If social media has done nothing else since its introduction into the technological landscape, it’s socialized the globe and has made it easier than ever for cultures and people – thousands of miles apart – to coexist in real time. It’s no wonder, then, that social media has become a pivotal player in the move toward globalization. All of the major social media sites of the world – Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – have users from most countries on this planet. And these users are doing more than sharing their random thoughts – uprisings in the Middle East were chronicled on Twitter, companies are issuing press releases and contents on Facebook, money is made and businesses are born, thanks to social sites.
Social media is how we connect with one another. Entire revolutions, gatherings and business marketing plans are created online.
That’s where social media and translation services come together.
How to globalize your social media strategies
At this very moment, a tweet made by a business is being translated into a dozen different languages. You might think that’s a good thing, but in actuality, it’s not. Unless you have complete control over the translation of your words, you have no idea what’s being said to your international audiences. Not only can this muddle your message and mix up your branding, but it can also hurt your reputation and mislead audiences.
The way we talk in social media, we often use casual words and idioms. These localized phrases are understood by our culture (such as “don’t undercook the chicken” or “it’s raining cats and dogs”) but likely don’t translate well. Someone in India, for example, might think that “undercook” means to not cook at all. They might think “raining cats and dogs” refers to snow.
These may be silly examples, but they do emphasize what can go wrong when you’re not in charge of your social media translations.
Take charge of your social media translations with a professional
Social media is a significant part of your marketing strategy. Many businesses, in fact, hire a dedicated social media manager to help them reach wider audiences. Part of the duty of this manager should be to enlist the services of a certified translator for each and every post that you intend to share and direct toward international audiences. That way you truly are being proactive with this powerful (yet potentially dangerous) medium.
The most effective way to attack any marketing strategy is to have a plan. You shouldn’t be posting statements on Twitter or Facebook that you just came up with. You should know what you’re posting at least a couple of weeks in advance. Come up with a schedule, and be clear of exactly what’s going to be posted online before it ever hits the web. That way you’ll have plenty of time to hire a social media translator to cover your bases, and translate every tweet and post accurately and in a manner that does you far more good than harm.
At Lingosphere Group, we’ve consistently pushed the boundaries of translation and localization. We’ve cemented ourselves as innovative leaders in the world of multimedia localization, and thus have embraced the notion of social media translations. Not only do we have access to professional translators who represent more than 150 languages, but our social media linguists provide marketing support to allow you to connect to international audiences not only by using the right words, but by sending the right message.
Before you share your next post, consider how it’ll be interpreted by a global audience. Hiring a qualified social media translator could be the difference between speaking to an empty room and connecting with the world.