9 Tips to Build a Robust Multilingual Social Media Presence

Social media has become the need of the hour for every business organization. The impact that you can create with a social media presence is unprecedented. There was a time when the only medium to advertise your product or service was the traditional media. This included billboards, newspapers, and TV advertisements. The issue with these mediums was that the costs to utilize them were astronomically high.

Hence, a lot of small startups were not able to market their offerings. With the advent of social media, the entire business game changed. Now, the ones with the strongest social media presence can have the most influential impact on the target market. 

Integration of World Communities

It doesn’t stop here. The world is more connected now than it ever was. The flow of information has surpassed the traditional flow of information. Now, people can communicate with each other from any part of the world. However, the linguistic barrier still prevails. However, the great thing about that is the human race is more capable of bridging that gap than the previous generations. 

Importance of Multilingual Social Media Presence 

From a business perspective, building a multilingual social media presence has almost become a sort of necessity. If you aim to expand your business globally, you cannot do so without localizing your content. And, in order to localize your content, you need to translate the original content into the language of your target audience. Without doing so, you will never be able to make the impact necessary for successful market penetration. 

For building a robust multilingual social media presence, you need to follow some important rules to get it right. In this article, we will provide you with some useful tips to enable your social media presence to reach its highest potential.

Have a Vision and Set Goals

If you don’t have a vision or goal of where you want to be, it is similar to the metaphor of having a fully loaded plane but having no place to land. So, all you would do is drift around without any purpose. Similarly, if you have a product or service offering, but do not know your target market, you can never secure a successful business launch.

The target market consists of varying demographics. These demographics actually describe your audience. Starting from the age, lifestyle, culture and traditions to the perception, personality, and psychology of your consumer, everything falls under the umbrella of demographics. It is imperative for marketers to fully understand their demographics.

Knowing the Demographics

Most importantly, the marketers must know the language of the local audience. From a social media perspective, it gives you a statistical representation of what languages the audiences are speaking. If you utilize this dashboard as per your demands, you can then develop your content accordingly. 

One aspect that does not allow businesses to succeed in the long term is that they tend to remain comfortable in their exciting markets. This is not the right approach if you want to make your brand global.

Catering to Global Audiences

Your offering should cater to multiple audiences around the world. For instance, if you are offering a product that you specifically catered to the American market, you might not get many followers from third-world countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Hence, you need to localize your content for that culture and language and construct a social media page for that particular region. Though it may take extra time and effort, the result will definitely be fruitful.

Refrain from Excessive Usage of Translation Tools

Translation tools were developed to reduce human efforts. Though these efforts were significantly reduced, too much reliance on machine translation led to a lack of innovation and effective adaptability of the translated content into the target audience. 

There are a lot of examples in which we can clearly see that translation algorithms were not as effective as one might think. For instance, Amazon once utilized a machine translation system to establish a site specifically to cater to the Hindi-speaking community of the world. Unfortunately, the translated content was not able to grasp the intended meanings of the original message into the target language. 

Moreover, on social media platforms, copywriters usually use taglines and catchy phrases. These phrases appear to be very persuasive in the original language, but if you are using translation tools to translate them, chances are high that the meaning might get lost in translation.

Acquiring Expert Translators 

The field of translation requires adequate expertise and research. It’s not necessary that people who are multilingual can become good translators as well. Though the basic criteria is knowing the local language, it does not stop there. 

Proper research into the target culture is imperative. Apart from being a native speaker, a translator needs to be well versed with the cultural, religious, and linguistic preferences of the market. Hence, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. In order to avoid huge costs that may occur as a result of inadequacy, it’s better to do your homework. And try to hire the best possible translators.

Neologizing

When organizations are marketing, they often tend to construct new phrases and words that become an integral part of the identification of their brand. However, one has to be very careful when using these words for a company’s product offerings or campaigns. Because it can either build or destroy an organization’s brand image. 

So the first priority should be given to research. Your research should be able to identify that the phrase or word that you have coined does not contain any double meanings, that might portray a completely different message to the consumer.  Because, if the phrase delivers an unintended meaning, it might nip in the bud any chances of you making your brand successful.

Cultural and Linguistic Check

In order to make a robust multilingual social media presence, you need to understand the cultural and linguistic preferences of the target market. Most of the time, companies are unable to grasp how an advertisement or statement would be perceived by the target consumer base. This leads to an unsuccessful social media campaign.

If you are making your translations too literal, chances are quite high that it would be perceived a little differently in the target market. The mistake many marketers make is that they focus too much on the wordings of their message, rather than the message itself. Your aim over here is not to find the exact substitute or replacement for your words. Rather, your purpose is to convey the message so that the customers can relate to your brand.  Hence, whatever your method is, this purpose should be fulfilled.

Preferring Visual Content Over Written Content  

If someone asks you to read the number, “8764739”, and recall it in the same order after a week. The chances that you will be able to do that are very minute. However, if someone shows a picture of a helicopter, the probability that you will be able to recall the same picture after a week is relatively higher.  This is because our brain has powerful visual memory. We, humans, are visual beings. We believe what we see.

From a marketing point of view, if your social media sites are visually appealing, the target audience will pay more attention to them. Moreover, it is the best way to communicate your proposition to the audience. People do not have time to read large messages filled with monotonous lines proclaiming how good the service is. In this competitive market environment, new startups only get a few seconds to attain people’s attention. And you do not want to create a poor first impression, by appealing to your target market vis-a-vis written texts. 

However, you have to be extra careful about what visual imagery you post on your social media platforms. One has to be extremely sensitive to the religious and linguistic nuances of the target audience. Ensure that you do not post any picture that might offend the target audience. This will not only sit well with the target audience but will eventually ruin the entire brand image.

Utilizing Available Social Tools

One tip that you should always consider utilizing,  is the use of social tools. Social tools give you a statistical overview of your social media traffic. It will provide you with the demographics of your traffic that lands on your social media.

For instance, you will get to know what percentage of the traffic speaks a language besides English. Moreover, which languages are the most popular ones and what preferences are made by people when they convert a language. 

Another thing that you should consider is to make your social media multilingual. This will portray you as a company that promotes diversity and is customer-centric.  

Conclusion

In this article, we shared some of the most important tips that can assist you to build a robust multilingual social media platform. Different aspects may vary depending upon the conditions and the circumstances for every organization.  However, there are some universal key elements that will help every organization at any stage.

Resources

Q & A – Multilingual Website Translation
Multilingual SEO: How to Improve Your Page Ranking
Multilingual Websites: A Gateway to Global Success
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Understanding the Significance of Multilingual Email Marketing
How Can A Multilingual Email Marketing Be Beneficial For Your Company?
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