3 Tips on Localising Your Social Media Campaign
The moment your company’s marketing strategy expands internationally represents a turning point in the history of your brand. This gives you a huge opportunity to reach a whole new market and a host of new customers. Sadly, achieving this isn’t as simple as it sounds. You can’t simply translate your marketing and communications into another language in the hope that it will reach a lot of people. But don’t panic, even if you don’t have a lot of funds, here are few rules to follow that will allow you to effectively market internationally and across language communities..
1. Understand Your New Market
From one country to the next, social media habits vary quite a bit. If you’re planning to localise your company’s social media campaign, you should first analyse which social networks are the most popular in each country, all the while respecting the format of your publications.
Your content also has to be adapted to the kind of content that people usually use on these platforms. Do users communicate more via videos? Or are they more inclined to exchange via articles? You need to know what best syncs up with the different customs you’ll be dealing with.
Some countries (such as China) totally prohibit access to certain social networks (Youtube, Facebook, Instagram), so if you want to launch your social media campaign there, then adapting to the substitution platforms in place may be essential.
2. Localise, Don’t Translate
More than just translating from one word to another, localisation allows you to respect the social norms of the country you’re adapting your content to. Your message needs to suit the customs of the country where you want to import your campaign.
You also need to think about other variables that may bear an influence, such as political, social, environmental factors in order to avoid making a huge communications error that could totally discredit your brand. In one country it may be totally acceptable to launch a campaign that talks about homosexuality for example, while this may be far more risky in another.
Even at regional level, you sometimes need to pay attention to all the differences that may exist from one to another. In many cases, a certain amount of adaptation will be necessary. Always remember, your goal is to make the reader think that the campaign was originally written in their own language and for their own culture. It has to carry meaning for each specific culture targeted.
You also have to ensure that some details, including visual elements, such as the colour or the logo are not offensive in the new market you’re planning to tackle. If you decide to keep your slogan in the language of your company’s home country, checking that it doesn’t carry a different (potentially negative) meaning in another language. One humorous example is an California-based brand called “LA Bite”. In English it may sound harmless, but translated into French it means… um… a rather vulgar term for the male reproductive organ, shall we say… Yeah, not the best marketing choice.
3. Don’t Neglect Customer Service
If you decide to roll out your existing social media campaign in a new country you have to have very clear ideas about what you do and what elements you wish to promote on social media. When someone hears about you for the first time they are likely to have a lot of questions. People are usually even be a little bit suspicious before purchasing from a brand they don’t know. It is often necessary to have a community manager that knows what they are talking about in the new market’s local language.
If your campaign is launched in a country close to your own brand’s country of origin (think, for example, France to Spain) you can be certain of finding a suitable community manager that can speak both languages. However, if you’re a French company that wants to launch a campaign in China, where cultural codes are very different, it is really important that your community manager knows how to behave with Chinese potential customers. Hiring different community managers to ensure that their approach is adapted to all the possible cultural differences in different markets can be hugely beneficial.
Launching your marketing strategy internationally shouldn’t be too complicated if you know who you’re talking to. You have to truly understand your audience and their cultural habits to avoid any grave mistakes. You should also go to great lengths to facilitate communication between your brand and your customers, whether this mean hiring a community manager or otherwise.
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