8 Best Practices for Building a Multilingual Social Media Presence (2023)

Last updated on November 10th, 2021 at 03:14 pm

8 Best Practices for Building a Multilingual Social Media Presence (1)

In this digital age, engagement is king. And what is engagement, if not simply people talking about you or your business?

Increasing your online engagement may come down to one simple thing- appealing to a larger audience. Building a multilingual social media presence can be a good way to increase that engagement.

Social media platforms are the great equalizer online, making it easy for people to connect with others outside of time zones and country lines. But languages barriers can still present a challenge for businesses and users. Over 50% of the content that lives online is in English- but less than 1/3 of internet users speak English! With such a language gap, one of the easiest ways to increase your social media reach is creating content for a multilingual audience.

People search and engage in many languages when they are online. So, it is important to pay attention and think if multilingual social media is a good investment for your business:

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  • What are the languages of interest for your business?
  • Is multilingual social media a good channel for your business?
  • What do you need for your social media content: translation, transcreation or a new copy in another language?
  • What keywords to use in each language?

Why Have a Multilingual Social Media Presence?

When it comes to consumers, a common language builds trust.

Consumers prefer to read posts, messages, and content from businesses in their language, regardless of the brand’s preferred tongue. No consumer wants to run their own translation services simply to read a piece of marketing material. Using your consumer’s language to meet them where they are establishes a sense of trust, respect, understanding and interest in that demographic. Social media is about building relationships, a crucial part of converting new customers. And the easiest way to start is to speak the same language.

But just how important is a common language?

Studies show not only do customers prefer to receive ads in their own language- they’re willing to pay more to get it. 72% of customers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their language, and 56% said information in their language was more important than price.

I am bilingual Spanish-English, but I love to read in Spanish since it is my native language. I really find it offensive when brands have bad translation, misspells or bad usage of words because they used machine translation raw without a review. It really affects your opinion and perception of that company forever. They worked to appeal to another audience, using Spanish language but when they did not execute their translation services project well.

Creating a multilingual social media presence is no small task because translating content goes beyond a simple exchange of words. When you’re ready to start, consider these best practices.

Best Practice for Creating Multilingual Social Media Content

1) Plan for the Translation of your Social Media

The same way you have a calendar and a plan for the company’s English social media, you need to plan and create a calendar for the social media in the different languages. Study if you need to use translation or transcreation, that will depend on your content. Create content that is neutral and easy to translate and localize. Create images that are appropriate. Planning will help you execution. Select early in the process that translation agencythat will help you with language translation services.

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2) Research Your Audience

To create a social media presence that speaks to an international audience, you need to know what language your audience speaks. You can learn a lot about your social media followings through your page analytics. Every platform has analytics, and these can tell you who is interacting with your content, where they live, and their known language preferences. Use your analytics to start researching your audience base, but don’t be afraid to expand beyond that. Social media allows you to connect directly with your customers, so you can also poll your audience directly.

It’s also important to understand what platforms your audience prefers. Social media preference is largely determined by age and geographic location. If you’re posting on Facebook, but your audience uses Snapchat, Instagram and What’s App, it doesn’t matter if you have translated content or not since you are using a platform that will not be effective.

3) Don’t Use Google Translate

Don’t throw your carefully crafted social media post in Google and hope for the best. Free translation tools are good to try to understand content like an email buy have limitations, not the least of which is an utter lack of cultural context for your posts. It’s easy to spot a copy and paste translation on social media channels- it’s almost always incorrect for conversational language. And for hashtags? Don’t even bother. Hashtags aren’t meant to be translated, but you can seek out specific hashtags in your target audience’s language.

Professional translation agencies can take the social media posts your team spent hours crafting and create the translated equivalent while retaining the important brand messaging.

4) Consider the Cultural Context

Every piece of translated content has some cultural context to it, but this is amplified on social media, where trends come and go in the blink of an eye. Utilizing a professional translation companywith cultural knowledge in both the source and target language takes your content from average to thumb-stopping. It’s not enough to simply translate the words of a social media post – you must consider the content and context as well.

