Social media platforms are frequently employed brands to engage with their customers on a more personal level. However, when these brands start taking their businesses overseas, they often have a hard time connecting with their customers without the help of localization. At this point, the need for localization kicks in. A good social media localization strategy helps your brand message to transcend all global boundaries. Indeed, The American Marketing Association also underlines the importance of its research that shows companies have increased investment in localization by billions of dollars for the last few years. Social media influences pave the way for a brand to establish its presence in the digital world.
Let’s discuss how social media localization helps your business and how you can localize your social media content better.
What is Content Localization?
Content localization happens when a simple translation does not convey the whole nuance of a certain message. Localization is the creative process of translation where the needs and interests of the target audience outweigh the loyalty to the source text. The ultimate goal is to convey the intended effect on the source text to the target audience. The process can include practices such as Twitter translation, blog translation, Youtube subtitling, or any kind of content translation.
Well-localized content has three main features:
- Excellent written ability to convey the message and the intended effect
- Good research and understanding of the source and the target cultures
- Competence in technical aspects of localization
Why You Should Localize Your Social Media
Considering that localization is a practice that caters to the customer needs, it is no surprise that social media localization encourages more engagement. Lyfe Marketing statistics reveal that 71% of consumers who have had positive shopping experiences on social media recommend the brand to their followers and acquaintances. And 91% of social media users access their accounts from smartphones or tablets, so localizing your social media alongside your website helps your brand to be popular among people who do not access the Internet via their laptops. What is more, 49% of millennials state that they become comfortable buying a product if the said product is promoted regularly on social media.
Let’s look at other reasons:
- Your company appears more customer-centered. Brands depend on their customers to succeed and the best way to connect with them is to understand their expectations. Localized social media improves the customer experience and makes them more comfortable visiting your accounts. Shaping your content in a way that people would prefer makes it easier for them to trust your brand. Then, your brand will no longer appear as “the organization from overseas” but as a more local one.
- Localized content helps you gain more traffic towards your website. Most people prefer social media accounts over brand websites these days. So, to get traffic towards your website you must first get attention from customers with your social media accounts. More engagement with people on social media equals more clicks to your brand website.
- You avoid any cultural insensibilities. The problem with literal translation is that its sole aim is to convey the source text as loyally as possible. However, when people try to translate advertisements or campaigns directly, it often ends up with a disaster. For example, Pepsi’s “Pepsi brings you back to life” slogan was interpreted in Chinese as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”, which was offensive towards Chinese culture. A well-localized social presence helps you tailor your campaigns according to the cultural sensibilities of your target audience.
- It improves brand reputation and helps you gain brand ambassadors. Localizing your content on social media platforms makes your brand more familiar to the target audience. You can start by posting tutorials on how to use your products or videos about your services to gain more attention. In turn, more and more people will start discovering your brand and will promote it by themselves on their own accounts. This will help your brand to appear more reliable, and help you gain brand ambassadors from different cultures.
Tips for Effective Social Media Localization
While it is vital to localize your content to make your brand reputable, there are few tips to keep in mind to localize efficiently.
- Research and choose the right social media platforms. A thorough analysis of various platforms will help you with your social media localization strategy. It is vital to know the best ways and channels to reach your audience. Keep in mind that each country will have their own preferences on which platforms they use and prefer the best. If you plan to target Turkey, it might be useful to have a WhatsApp account for contact. However, countries like Japan prefer LINE to post about themselves or learn about news, and if you plan to target China, you might want to do research on WeChat. Invest in Twitter posts translation, Facebook video subtitling, WordPress content localization, and web site localization to boost your reliability. Don’t forget that brand depend on correct social media management to improve their credibility.
- Work with native speakers. Since the process requires more than translation, it is advised to work with people who are experienced with the culture. Your content might be in a regional dialect or include slang terms, which can make your brand more personalized. However, during the localization process, these factors create hardships. Thus, you need to work with someone who can point out phrases that might create challenges in the target language and can find equivalences for them.
- Create several social media pages. If you operate your business in several countries, you might want to create accounts for each country. The most preferred social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the best places to start. You can use Twitter’s advanced search to find out what your target audience expects from brands similar to yours.
- Use pop culture references and respect cultural values. Use sports teams, celebrities, historical and cultural events, movies, or even holidays in your social media content. These things will help you adapt to your target culture easily and create an emotional bond between you and your customer base. Research for the cultural references to avoid ending up with references unfamiliar to the audience. In addition, analyze the culture cautiously to avoid being offensive or insensitive. This way, you won’t have to deal with a damaged brand reputation.
Protranslate for Your Your Social Media Localization Needs
As you can see, social media localization is a complex process, but the effort is definitely worth it. It will not only help you gain more customers but also create a bond based on mutual understanding. That is why, you need to approach this process with the utmost care, otherwise you might end up damaging your social media presence for a long time. Fortunately for you, good language services providers like Protranslate can help you with your social media localization process and ease your stress. Contact us to tell us about your brand and target audience and let our team of experts for our localization services!