It’s no secret that social media can be a major asset when it comes to marketing your business. But have you thought about translating your online content into another language?
Sure, English may be the predominant social media language, but you’ll miss out on some serious sales if you neglect your international client base. Why? Because research suggests that 75% of customers are more likely to buy a product with information in their native language. What’s more, a whopping 60% of customers will refuse to buy a product from an English-only website — and who could blame them?
Tweets, LinkedIn profiles, Facebook advertising — it’s pretty clear that getting your social media content translated is going to be crucial if you want to succeed in the global market.
So, where do I start?
This might sound like a complicated process, especially if you’re a small business or only just trying to break into the international market. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here is a handy list of some key considerations to think about before getting your social media content translated.
1. Know your target audience
Ever heard of language localisation? This is the process of adapting a translation to a specific country or region. Different countries have subtle differences in their culture and ways of communicating, so it’s important to take this account when you’re getting your content translated. For instance, if your service or product is targeted at Québécois, you’re likely to have a lot more success localising your translation to French Canadian, rather than Parisian French.
Hashtags are a great way to engage with customers, but they can be difficult to get right. You should consider whether you want to use one English hashtag across the board, or have your hashtags translated into each individual language. Either way, this is something an experienced language specialist will be able to help you with — which brings us to our next point.
3. Invest in high-grade translation services
A language slip-up can be costly. But relying on Google Translate for all your translation needs can communicate a lack of respect for your international customers, which is even worse.
Just ask IKEA Bahrain, who had their storefront ad reading, “Create your perfect night’s sleep,” hilariously mistranslated into Arabic as, “Same text, but in Arabic.” Or Canadian company Telus, who tweeted out, “Take a deep breath, grind yourself. Go kill him” in French, instead of “Take a deep breathe, ground yourself. Go kill it.”
So, as a general rule: don’t publish anything you can’t understand yourself that hasn’t been expertly translated by a native speaker of the language you’re translating into.
4. Consider hiring a multilingual customer services representative to engage with your followers
Once you’ve committed to getting your social media translated, you’re going to need someone who can respond to customers in the appropriate language. When a customer interacts with a post that has been written in their mother tongue, they’re going to expect to hear back in that same language. So, it might be a good idea to invest in staff who can reply to customers’ comments and tweets in various languages, and in real time.