1.3 million new users joined social media every day in 2020 (Hootsuite). Social media marketing doesn’t just allow brands to connect with these users on a global scale, it also gives insights, analytics, and endless opportunities to boost business. That’s why multilingual social media shouldn’t be overlooked.
Why is multilingual social media important?
Speak your customers’ languages
Social media is a crucial part of any effective marketing strategy, including international campaigns. The most obvious benefit of having a multilingual social media presence is targeting customers with content in their own languages, which 65% of customers prefer.
This means monolingual customers can engage with your messaging, while multilingual customers are also more likely to engage. A Facebook study found that US Hispanics who saw static ads in Spanish were 1.4x more likely to agree they wanted to buy the products than those who saw the same ads in English.
Boost your brand
Multilingual social media has other benefits, too. It establishes a presence in specific regions, boosting brand awareness. Marketing localization (adapting messaging for specific regions) makes your products and services feel personalized for local audiences.
The platforms also give insights into your customer base, which can be especially useful when you begin building a brand in a new country or region.
Tips for building a multilingual social media plan
- Know your audience demographics
It probably won’t be enough to suddenly start posting in a different language. You’ll need to find out about your audience first. Brands need to understand international audience demographics as well as they understand local demographics.
It’s important to research who you should be targeting, where to find them (which social media platforms), what engages them, and then monitor if it’s working.
You may also need to create relevant hashtags based on keyword research and monitor local trends.
- Have separate accounts for different languages
There are several ways to manage a multilingual social media presence. You can translate within one post or post duplicate content in different languages. However, arguably the most targeted approach is to have separate profiles for different languages.
That way, customers can find you in their own languages and won’t be put off by seeing posts that they can’t read.
- Be mindful of the time difference
It might seem like an obvious point, but with all the preparation that goes into creating multilingual social media posts, it’s easy to forget about the time difference.
It’s not just about making sure you don’t accidentally post in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep. It’s also important to research when the best times are for your new market. What are working hours like? Do your customers scroll on their lunch break?
- Understand cultural differences
To engage positively with an audience in a different country or region, you need to be familiar with their culture. The best way to do this is to work with knowledgeable professionals, ideally native speakers of the language.
For instance, images that may seem inoffensive could become problematic if they depict sensitive topics such as religion or violence. Likewise, local cultural references can confuse, and turns of phrases don’t always have the same impact.
Adapting and optimizing content for audiences in specific regions is called localization. Marketing translation services are equipped to help you with this process.
- Don’t rely on translation tools
This leads us to the next point: free translation tools. A company’s online presence is too important to leave to chance. Can you be 100% certain that a phrase has been translated correctly by an automatic tool?
A study by Facebook revealed that US Hispanics often see content translated from English to Spanish too literally or too loosely. This affects messaging and brand image, which should be consistent across languages.
- Invest in top-notch translators
It might be tempting to rely on in-house staff or acquaintances who speak the target language. However, marketing translations are best undertaken by professionals who understand translation techniques, marketing strategies, and have an in-depth knowledge of both language and culture.
Creating a multilingual social media presence isn’t an instant process. But, with the help of marketing translation services, you’ll soon be connecting with customers around the world.
Future Trans – Multilingual social media across MENA
We specialize in translation across the Middle East and North Africa. Our skilled teams translate and localize social media posts and profiles, seamlessly integrating them into your marketing strategies.