For example, using the bunny for your easter social media campaign might not be appropriate for countries where the ester bunny is not use, it will be completely detached and foreign for them even in their language.

5) Think about Multilingual Keyword research

Do keyword research in the languages that you are working on and use the selected terms in translation of your social media. The keywords and their search volume change per country, so consider the countries that you are targeting, do your homework before creating your multilingual social media campaign. Use the appropriate hashtags in each language and establish early which keywords to use in your hashtag.

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6) Localize Your Content

Your social media content needs to be relevant across cultures or tailored to specific audiences. This is where localization comes in. Localizing your content ensures the message is relevant to your audience and is presented properly. This can include unexpected things like ensuring music is licensed in certain countries, avoiding culturally specific forms of humor, and understanding the slang and colloquialisms of your audience.

Not only does localizing your content serve as a vote of confidence with your audience, but studies also show that localized content performs 6 times better than general content.

For example, when doing Spanish Translation of a term be mindful of the country. In the example below we are analyzing the usage of the translation of the word “marketing” and which one to use.

As it is easy to understand it really depends on the country. In Mexico they use the word “Márketing” less while “Mercadeotecnia” and “ Mercadeo” are used more. “Mercadeotecnia” has more searches in Mexico of the 3.

Below the search volume and the volume in different countries

Márketing

8 Best Practices for Building a Multilingual Social Media Presence (2)

Mercadotécnia

8 Best Practices for Building a Multilingual Social Media Presence (3)

Mercadeo

8 Best Practices for Building a Multilingual Social Media Presence (4)

7) Create Multiple Channels

Creating translated content can create a new challenge for businesses- too many posts for one day, containing the same message in different languages. This is easily fixed by creating separate accounts for specific markets in the target language. Separate channels allow you to share messages across channels in as many languages as necessary without invoking the ire of the algorithms, which can suppress your reach.

Each channel should post in one language. That is the best approach nonetheless it generates more work, but it facilitates the moderation and engagement. This can also create a sense of community within each page where customers can interact with each other and you in their native language.

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Please only use native speaker when you are working and answering in the different channels

8) Measure Performance

Measure results to see what works and what doesn’t. That why you will be able to improve and focus on the content that works, the channel that is more effective for your business and focus on the language that produce more traffic, engagement, and leads for your business products or services. You will need to measure and adjust constantly to improve your results.

Don’t Forget About User Generated Content

Translating your own content isn’t enough in today’s digital world. User-generated content (UGC) is essential for both businesses and consumers. Having translated forms of UGC available can go a long way with improving customer relations.

Translating your user-generated content for global appeal is important for reaching new, international audiences. A 2017 study found 90% of respondents said user-generated content holds more influence over their buying decisions than promotional emails and search engine results.

What is user-generated content?

User-generated content is all the content about your business or company produced by users- people not affiliated with your business. This includes user reviews, product ratings, blogs, videos, podcasts, photos, captions, and comments on social media. Businesses benefit from UGC with an abundance of content they don’t have to create or fund, and customers appreciate hearing from other people rather than corporations.

Work with an experienced Patterner

Adding multilingual social media content to your marketing mix can be rewording. Like any element of your marketing strategy, you need to plan, measure, and follow best practices to be successful. You also need to select the right partner to guide and help you with the best translation services quality along the way. Select a translation company that has the experience and the resources to walk along with you during your multilingual journey. It will be exciting, and you will learn what works in different languages.

FAQs

What tools and techniques are supported for developing multilingual programs? ›

Word, Excel & PowerPoint can all be used to create and edit multilingual content.

What is multilingual strategy? ›

A multilingual marketing strategy involves creating content and translating it into different languages as well as considering the local contexts of your target market while still retaining the original message. Creating a multilingual marketing strategy will help you avoid getting lost in translation. Literally.

