Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and a few more languages are gaining prominence in the web. English is losing its position as a single web language. The whole world of online marketing revolves around content marketing and gaining prominence of new languages in the web made social media in multiple languages imperative for every business.
India being a large and ever developing economy is also a point of mention in this article. It has been analyzed that in 2021 more than 73% of the 601 million Internet users in India will prefer to read content in their own languages. There are 22 major languages in India, written in 13 different scripts, with over 720 dialects.
An article published in Forbes Magazine by Isaac Mizrahi, co-president and chief operating officer of ALMA clearly points out that in spite of all cultural assimilation with English speaking community Spanish speakers would continue to prefer reading content in Spanish. This is why there is a need to create culturally driven Spanish-language campaigns in Hispanic dominated locations in the US to reach out to this segment from a marketing standpoint.
An analytical report from a survey conducted by European Commission on ‘User Language Preferences Online’ found that 9 out of 10 Internet users always visited a website in their own language when the option existed. This is primarily for the following reasons:
- They are more comfortable to read in their own languages.
- They fear that they are missing out on information as it is not available in their native language.
- They do not find the content interesting, as it does not resonate with their culture.
- They don’t feel addressed in the content.
Find the 12 secret tips to build a successful multilingual social media presence mentioned below:
Choice of the Right Platform
Immediately after geographical locations and target markets are chosen you must select the right and the correct social media platforms to reach, engage and sell your products and services. This selection process must be efficiently done keeping in mind the popular and local social media platforms in a particular location. If the target location is Russia, VK (VKontakte) must be chosen as an alternative to Facebook. If the target location is China, Sina Weibo must be chosen for micro blogging. Tuenti is the most popular social network among young people in Spain with over 15 million registered users, thus referred to as the “Spanish Facebook”.
Use of the Right Dialect
There are various dialects of each language. If you opt to reach, engage and sell in a local dialect to make the communication more personalized you have to do research and finalize the dialect you would use to target your potential buyers in a particular location.
For example in the Gulf countries if you target the market in Kuwait with the dialect spoken in the Emirates it won’t work for you. Thus, the variants of each dialect in a language need to be carefully examined.
Boycott Machines Translations
With machine translations you can never do justice to your content in multiple languages for social media platforms. We must learn lessons from companies who tried to use machines and AI powered translations and failed miserably. A post in the New York Times mentions in details how miserably Amazon has failed to translate their website into Hindi language using AI powered translation.
Machine & AI powered translations are not helpful. Invest in top-notch translation services agency and get the best out of it.
Create Multiple Accounts
You can communicate to different language speaking communities using multiple pages in Facebook. It works to the advantage of the brand and cultivates strong social communities. For example The NBA has two Facebook pages: One in English, and one in Spanish.
Do not ever use automated translations on social media platforms. These are erroneous and may fail your marketing campaigns miserably.
Create Time Zone Strategy
You must do enough research to ascertain the timings of posting in various locations. Since, the target locations are different from each other the timings for postings must be customized accordingly. This is a very important and crucial decision and it affects the visibility of your posts in various different locations.
Research local Culture
The content in a foreign language must be culturally driven. Various cultural aspects need to be considered while posting content in multiple languages on social media platforms. Certain things that are regarded as acceptable in one culture may be completely offensive and unacceptable in another culture. Also, there are certain cultural aspects in every location and when you address them in social media posts strong communities are built. If the cultural aspects of a community are not respected and addressed in your social media posts the purpose is defeated.
Precautions to be taken in use of language
While translating or trans-creating social media content ask your translation agency to do a little research to find out the appropriate idioms and simple figures of speech that are prevalent and popular in the target language and replace them with ones in the source content. This will make the readers more comfortable to read your posts, like and share them. Also, this will increase the authority of your page in the region.
All other figures of speech must be avoided to make your content free of ambiguities. Posts should be in simple and lucid language so that they are instantly understood in one single reading. Posts that need to be read multiple times to decode their meaning will have reverse effects. People will stop reading your posts.
All forms of complex and compound sentences, phrasal verbs, closed compound words, transferred epithets; poetic discourses must be completely avoided.
Incorporate Humor where necessary
You must incorporate humor in your social media posts that are commonly used in the local dialect. Sense of humor is always regarded as an essential ingredient of communications. Humor makes content interesting and liked by audience of all age groups and by all ethnicities of people across the globe.
Follow Local Media Restrictions
Every country has its own media publishing guidelines framed by law of the land. These guidelines must be read properly and borne in mind prior to composing and designing social media posts. If you publish a content that is regarded as a violation of law in a specific country you may have to face financial penalties and other consequences and subsequently need to remove the post. This creates a bad image of your brand amongst the users and negatively affects the popularity and success of your social media pages.
Be-friend your audience
Befriend your audience with a tonality that they embrace with love. The tonality of content speaks a lot about the publisher. A publisher who knows the pulse of its audience will always win the race.
Change Images Wherever Necessary
Images have different meanings in different locations. A particular image may entice audience in one location but may not create any visual impulse with audience in another location. A visual image of a heavy rainfall is more appealing to the audience in the Gulf whereas the same is a nightmare for people in the flood-affected regions of Bangladesh & China. Images of Camel riding may entice audience from Europe and USA whereas it creates no visual impulse for audience from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan etc.
This is why you must use images differently for different geographical locations to add value to your posts. Your posts must create visual impulses and entice the audience to read and feel an interest in your content subsequently convert into your customers.
Be Apolitical & Avoid Religious Bias
It is very essential to be Apolitical. Audience belonging to different political views accesses social media platforms. Your posts must avoid all political flavors and must stay away from all kinds of political views and criticism. In a specific location you may be aware of the political views of your audience but it is very difficult to check the nerves of the audience of a distant location. And you cannot risk it.
The religious beliefs vary from location to location. It is a very difficult and complicated affair of community life. It is always advisable to avoid every kind of religious bias while creating content for locations when you are not a part of their communities and you have a very narrow knowledge about their religious beliefs and practices.
Evie Harrison is a copywriter and content writer who works at Dar Al Marjaan Translation services. She specializes in email marketing, ghost blogging and content marketing.