With a count of more than 3.8 billion people, social media has become a playing field for almost half the population on earth. According to Datareportal, the average user is estimated to have eight accounts to his/her name. With Facebook still constituting the highest number of users than any other portal, companies still fail to use such platforms to their advantage and think that focusing on a single language would get them the results they want. Good luck with that!
In a survey by HBR, it was reported that more than 72% of people would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language. It was also reported that nine out of ten people on the internet would always visit a website in their own language rather than go for a foreign and more popular one.
It is estimated that English speakers are 1.5 billion in a world population of more than 7.7 billion people. To capture newer markets and maintain a global image, corporations tend to focus only on English, which is the most widely spoken language on earth. If one does that, it means ignoring almost 80% of the people around the world who can be your potential customers.
To capture markets across the world, you need to make your social media strategy multilingual and be culturally sensitive with it. If you want to use social media platforms to grow as a company, here are a few tips for you:
Tip #1. Searching For Your Target Market
With the help of social media analytics, one can target different markets and localize their approach. You can focus on the geographical locations of your customer, demographics, age, and the sex of your potential customers; it will help you build your strategy according to that and implement it.
Tip #2. Gather Data To Check On The Trends
Trends come and go; preferences change all the time and so does the demand for products. Building data through social media is an arduous task and requires consistent efforts to maintain it over a long period of time. Make no mistake, if you want to serve your products to a market then you must be able to keep a finger on the pulse to make sure you are supplying what the market needs.
Tip #3. Choosing The Right Platforms
One needs to make sure they are choosing the right social media platforms to market their products and services. For some products, marketing through Facebook and Instagram would work while Twitter might not be in the play at all. You need to make sure to choose the right mix of social media channels if you are using a multilingual approach.
In the same way, first research if certain social media platforms are banned in countries where you want to market. For example, Facebook is banned in China, which makes the approach of going on the Facebook Marketplace to cater to Chinese residents redundant.
Tip #4. The One-or-More Account Conundrum
To be multilingual in your strategy, you need to evaluate your options and think about a way to target potential customers. Some of those strategies might include:
- Creating different accounts for specific languages
You can publish different accounts for various languages and try to acquire customers. For example, Facebook has different official pages on the platform like ‘Al Jazeera Channel’, which caters to people speaking Arabic and ‘Al Jazeera English’ which publishes news in the English language. Both the pages have millions of subscribers and is a classic example of having a multilingual approach towards customers. It is still the most expensive approach for the efforts required to maintain different accounts, yet the most effective.
- Posting it twice
Much like Justin Trudeau did for his people, posting the same content in different languages can be one way to proceed. It will be easier for you to post content but is likely to fill the newsfeed of your subscribers. If you are an aggressive marketer, the number of increasing posts can frustrate the customer make them unsubscribe from your posts.
- Putting everything together
Translating a single message into different languages and publishing it all in a single post might be the easiest task for a company. Though, there is a chance that customers might be put off with your approach for they know the post is targeted to everyone and lacks the localization required to impress a customer.
Tip #5. Analytical Tools To Make Your Life Easier
Social media analytics tools are available in numbers and help make a digital marketer’s life much easier. These tools can help you keep a tab on what is happening in the world of social media, have an eye out on trends and successfully market yourself. Tools like Buffer and Tweetdeck can help you manage different social media channels and set a timeline for publishing of your content. There are many tools, which you can look through and choose one to help yourself.
Tip #6. Content Is The Real Deal
In a recent survey, 72% of marketers confirmed that having the right content strategy was the key to their success; while 86% confirmed they preferred an authentic voice of brands over social media. Content marketing also brings in more than thrice the leads a paid search advertising campaign would.
From Facebook to Linkedin, companies post unique content to secure readership and build their marketing strategy through that. It isn’t only important to deliver content to your users; it is also important to publish content which speaks to the people. If the customer finds your content culturally appropriate and localized for their language, you are on the path to glory.
Tip #7. Localizing the Content For Your Market
It isn’t only important that you create and publish good content. It is necessary that you localize the content for your target audience keeping in mind their culture and language. A piece of content in English might not translate that well in Spanish because of the style of expressions and varying cultures. If you wish to write content for people whose mother-tongue isn’t English, hire creative locals or natives to craft that content for you.
Most people focus on creating good content in English and that doesn’t resonate very well with local people who crave culturally appropriate content in their language. There is also a chance that an expression sits perfectly well with one group of people while it may be offensive to people of other origins.
Tip #8. Choosing a Brilliant SEO strategy
Some of the work that SEO executives do is search keywords to use for their marketing strategy. They do that for search engines and social media channels alike. Choosing the right set of keywords is an important task and is a building block of your marketing technique. It can get tricky if you want to target multilingual markets for different natives don’t always use the same terms to search a product. Many even type-in the words in their own language even if the letters are of another. For example, the word is Spain for people outside the country, but it is translated as Espana for locals.
Tip #9. Humane in Place of Automation
Many companies use translation tools when it comes to delivering content in different languages. It does more harm than good because expressions lose meanings when translated to another language; the machine doesn’t know if one term is offensive in another language when translated. Hiring locals to craft creative content would be the best strategy here; it might be expensive but would grant a great return in the future.
Tip #10. Making Use Of Visual Appeal
If you look at the data today, people consume and share more visuals than ever before reaching the number of millions every day. Be it funny videos, infographics, memes, or art; people tend to share more visuals than written articles. But this requires a certain expertise as well. Facebook has mentioned specifications about text on an image and so has Instagram regarding the ads you can publish.
Using original visuals to dazzle your customers is a great technique of keeping them hooked to your social media channels and push through your marketing strategy. Images transcend words and make for a much better content marketing technique when the idea is to capture multilingual markets. You can hire freelancers or a production company from a specific country and ask them to create visual content for your target market; not only will you be able to localize experiences for your potential customers but will also be able to show the humane side of your company.
Tip #11. Partnering Up With Multilingual Centers
It isn’t easy to curate content for different locals and publish it, one needs a certain degree of expertise for that. One certainly cannot use a translation tool or software for that; one way here would be to hire natives of different countries to execute your strategy. That wouldn’t be feasible for the costs involved in hiring and managing people around the world; if you don’t have natives working in-house, you won’t be able to judge the quality of work too. It would be better to hire a multilingual social media marketing company, which can carry out your plans with panache.
About the Author!
Deeksha Dadu. She is a co-founder, and Marketing Head for LiveSalesman Multilingual Call Center, offering support in over 30 European and Asian languages, all delivered by native and bilingual agents. He passionate about groundbreaking ideas and technologies that helps brands deliver awesome Customer Experience & enhance Customer Loyalty, specially in crowded & dynamic online environment. An avid traveler, ardent reader, fashion enthusiast.