Social Media Translation: 7 Essential Steps To Get It Right!

So, you have developed a sound social media strategy in your source language, and now you are looking to expand. After all, social media remains a crucial marketing and expansion strategy for businesses to connect with prospective clients and new audiences.

But how does social media translation work, and how can you translate content effectively in multiple languages? Read on!

Why Multilingual Social Media Translation Matters

The social media market is booming, and this has done some wonderful things for businesses wanting to boost their online presence and streamline communication with clients. But, when not leveraged effectively, it can create a barrier rather than a tool for global engagement.

In their paper “Are Social Media Benefits Getting Lost in Translationâ€, MIT Sloan Management confirms the business marketing values of social media but identified language as a major obstacle when not approached correctly.1

They further expand on this in their Social Business Report, stating that businesses worldwide feel the effects of connecting more easily with businesses and prospective clients globally, and yet find that new problems are introduced when they have to switch to a multilingual model.2

The only way to overcome this obstacle is to engage with the prospective client or partner in their own language. But in order to do this well, best practices will need to be followed. When translating social media posts and other content, native linguists, targeted messaging, and location-specific marketing become paramount.

For this particular strategy, you have two social media translation services you can choose from. Localization services will suit you best if you plan on translating existing posts and campaigns. Transcreation services, however, will be the service for you if you want to develop targeted messaging from scratch without source content.

Both services will use native experts to create the best possible multilingual copy, but transcreation service includes local copywriters who can communicate with your target market with or without an original text.

Pro Tip! Want to learn more about which service will suit you best when pursuing social media translation? Check out our blog: Transcreation: When You Should Go For it And When You Should NOT!

How To Launch Your Multilingual Social Media Campaign?

When applied correctly, multilingual social media strategies will increase brand awareness, boost website traffic, and improve customer satisfaction. Here is how!

1. Localize Your Website

Social Media is not only a communication tool but also a way to bring traffic to your website. So, before you start communicating your services on social media, you will need to make sure your website is optimized for any country and locale you intend to engage. That is why you should first and foremost localize your website. Website localization includes:

  • Translating the content into the target languages using the expertise of native, in-country translators. This includes all social media content types such as marketing and informational content, but also User-Generated content, videos, payments menus, and graphics.
  • Utilizing the technical expertise of localization engineers so your website performs optimally.
  • Developing an international SEO strategy that will help your pages perform on local search engines.

Pro Tip! Learn more about why International SEO is so important and how exactly to apply it in our blog: How To Apply International SEO To Your Multilingual Web Content.

2. If Possible, Create Social Media Pages For Various Countries

You may have already noticed that Facebook allows users to leverage machine translations to instantly translate posts into their own language. However, if you want to create a loyal following in a new country, it is not recommended to rely on this feature.

Automated Translation has its place, but when translating your social media content and other content types designed to connect with audiences in a unique way, you must commit to human translation exclusively.

We recommend that you create local pages for the countries with the highest potential you intend to target. These will be the ones that will likely offer you the greatest ROI. Before you go down this road, however, make sure you have native experts qualified to run these pages for you!

3. Send Out Targeted Posts & Segment Your Local Audiences

Are you not ready to set up localized pages or do you not have the capacity (yet) to invest in local talent to run them? Then you should consider sending out targeted posts. This way, you can get your message to the right people, at the right time. Rather than managing a whole page, you can localize your social media posts and target audiences using geo-targeting.

You can take your targeting to the next level by segmenting your local audiences with the targeting options that, for example, Facebook provides. Here, you can segment your audience according to age, status, job, gender, and so on, so each post you send out will speak to them on a personal level.

Pro Tip! Targeting and segmentation is a strategy that will work well in social media translation strategies since it shows your audience that you know them. Learn more about the benefits and applications of personalized marketing techniques in our blog Multilingual Hyper-Personalization: Defining The Future Of International Marketing!

4. Be Mindful Of Multilingual Hashtag Strategies And Character Limits

Ah yes, the hashtag. We have learned by now that the hashtag is a label you use to guide your content to the correct readership. So, you may have guessed that this is of equal importance with translated content. If you are using the multi-page strategy and have social media accounts for various countries, you will be able to benefit from the hashtag suggestions for each post.

However, if you will not be following this strategy and will be sending out target messages, your hashtags will need to be selected and localized by native linguists. Do not, under any circumstance, run the tags through a Machine-Translation Engine. It may be tempting, but only human translators will be able to select the appropriate content that will get you the results you need.

Speaking of appropriate content produced by humans, social media posts tend to come with either recommended lengths or enforced ones, such as on Twitter. On Twitter especially, the issue of text expansion can prove challenging. With languages such as German, for example, that take up 30% more space than English, posting a message with the same feel and information can be tricky. Especially since with their excessive usage of compound nouns, the hashtags themselves will already take up a lot of space.

5. Consider Local Social Media Influencer Marketing

Every country has its influencers and you can get a slice of their online success by targeting them, following them, and then, when the chance arises, interacting with them on common ground. This is the cheap and easy way to go about it. If you have a bit more budget to spare, try engaging a local influencer to actually promote your brand and endorse your product to their followers.

Influencer Marketing may not be the first thing on your mind, but its effectiveness can’t be understated. According to a 2019 survey by Mediakix,3 80% of the businesses find influencer marketing effective, and 71% even go as far as saying influencer marketing is more effective than other marketing strategies.

Of course, you will have to work out for yourself which strategies will work best for your brand. But our advice? Mix and experiment until you find your marketing sweet spot. There is more than one strategy you can follow, as the next point illustrates!

6. Develop Localized Advertising Strategies

The same filters you can use to target posts and segment your audiences can also be used for advertising on social media. This way, any posts that you want to promote, or products you want to put in the spotlight, will appear to the audience you want to attract.

But before you can set up your account to attract the right audience, you will need to have a sound advertising strategy in place for each specific locale. And when it comes to social media, the most effective campaigns combine social media translation with creativity. After all, most people on social media are not looking for ads, they are skimming their timelines, waiting for something to catch their eye.

In this context, it is important to develop a strategy where cultural traditions and preferences are used to link your product with the culture in question in a profound way. Take Nike’s 2020 Chinese New Year video ad. The brand plays skillfully with a Chinese tradition of declining to accept money from a loved one who keeps insisting, and turns it into a race where the aunt chases down her niece, who is wearing Nike running shoes.

Not only does this comply with social media’s ideal parameters of entertainment, engagement, and culture, but it also creates meaningful associations without pushing for a sale.

7. Continuously Measure Results And Optimize As You Go

Of course, building a successful social media strategy may require some practice. Finding qualified social media translation professionals is one thing, but you will need to implement this content within a global social media strategy that works for your brand specifically.

And the way to do this is to learn from the results. Just like you do with your original social media account, you should identify what works and what doesn’t, interpret the metrics, and adjust your strategies as you go!

Conclusion: Develop Sound Social Media Translation Strategies

Effective social media translation services are indispensable when you want to take your business global. In order to guarantee the best possible outcome and generate genuine connections with prospective clients, there are best practices you will need to follow.

Committing to human translation by native, in-country experts, fully exploiting social media’s geo-targeting methods, combining various local marketing methods, and optimizing your strategies based on the results, all play a role.

At Laoret, we offer specialized social media translation services provided exclusively by native, in-country professionals. We ensure success by assigning only the most experienced linguists with an in-depth knowledge of your industry as well as your target locales.

Contact us anytime, from anywhere, for optimized translation and localization services.

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