How can I be bilingual on Instagram? ›

There is no “see translation” on Instagram nor multilingual Instagram posts unless you display both languages that you write your post in. Here we offer you two alternative solutions: Use one account and write your text in two languages. Create specific accounts for each desired user location.

How does social media improve language? ›

Final results confirmed that the utilization of social media has been significantly perceived to have positively impacted learning English language in terms of writing style, reading skills, listening and lexical variation, communication skills and grammar usage.

How social media Helps language? ›

The use of acronyms (an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word) are now commonplace substitutes to whole sentences; LOL (laugh out loud), OMG (Oh my God), TTYL (talk to you later) are just a few that demonstrate how social media speeds things up by lessening the need to ...

What is the best way to become multilingual? ›

Some of the best ways to develop fluency in a second language are:
  1. Watching movies and television in a new language. ...
  2. Listening to local music and learning lyrics in native contexts. ...
  3. Chatting with a native speaker. ...
  4. Practice real world usage. ...
  5. Reading and writing.
3 May 2019

What are the 5 basic language tools? ›

In today's java tutorial, the concept we'll talk about concept is tools.
  • Variables.
  • Control Structures.
  • Data Structures.
  • Syntax.
  • Tools.

What are the characteristics of multilingual? ›

A multilingual person is someone who can communicate in more than one language actively (through speaking, writing, or signing). Multilingual people can speak any language they write in, but cannot necessarily write in any language they speak.

What is the biggest benefits of multilingualism? ›

It opens you up to new cultures and to the fruits of diversity. Speaking a second or third language will boost confidence and increase self-esteem. In a globalizing world, knowing a second or third language gives you an advantage career-wise.

What are 3 language learning strategies? ›

Compensatory—using context to make up for missing information in reading and writing; Affective—regulation of emotions, motivation and attitude toward learning; Social—the interaction with other learners to improve language learning and cultural understanding.

Which language is best for Instagram? ›

At Instagram, we have the world's largest deployment of the Django web framework, which is written entirely in Python.

How many languages use social media? ›

Facebook supports up to 111 languages, making it the most multilingual online social media platform, a survey published by Unesco in 2008 found that 98% of the internet's web pages published in just 12 languages, and more than half of them are in English.

How do I make my Facebook post bilingual? ›

Write your post at the top of your Page's timeline. This will be the default language for the post. Click Write post in another language, then click Select and select a language. Click Write post in another language to add another language or click Publish.

How has social media presence in our culture affect language? ›

Social networks also created a new pseudo-language, with terms like LOL, FOMO and YOLO and phrases like Facebook stalk, going viral and throwing shade. Ultimately, social media has changed how we communicate as a society and this pseudo-language can be harnessed to give your brand a social “personality”.

How has media influenced our language? ›

Social Media Introduces New Vocabulary

Phrases such as “rolling on the floor laughing” or “talk to you later” are quickly changed to “ROFL” or “TTYL.” These short acronyms creep up in everyday language, proving that sometimes words, when put together, can make you “LOL” or “laugh out loud.”

How can you use mass media to enhance language learning? ›

We can exploit a piece of learning materials offered by various Media in several different ways through: analyzing a text in the book, reading and generating ideas from a text in the newspaper or magazine, watching and discussing a TV program or a movie, classroom presentations, exercises and activities using various ...

What is the role of media in language? ›

They provide opportunity for learners to see, hear and handle and thus create a high degree of interest in English language. They offer a reality experience which stimulates self-activity on the part of learners.

How do you successfully interact in a multilingual society? ›

In other words, in multilingual encounters, there are at least three feasible modes of communication: using a lingua franca, adopting the native language of the addressee (an L2 language), or relying on receptive competences with all speakers communicating in their own language.

How can you improve communication in a multilingual workplace? ›

5 Steps to Improve Communication in Your Multilingual Workplace
  1. Implement multilingual workplace training. ...
  2. Recruit bilingual employees. ...
  3. Embrace the cultural differences of your workforce. ...
  4. Value everyone's role on the team. ...
  5. Set a good example.

