation, but they still can’t compete with humans.
Amazon experienced the failings of its translation algorithm when it attempted to create a Hindi-language site. Singaporean sushi chain Maki-san mistakenly cursed fans in Malay with its “Maki Kita” dish, some critics admonished the brand for its diversity shortcomings.
Next, Telus, a Canadian telecom company, drew criticism from the country’s francophone community after tweeting “Take a deep breath, grind yourself. Go kill him” in French instead of “Take a deep breath, ground yourself. Go kill it.”
If you don’t understand it, don’t share it. At least you can hire multilingual social media management to check your post before sharing it.
Choose the right platforms
In certain countries, people may prefer to use Facebook, whereas, in others, Instagram might be more popular. In some countries, certain social media platforms could be banned or even unavailable. That’s why you need to research each platform before planning on posting in multiple languages.
Many companies make the mistake of creating various social media accounts, without researching or realizing that not all social media platforms are necessarily useful for them. This research will save companies a lot of time and money in the long run.
Invest in professional translators
Professional multilingual social media management is an expert in knowing your audience’s language and culture. Their skills allow them to produce the most culturally relevant post and nail those jokes and subtle nuances.
A quality translation and professional translation service like Day Translation is an invaluable asset when it comes to reaching a wider audience and achieving your long-term social media goals.
If you’re not hiring experts, you will likely end up with inaccurate literal translations that sound worse (or weird) to native speakers. Therefore, you won’t resonate with your audiences and potential clients.
Localize your content
Don’t just translate your content, but also adjust them to the areas of the world. Jokes, slang, colloquial phrases, and sayings may not mean the same in another language. Consumer trends are also different in different areas of the world, so you need to adjust your content to match that.
The messaging across all your social media accounts should be consistent. But when you’re dealing with different countries and demographics, it should also be tailored accordingly.
Words are only one part of the translation equation. You need to transfer ideas and emotions from one language to another. That’s why localization is a key role to convey the brand’s message.
What do you think about your multilingual social media presence? Is there any other way to build your social media presence?