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12 MARCH 2018

Multilingual Social Media Marketing: Why and How?

Arseny Veber
/ CEO at Vebcom Translation
When you think that it's time to expand your business beyond your national borders, you probably start to focus on international audience.

A challenge you might face could be that from now you need to understand how to interact with the audience who don't speak your native language, who probably have completely different preferences, tastes and cultural backgrounds.

Should you accept this challenge and start to rethink your social media campaign to successfully communicate your brand internationally?

Well… if you feel that your business can go far beyond your national borders, the answer is …. HECK YES!!!

So, how to start your multilingual social media campaign? Is it enough just to translate your Facebook messages in English and voila! You have an international Facebook page?

I would say…. Welcome to the world of multilingual marketing!
1. At first, do filtering!
And target potential consumers not only by geographic location but also by language!

Users as well as marketers can select languages on most social media platforms and search engines.

On Facebook, advertising can specifically target a user based on the language initially set in their account. Twitter, in turn, has language filtering available in 20 languages. It's determined by the language the users select and the language of their activity.

Google AdWords also allow to set language as a filter. If your target consumer's Google interface language settings are set to Russian, filtering your AdWords campaign to Russian and using Russian keywords your campaign will show when searches in Russian are made. It also means that you target not only those who are physically on the Russian territory, but also those who are abroad but use the Russian interface.

Filter for more than one language which is useful in targeting potential consumers. Google detects a users language also through their search history.
BUT! Don't mix up with keywords.

When targeting more than one language, keywords from your campaign may be the same in multiple languages. For example an advertisement in German containing the words "bar", „restaurant" or „bikini" may be seen by a monolingual English speaker who has no interest in the German content. So, better create separate campaigns in each language.
2. From bilingual to multilingual
1. If your international target audience speaks different languages in more or less the same proportion. For example, you operate on the tourism industry and work with English, Chinese and German speaking audience.

On Facebook, you can streamline your process with Global Pages. You can set up localized versions of your cover and profile photos, apps, milestones, „About" information, news feed stories. An English version's cover might say „Hello" while users visiting from German-speaking regions would see a version welcoming them with Hallo. So, create a single brand identity with Global Pages.

Don't forget that you can do targeting of your updates by language!

For example, your updates in English should appear only in the news feeds of those whose language is set to English, while your Russian or German updates will appear to only those set to Russian or German accordingly.

In turn, if it's about Twitter, the best approach would be to create separate Twitter accounts in different languages.

Imagine a situation when you go to a party with some friends and a few of them, from the same country, start speaking in their native language that you don't understand? This is how your Twitter followers feel when they notice you're sending out different messages in different languages.
Some content isn't designed to be shared with all. So, your target audience just wants relevant content and in their own languages. Don't disappoint them!
3. Professional Translator
I sometimes see content written in Russian published by international companies for the Russian audience that even I, as a native Russian speaker, can't understand. I do also speak English and German, but sometimes I see content in English and German that I can't understand as well!

You may be fluent in several languages, but if you don't speak them at a native level, you need a professional native-speaking translator. Better with a deep marketing expertise.

Finding a native speaker of the language to edit your content can help you improve the readability of your sites.

Just to let you know: spelling and grammar errors are top reasons for unfollowing social media channels and leaving websites without any actions. It's hard to read an article, follow a Social Media account or trust the service on a website when you're constantly being pulled away from the content by errors in the text.
Unless it's done on purpose:

Image source: http://spinsucks.com
Do you have questions regarding the multilingual approach on other Social Media Platforms?

Feel free to contact us anytime! Our specific marketing native translators help our clients keep on top of conversations in all of the markets in which you operate

+7 921 314 8858 (Russia)
+49 (0) 174 395 8094 (Germany)
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