Currently, at the time of this article being written, there are around three billion active social media users. Businesses need to have a social media presence these days, as it’s not only a good way to market, but also builds trust with the user. Something that businesses fail to consider though, is that those billions of people active on social media speak many different languages. The potential for outreach of a multilingual social media presence is enormous, but unfortunately most businesses think using only one is enough!

There is plenty of research that suggests that people are far more likely to trust your business and purchase your products if your social media posts and ads are written in their own language. If you want to make the most of this, keep reading to discover 7 tips to build a multilingual social media presence.

Localize, don’t just translate

What does this mean? There is nuance to translating posts. Jokes, slang, colloquial phrases and sayings may not mean the same in another language or will simply not make any sense to the user. Consumer trends are also different in different areas of the world, so you need to adjust your content to match that.

Highlight brand culture

Displaying cultural pride through the use of language is a great way to show your customers that you’re culturally aware and that you respect and understand cultural nuance. Make sure you do your research thoroughly when doing this in order to not make any silly mistakes.

All about the visual content

Humans tend to be drawn to visual content, everyone speaks the visual language! Make sure to use photos and videos to communicate your brand message to a broader audience. If you’re making video content especially, why not caption it in different languages?

It’s important to be weary of different cultural perceptions and customs. For example, the thumbs up emoji means something completely different in different places. Also, some images may not be appropriate for certain cultures, like photos of people kissing or drinking. It’s essential to understand cultural nuance before making any posts, doing a generic translation is usually not enough to convey your message appropriately.

Take advantage of social tools

Most social media networks have an extensive set of tools that will help you make your social media content multilingual. Facebook has language stats where you can check the percentage of languages spoken by its users, as well as language tools such as being able to advertise in different languages with Facebook’s dynamic ads and targeting tools. Other social media networks such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Youtube offer similar tools. Youtube specifically has a great set of tools to make video content accessible to a variety of different audiences, for example by allowing the community to submit translations and being able to add two language captions to videos.

Open multiple accounts

Having more than one account for different languages can be very useful. To begin with, you’ll probably feel more organised when managing them. Also, depending on how large your audiences are, you may want to create a social media account exclusively in that language to make sure you’re capturing as many people as possible and providing the content they want. An example of this is the NBA, who has a Facebook account in English and another one strictly in Spanish.

Don’t forget about time zones 

There are optimal times to post throughout the day to make sure your post reaches as many people as possible. If you go through the trouble of translating and localizing content for let’s say, a Chinese audience, don’t forget about time zones and make sure you post at the best time for them.

Do a single post with multiple translations

The copy may seem long in the title but this works particularly well if you have captivating visual content, and it’s obviously time saving for you to make a single post with multilingual content. It’s up to you to assess whether this approach works best for your social media, but it’s certainly doable and effective for plenty of accounts!

Summary

The world is huge and full of varied cultures, make sure to follow these tips so your social media accounts match!

Elizabeth Hines writes about latest tech and marketing trends, innovations and strategies. She also writes for online magazine and blogs, such as OX Essays, and others. She is a digital marketer and content writer at UK Writings and Custom essay.

 

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