6 Dos and Don’ts of Multilingual Social Media Marketing

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Soar High in International Social Skies


Getting off the ground in the world of multilingual social media? It can be a bumpy ride without a firm understanding of social platforms. In an increasingly globalized environment, targeting a multilingual online audience is a definite must if you want to stand out on the radar.


While English is currently used as the lingua franca for most websites worldwide (54.9%), there are still many other languages in use, such as Russian at 6.6%, Chinese at 5.6% and Spanish at 5.6%. Despite these low percentages, simply neglecting other foreign languages and not reaching out to consumers in their mother tongues can result in a huge loss of potential. After all, nothing compares to reading native-written content. Yet before you can just dive in, there are a few dos and don’ts to consider if you want your business to take off and fly above the rest.


      • Do your research.

        There’s more to social media than Facebook and Twitter. With approx. 100 million active users per month, VK is one of Russia’s largest networking platforms, and China’s Renren social networking site has more than 30 million monthly active users. Make sure you know what’s trending in other societies.

      • Do more than just broadcast.

        Setting up foreign language accounts is only half the game. You’ve got to think bigger. Maintain a good stream of content and engage with your audience. Listen, ask questions, discuss topics and spark intrigue. Interaction is key!

      • Do filter.

        Set up filters based on language settings and geographic location. Facebook, for example, reads user preferences and only shows them your notifications if their profile settings are configured for a specific language and/or location.

      • Don’t just go multilingual.

        Find out first what percentage of your market speaks a foreign language. Is multilingual content really required there? The USA, for example, currently has the world’s largest Spanish-speaking population with 41 million and is set to increase to around 132.8 million by 2050.

      • Don’t get lost in translation.

        Hire professionals who understand all the complexities and nuances of a foreign language. They can properly transpose the original content, check for false equivalents and provide insight into cultural norms. Avoid making massive blunders like the Coors Brewing Company did when it translated its slogan ‘Turn it loose’ into ‘Suffer from diarrhoea’ in Spanish.


      • Don’t spam.

        There’s nothing worse than spam. So, don’t overwhelm your audience with multiple posts in one account. Combine languages into one post or craft individual feeds in different foreign language accounts. KLM, for instance, operates in Dutch, English, French, Portuguese and a few other languages on Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and LinkedIn.


      There you have it. Keep these helpful hints in mind when marketing your business on international social media. And if you don’t know how, then tap into professional multilingual marketing services and have them do it for you. Have your business come through in flying colours!

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