What are some of the benefits from becoming multilingual? ›

Being bilingual can improve a person's multitasking skills, attention control, problem solving and creativity as it promotes outside-the-box thinking. It can also help improve your memory – handy when shopping and remembering people's names!

How do you promote understanding across languages? ›

Provide multiple means of Representation
  1. Provide options for Perception (guideline1) Offer ways of customizing the display of information (checkpoint 1.1) ...
  2. Provide options for Language & Symbols (guideline2) Clarify vocabulary and symbols (checkpoint 2.1) ...
  3. Provide options for Comprehension (guideline3)

What are the social benefits of being multilingual? ›

The Social Benefits of Being Bilingual

It stands to reason that a person who is able to speak two or more languages is better equipped to socialize with others who are also bilingual. A bilingual person is more likely to have friends from foreign countries so they're usually more understanding of other cultures.

How do you encourage language fluency? ›

Practice Long Speeches

Using long speeches and recording them at the same time will enable you to gauge fluency in the language you are learning and come back to it at a later time for review. This also improves confidence while communicating in the language you are learning.

What are the 7 language features? ›

Language can have scores of characteristics but the following are the most important ones: language is arbitrary, productive, creative, systematic, vocalic, social, non-instinctive and conventional. These characteristics of language set human language apart from animal communication.

What are the 7 elements of language? ›

Language courses include 7 language components that aim at developing learners' language competency. These are vocabulary, grammar, functions, reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

What are the 6 language skills? ›

Moreover, learning a language implies the development of all the six skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammaring and vocabulary).

What are the components of multilingualism? ›

“Focus on Multilingualism” is a holistic approach to the study of multilingualism in educational contexts. This approach can be characterized by focusing on the following three elements: the multilingual speaker, the whole linguistic repertoire and the context.

What are the factors responsible for multilingualism? ›

Reasons for multilingualism

Multilingualism arises when languages get into contact. The reason for language contact is the simple need of communication between human beings with different linguistic backgrounds.

What are the examples of multilingualism? ›

Multilingualism can also occur as a result of a political union among different groups. Switzerland for example incorporates German, Italian, Romansch and French populations; Belgium unites French and Flemish speakers; Canada has English and French 'charter' groups.

Why multilingual is important in the society today? ›

Increases networking skills

As we open up to a new culture, we begin to appreciate others' opinions and actions. As a result, multilingual people are better equipped to see the world from different perspectives, therefore enhancing their ability to communicate in today's global economy.

Why multilingual communication is important? ›

Multilingual communication also avoids miscommunication, offense, and other adverse reactions from both clients and employees. Invest in quality translation and interpretation services to prevent negative brand and company images.

What is multilingual and its importance? ›

Multilingualism practice tends to create the development and general acquisition of cross-cultural communication skills. In this regard people tend to learn different skills of the languages in place especially speaking, reading and even writing.

What are the 7 literacy strategies? ›

The seven strategies of highly skilled readers include activating, summarizing, monitoring and clarifying, visualizing and organizing, searching and selecting, questioning, and inferring.

What are the 4 approaches in language learning? ›

The different teaching approaches in this post can be classified into four theoretical orientations: structural, cognitive, psychological and functional.

Which are the 4 steps to language planning? ›

Formulation, Codification, Elaboration, Implementation.

What is the most used language on social media? ›

English

Which language is best for create social media app? ›

To implement the front-end part of the social media app, it's better to use either JavaScript or TypeScript programming language. The most efficient framework, in this case, would be either Angular, React. js, or Vue.

How can social media manage bilingual? ›

14 tips for building a multilingual social media presence
  1. Know your audience demographics. ...
  2. Don't rely on translation tools. ...
  3. Invest in top-notch translators. ...
  4. Neologize with caution. ...
  5. Localize content and translations. ...
  6. Prioritize visual content. ...
  7. Use available social tools. ...
  8. Create multiple accounts.
23 Jan 2019

How language is represented in media? ›

One of the ways Media Language works is to convey meaning through signs and symbols suggested by the way a scene is set up and filmed. Signs and symbols in media texts are polysemic which means they are open to many interpretations. The different possible meanings in media texts depend on two things.

