Social media makes it easier than ever for companies to reach a global market. However, leveraging social media to grow your business is not as simple as just setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account. It’s also important to develop the right content marketing strategy when promoting your newly translated content. The following are a few ways to make social media and globalization work successfully for your business:
Localize to Globalize
Studies such as the Global Social Media Check-Up conducted by Burson-Marsteller show that the most social media-savvy companies are sharing content across multiple platforms and on several accounts on the same networks. Social networking success in global markets relies on identifying with and making a greater personal connection with certain cultures and communities. Starbucks’ international Facebook page is an excellent example of how to maintain a main global account that acts as a brand hub while creating individual accounts on all social networks dedicated to each language or regional market.
The way machine translation can sometimes lead to confusion in context, relying on automation for social networking can also cause complications. Much like Smartling’s cloud-based translation platform facilitates successful website translation through an actual human team, social media and globalization require their own knowledgable team and strategy. For each new language, sharing on social media accounts should be tailored to the specific culture and audience. Much like the content itself, social media posts need to keep in mind regionally relevant communication styles, keywords and trends.
Active engagement is also crucial to social media success. Having a team that is well versed in regional languages and culture to respond to audiences can ensure smoother and more meaningful communication on social media platforms.
Countries may have borders, but the Internet is an open and accessible space. Although separate social media accounts are intended for specific audiences, they do not exist in a bubble. In other words, even if you post a tweet for a European audience, it doesn’t mean consumers in South America can’t access it. It’s important to maintain multicultural awareness and remain sensitive to all audiences, even when targeting a local market.
Both mistranslations and misunderstandings of cultural norms can lead to problems. A social media snafu can cause backlash and a negative impact on sales and marketing. A quick search of “social media faux pas” will show you that even world-renowned brands sometimes make mistakes. Unfortunately, with the speed of global communication via social media, as soon as the post goes live, the damage is already done. Even when operating at a local level, social sharing needs to remain globally mindful to avoid offending consumers. This will also help with maintaining a consistent brand voice and tone.
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