Every organization aims to reach peak success by being able to conquer international markets. Businesses that decide to undertake an international expansion have the potential to significantly increase their revenue, gain access to new cultures and customer bases, as well as greatly reduce their supply chain costs.
However, the road towards globalization is not paved with gold. International recruiting, tariff and export fees, loss of cultural identity, and compliance issues are just some of the biggest challenges that organizations have to face when attempting to scale international markets.
Another huge barricade to globalization is language. In fact, many organizations are hesitant to make an effort towards globalization due to issues relating to languages. Nevertheless, organizations should still strive to create a multilingual globalization strategy, especially since the translation process is crucial for mastering today’s digital age.
For example, over half of Facebook’s users don’t speak English, which is a huge market to miss out on. Because global consumers today use the Internet on a daily basis, patronize ecommerce services, and are on social media, your organization should have a multilingual social media marketing strategy.
With this in mind, we will discuss how you can create a robust multilingual social media marketing strategy that will allow your organization to easily penetrate the global market.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Audience
The backbone to an effective social media marketing strategy is understanding your potential clients. This is especially important if you’re attempting to globalize your organization, as you don’t want your efforts to be futile by not acknowledging the culture, behavior, and identity of your target customers.
In this regard, you should use analytics tools and market research to pin down your target audience. Doing so can help you determine their linguistic and cultural preferences, demographics, geographic locations, and social media habits — all of which are necessary in creating a localized and specific approach on social media.
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Know Your Goals
To find success on social media, you have to establish your goals and play the long game. Social media marketing is a time-consuming task and it has to be maintained for long periods of time to achieve consistent results.
In addition, this particular business function becomes more difficult to master when language and globalization are added into the mix. For this reason, it is important to set your goals first when creating a social media marketing strategy.
You will need to include this in your social media budget, as it could be a huge money drain if not handled properly. Figuring out what you want to achieve from reaching out to an international customer base through social media can further ensure the success of your organization.
Be Wise in Choosing Your Platforms
Language is not the only vital aspect of a multilingual social media marketing strategy. While social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube operate in most countries, there are also some other popular options that are specially used in a specific region.
For example, Russian-speaking countries and other nations in Eastern Europe particularly favor the platform VK over Facebook. In addition, western social media platforms, particularly Facebook and YouTube, are banned in countries like China. Instead, the Chinese tend to use platforms like WeChat.
Because of this, it’s important to do extensive research and figure out what social media platforms are most popular in your target geographic market.
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Keep It Organized
When creating your social media marketing strategy, you also have to think about how you’re going to organize your social media profiles. Each approach has its own pros and cons, and requires varying levels of commitment.
One popular approach is running different accounts for each language. This allows you to narrow down your target market and create an online community through culturally specific content.
Another approach is by publishing the same post but in different languages. The main benefit of doing this is foregoing the need for separate accounts. However, you run the risk of turning off your customer base due to the high volume of updates.
Lastly, you can also rely on the translation feature most social media platforms have. While this is the easiest approach to your business’ global social media strategy, submitting your content to the platform’s machine translation can result in nonsensical and inaccurate translations, which can affect how your content resonates with your target market.
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Make Sure That You Localize Your Content
Aside from ensuring that you nail the language and translation of your content on social media, you should also make sure that whatever you post is tailor-fit to the countries and demographics that you aim to capture. This is also known as localization.
Through this, you can integrate delicate ideas and emotions into the translation of your content, as well as ensure that what you have on your social media platforms is culturally relevant and appropriate. This allows your organization to easily adapt to international markets.
To ensure that your content localization is on point, you should hire a social media manager who has developed key competencies in communications and is able to dig deep into different cultures and markets.
Thankfully, it’s easier to find these professionals today as more universities are recognizing and reacting to the strong growth in communication careers. Top universities across the country now offer online communications degrees that allow students to obtain relevant and in-demand social media campaign management skills, as well as certifications from Amazon, Google, HubSpot, and Salesforce, remotely.
With both businesses and the education sector relying on digital practices more than ever before, social media managers who have taken the less traditional route in their studying will also have an advantage as they will be used to working remotely.
By having a social media manager who has mastered relevant communication skills, you can reap the benefits of localization, such as an increase in conversion rate, more accessible social media pages, and being able to compete with established businesses in a specific market.
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Creating a multilingual social media marketing strategy is not an easy task. In order to successfully penetrate the global market, you should understand the importance of localization, have clear objectives, hire the right professionals, familiarize yourself with various cultures, and streamline your approach. If you want to steer your organization towards global success through social media, be sure to keep in mind the discussion above.
About the writer: Roslyn Joyce is a freelance marketing consultant and tech writer. She does most of her work online, which gives her plenty of opportunities to do what she loves best—to travel. When she’s not busy keeping up with her clients, Roslyn often spends time with her family and three Great Danes.
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