Handling your different social media channels the right way can be quite a challenge. Now, multiply those channels with a certain amount of languages you wish to cover and this challenge can quickly become overwhelming. Yet, the results are definitely worth the effort. Indeed, with expats and international communities nowadays dispatched around every cities in the world, even targeting one single population cannot cover all your potential consumers if you do it in one language only.
Here are a few tips to have in mind when approaching this challenge.
1. Find out which languages you really need
You first want to determine if marketing in a certain language is really worth the effort. Follow closely your Google Analytics and the traffic generated in your social media channels, and watch out for the proportion of users from countries who speak a different language. Depending on the importance of a language in your statistics, you may consider different strategies on how to manage this channel: publishing localized content or create unique content from scratch?
2. Narrow down your target as much as possible
The more filtered the target is, the better. You want to invest on users who will feel engaged with your content. After a proper research, your target can be narrowed down by geolocation, age, gender, but also by general interests they have expressed on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
3. Create separate accounts for each language
Either separate accounts, or an efficient way to target each language speaker separately. Social media followers do not want to receive twice the same content in different languages. Separate accounts make also easier the implementation of different targeting strategies, and facilitate a clearer reporting on your analytics. Great tools such as Hootsuite can help you optimize your time on this.
4. Have a clear keyword strategy
The keywords targeted in your campaigns may sometimes overlap from one language to the other, which points out the need for separate campaigns in each language. An ad in Italian mentioning “computer” should not be displayed to a British user who cannot read Italian content. On the other hand, English keywords will be a better choice in certain domains regardless of the ad language, like popular hashtags on Twitter.
5. Know the language, but also the culture
Writing in your audience’s language is good, yet a full understanding of their culture is better. If you want to create content that will engage French users, you have to know about social norms and behavior of French people towards a certain message and certain keywords. This will allow you to know what’s in the trend, but can also save you some embarrassment from a mistranslation or misinterpretation of your message. Colgate, while launching the “Cue” toothpaste in France, was unaware it was also the name of a pornographic magazine. Coors beers did not expect that their slogan “Turn It Loose!” would be interpreted as “Suffer from Diarrhea!” once translated into Mexican Spanish.
Many further examples available online will prove you the importance of a good localization and a clear internationalization strategy.