How do you use different languages on Facebook? ›

Manage your Facebook language settings
  1. Go to your Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Language.
  3. Select the language you want Facebook to appear in.

How many programming languages are used in Facebook? ›

Facebook

What kind of strategy would you suggest to support bilingualism? ›

Strategies to Reinforce the Value of Bilingualism

Make it clear to families that their child benefits most from words, stories, songs, and conversations provided in the language they are most comfortable speaking. This helps their child learn in both their home language and in English.

Can learning from social media upgrade our language skills? ›

The findings of these studies have demonstrated the positive attitudes of language learners towards the use of social media in their learning process, suggesting that skills such as communication, writing, listening, and vocabulary knowledge can be improved through interacting via social media.

How can you promote effective communication in English using social media? ›

8 Practical Tips For Effective Communication on Social Media
  1. Learn how each medium works. ...
  2. Learn the norms of professional communication online. ...
  3. Respond and acknowledge if someone has written to you. ...
  4. Avoid chat language, especially in formal communication. ...
  5. Use Whatsapp properly.
20 Mar 2016

Are there any social benefits to being bilingual? ›

The Social Benefits of Being Bilingual

It stands to reason that a person who is able to speak two or more languages is better equipped to socialize with others who are also bilingual. A bilingual person is more likely to have friends from foreign countries so they're usually more understanding of other cultures.

What are the 5 strategic languages? ›

Learn one of these 5 languages to stand out
  • Mandarin Chinese. The world's biggest economy since 2015, China is a vital business partner for most countries in the world. ...
  • French. Never one to be left out, French still stands as a valid option for strategic language learners. ...
  • Spanish. ...
  • German. ...
  • Portuguese.
23 Mar 2017

What is the most effective strategies for promoting language development? ›

Use actions, sing, make noises and funny faces. Don't be shy, being a bit silly helps get their attention and makes them laugh and can encourage language development.

What social skills we need to learn while using social media platforms? ›

Examples of social media skills
  • Analytical skills.
  • Efficiency.
  • Understanding trends.
  • Communication.
  • Creativity.
  • Time management.
  • Project management.
  • Flexibility.

What strategies can be used to support communication and social interaction? ›

Ideas to support social skills
  • Create an environment where students can see one another clearly, identify social cues, and learn and practise turn-taking.
  • Explain that words, tone, and body language convey messages.
  • Teach students to recognise and interpret non-verbal language and the social rules of different settings.

What strategies would you use to increase the social media presence in a positive way? ›

8 tips to improve your social media presence
  • Check the current trends. ...
  • Use multimedia. ...
  • Be regularly active. ...
  • Pay attention to customer service. ...
  • Don't forget to audit results. ...
  • Interact with your audience. ...
  • Keep promoting your social media accounts. ...
  • Maintain with right tools.

What is the biggest social benefits of multilingualism? ›

Global Awareness: People who know other languages often familiarize themselves with those cultures as well. They appreciate cultural differences and are more open to new approaches and traditions. This diverse mindset reduces biases and encourages more traveling in the future.

What are the three benefits of being multilingual? ›

  • Learning a new language boosts cognitive functions. ...
  • Learning a new language enhances and improves memory. ...
  • Learning a new language expands your mind and worldview. ...
  • Speaking a second or third language will boost confidence and increase self-esteem.

What are 10 benefits of being bilingual? ›

Here are ten practical benefits from bilingualism:
  • It makes learning languages easier. ...
  • Bilingualism makes you better at multitasking. ...
  • It makes you more empathetic. ...
  • You'll be more popular. ...
  • Bilingualism helps you see things differently. ...
  • It can make you richer. ...
  • It can make your country richer, too.
10 May 2022

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