How to Translate Social Media Content [Best practices]
With nearly 4 billion social media users, one thing's for sure - translating your social media content will help you expand your business globally and gain new customers.
But how do you communicate with international audiences effectively using social media? Do you need to translate every piece of content you publish? How do you share your brand's message in another language? That's what we'll talk about in today's article, so stay tuned.
Here are seven best practices of social media translation.
Plan and research the target market
Before you start translating your social media content, sit down with your creative team to develop a plan. Creating engaging social media posts is not easy; that's why thinking ahead could benefit you in the long run.
What languages/markets will you choose for your global expansion? Which social media channels should you use for each market?
Some countries tend to spend less time on social media than others. Some might not even use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter at all! It would be a waste if you'd translate content for a platform that's not even popular in your target country. According to Vincos, the most popular social media in Russia is VKontakte, while QZone rules the social media market in China for over a decade.
Target your account for each locale
It might be tempting to use multiple languages on one social media account, but you shouldn't do that. One of the biggest mistakes brands make when translating social media content is that they publish in multiple languages all on one page without proper targeting.
Instead of combining languages, try to target your multilingual profiles for each specific audience. That way, you'll make your page accessible for everyone, your followers will understand every piece of content, and they'll engage more efficiently.
Develop a hashtag strategy
Hashtags are a huge part of social media marketing. They are essential for every social media campaign, so naturally, they are as crucial for translation.
One of the best practices in social media translation is to develop a hashtag strategy in advance; this means you should decide which hashtags to translate and how you'll incorporate them into your posts.
When you pick your relevant hashtags, you should avoid directly translating them into the target language. Instead, focus on learning the target audience's behaviors and habits. Do some research to find out more about hashtags used amongst your international competitors.
At Language Buró, we understand that social media content contains value past the message, so we consider hashtags' importance when taking on a marketing translation project.
Contact us to discuss your project.
Stay away from automated translations
When expanding your business globally, translating content with Google Translate or similar tools is a big NO. If you want to run a successful international campaign, you can't rely on automated translation services.
Poorly translated slogans can cause some severe damage to your brand's reputation. Check out these marketing blunders to see how big brands have fallen victim to mistranslation.
Work with native-speaking translators
As we mentioned, before starting your international campaign, you should take the time to understand your new market. The best way to ensure your translation considers the local culture, the linguistic nuances, and industry-relevant terminology is to hire native-speaking translators.
They can provide expertly, culturally-adapted content that will make sense on a global scale. Our translation agency works with the most prominent marketing translation experts to provide social media translation that will serve your brand.
Keep in mind the social media jargon
English is the leading language in social media, so another critical thing to have in mind is the jargon. You should be asking yourself: What should I translate, and what should I not? Some terms like 'to tweet' or 'to like' have evolved and found their place in other languages, not just English. Your translation partner will help you tackle these issues.
Be aware of the character limit
Every social platform is different; something that performs well on Facebook doesn't do so on Instagram. When translating social media content, an important thing to have in mind is the character limit on each channel. Additionally, it would be best if you kept up with experts' recommendations and social media best practices to learn your content's ideal length.
Translating social media content allows you to interact with international customers and grow your business. If you need help with getting the most out of your social media globally, get in touch with us to discuss your project.