Guest Post: Social Media Marketing Across Multiple Languages

By Marcela De Vivo
President & CEO, Gryffin Media

Social media sites have become an important part of the marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses are using social media to get recognized and find new customers, while large businesses are using social media to continue to build and expand their brand recognition.

One of the reasons social media marketing is so important is because it has the ability to reach hundreds of millions of people from countries and regions all over the world. In general, that’s a benefit for every type of business – big or small.

However, when it comes to social media marketing across the world, how are businesses and individuals expected to deal with the language barrier? After all, the whole world doesn’t speak English, even if it is as close to a universal language as we’re going to get.

The answer is multifaceted. It takes a little bit of work to utilize social media all over the world, but having a global social media presence can make a difference for many businesses.

Choose Your Markets

Before you start trying to use social media sites in every country around the world, take a moment to consider whether or not the time you’ll spend on these social sites in other countries is really going to benefit you. Do you have a physical location in Latin America that could utilize that Orkut account? Are you planning an e-commerce enterprise in Latin America?

If your answer is no, don’t expand your social media efforts beyond your reach; it’s just extra work for you and it won’t really get you anything in the long run.

On the other hand, if you are planning within the next few years to expand and want to get yourself additional press, then you may want to consider using social media in a market that you are not already in. Even then, it may not be worth it to open a social account and take on all of the work necessary for building a successful social campaign until you’ve finalized plans to be doing business in that region.

Start Different Accounts

Twitter is popular in many different countries all over the world, and it’s a great way to reach potential customers, especially as the company continues its expansion; however, you’re going to need to set up different Twitter accounts for each country that you’re targeting so you can use the different languages and customs of each country to get your point across.

You’re also going to want to set up different Twitter accounts for different English speaking countries, as using local lingo and wording can help make potential customers feel like you’re a part of the community – not a multinational company just looking to get into their pockets.

Let Facebook Work For You

Facebook is the largest social media site in the world, and you can reach countless people with targeted advertisements. This is particularly important for new businesses or businesses expanding into a new market.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook will actually run ads for you – in up to 50 different languages, which means that you don’t have to worry about translation and getting your message across.

You might still need somebody to manage your international social media presence, but letting Facebook run ads for you can help you determine how viable your marketing campaign is in another country before you start hiring.

Having a social media presence in a variety of different countries makes sense for many businesses. Setting that presence up isn’t something that can happen overnight, but it can be very beneficial.

In general, the same rules for marketing apply, but you do need to take local customs into account when posting. Again, you want social media users to feel like you’re part of the community.

In addition to having a great web host, you’ll also want to engage with your social users as much as possible. If you can afford it, paying somebody who speaks the native language to manage your account can be very helpful and reduce your workload.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer with a background in online marketing. As the founder of Gryffin Media, she uses her knowledge of social media marketing, web analytics and web content development to expand the reach of her business.

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