You've heard the word “localization” or “social media localization”, haven't you?
It is more or less one of the biggest business buzzwords at the moment. But, it's so much more than that!
If you want your company to be multilingual, you also have to adapt culturally- which is exactly what localization helps you do.
So, localizing your website is one aspect. But to engage with more users and customers, all over the world, I’d try and show my brand face on social media too, if I were in your shoes.
This will help you to target consumers, in every. single. market – in the same way, that you do in your native or current location.
And that’s where social media localization kicks in!
What Exactly Is Localization?
You’ve probably heard the word “localization” dozens of times, but you’re not quite sure what it means.
So, before I start talking about the benefits of social media localization, let's take a look at the definition of this buzzword, shall we?
Social media localization is the process of translating social media content into a local language and adapting this content to culture, legal, and other specific requirements of the local market.
Localization requires you to change and modify all elements of social media posts, including:
Why Is Social Media So Important?
Social media is an essential marketing tool for businesses!
Because it gives you a shot to connect with customers and increase awareness about your brand – which ultimately gives you more leads and increased sales.
Social media platforms are a great way to get the attention of potential customers without using any complicated sales techniques.
Who wouldn’t want that?!
Research shows that the newer generations don’t respond to traditional advertising. Instead, they rely on social media in the same “word of mouth” type way that we all respect.
That’s why social media is becoming more and more popular – especially if you're trying to get new clients.
Below, I've listed all the benefits of using social media localization.
Let's break them down together!
Better Local Presence In Your Target Audience
Whether you’re localizing a website or a social media profile, it is a huge step forward to having a better online and offline presence in your target market.
Every time you create localized tweets, posts, or pins, you prove that you value these clients and respect them and their traditions.
It also allows you to see the specific habits and traditions of these countries. For example, events posted on social media could match up with the local culture and holidays – this will make your new target audience feel appreciated, special, and more interested in your brand.
Since your company focuses on gaining clients, rather than customers, it's even more critical to develop a special relationship with your users.
Your potential clients are expecting relationships more than eCommerce customers. They want connection – which is exactly what social media will help you create.
Localizing your social media, will make your clients feel like you're just around the corner – just like any of their other online friends.
Increase Your Website Traffic
Adapting your website for every language, in addition to localizing your social media will inevitably bring more people to your site.
That's the main goal, right?
After all – you want your social media followers to follow through to your site, and order your service.
This is why your social media profiles should be available in every single language. If they’re culturally relatable, it will inevitably bring more people to your site.
If you want your social media efforts to work in the best way possible, make sure that you add links to your posts – especially when you introduce a new service or addition.
Also, localized blog posts provide fantastic content for social media, and will likely bring more people to your site.
The difference is, these users won't enter your site and then exit right away.
If everything is localized well, there is a much better chance that they will stay on your website.
Which means… retention rates stay high!
Google favors sites that not only contain localized keywords but also websites that retain their users by utilizing relevant localized content.
Want to see an example of a website that Google loves?
Sure you do!!
Visit Dove.com and browse it in a few different languages. You will see that everything, including articles, videos, and the menu, is localized.
So, whatever language you speak, you can surf this website and explore the content.
Localized content helps you grab the attention of local customers and makes them stay at the website longer. You'll decrease your bounce rate which means fewer people are going to leave your website without taking action. Also, you’ll increase the number of pages viewed during a session. This will make your Google ranking skyrocket!
But, don't forget to keep on interacting with your brand through your social media channels, even when your website starts to gain more attention.
Also, take their feedback about your site and social media channels into consideration.
That being said… there will always be haters, so let’s just ignore their feedback! Sound good? *wink*
You Interact With Users in Their Native Language
If you've already localized your website, the next step is to localize your social media profiles.
Potential clients probably enter your website and search for your social media profiles for reviews – to form an opinion about your brand.
Also, many online users decide to contact companies through social media, rather than ringing or emailing.
When your potential clients find your profiles, they'll be happy to see that it's in their native language.
Alternatively, if you only have English versions of your social media profiles, your Spanish clients might only follow you passively, and not interact or engage with your posts.
So what should you do if you know one language but want to attract new clients from abroad?
There are two options to consider.
The first option is to write captions in two different languages. You can write a caption in English, and then ask a professional translator to help you with translation.
For instance, if you target the Polish market, your post should look like this.
Or, you can choose a second option. With the help of experts in localization, you can create separate social media profiles for local markets.
Do you wonder how it works? Look through Starbucks' profiles on Instagram.
This coffee company has different Instagram profiles for France, China, as well as other markets. Starbucks' creates content that perfectly appeals to the local target audience. And it helps to keep engagement high.
This is how social media localization works.
The more your followers understand and relate to your posts, the more likely they are to respond, interact, and participate in them.
Make A Company Appear More Client-Focused
You need to appeal to your client's needs wherever they may be.
Your service should be relevant, and your posts should also be entirely appropriate.
For example, while it may be summer in some parts of the world, other parts are in their winter. You don't want to post about relaxing in a pool, while your target audience is walking around in their winter sweaters.
Focus more on your clients and show how much you care for them. They’ll recognize this and appreciate your effort.
Also, your clients will feel closer to you. They’ll feel like you’re friends which will stop them from hitting that “unfollow” button!
It Encourages Engagement
Regular posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest mean increasing engagement rates, and building stronger bonds with your audience.
Of course, this also means that you might just attract more followers and fans, and even convert them to loyal clients in the future. It also increases the chance of you being recommended to a friend – something that service providers depend on.
Try to understand one important thing.
Translation doesn't quite work, especially if you're aiming to increase engagement.
Because certain words and phrases don't always mean the same thing – and direct translation can be grammatically incorrect, or in some cases offensive.
Take Pepsi's “Come Alive with Pepsi” slogan that circulated in the 1960s. It's was most likely translated at a basic level for their Chinese audience, and it literally translated to “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead”.
Well, mistakes like this one might increase attention to your brand!
But when you're offering a service, you need trust, connection, and professionalism to get people interested in you.
Localizing will help you avoid mistakes, and gain genuine engagement on your posts. When you want new clients, this is more important that controversy.
You Can Showcase Cultural Sensitivity
Culture, tradition, and religion can be a tricky subject to market.
But guess what?
With social media localization, it makes it a lot easier.
As a company, when you show your potential clients that you understand them and their culture, at a deeper level, you’re building a more meaningful relationship.
Consider various holidays, traditions, and beliefs include them in your localized social media strategy.
It Can Help You Test if People Are Interested
Before you make the big decision to expand into a new area or location, you can use social media marketing to check if those specific people will be interested.
You can test if a specific group of people will be interested in your services, by simply running localized social media campaigns in those areas.
This is truly a marketer's dream – especially when making international moves.
But First; Plan Your Localization
Before you begin localizing social media campaigns, you need to plan everything out – this will ensure that you get it right, and attract new clients faster.
Depending on the size of the project, localization will often include an in-house team of professionals.
But it’s not a problem!
There are now many businesses that can take over your localization projects and work for you remotely.
To begin, the content that you're currently posting in your home country might be performing amazingly, but that doesn't assure that it will do fantastic in other countries.
Also, not all social media platforms will fit your brand or be successful in other locations. The best thing to do, in both of these cases, is to research into every location and the marketing techniques that work the best.
Our best tip is to simply plan ahead are simple.
Test everything out.
And start small.
Work your way towards more extensive campaigns, once you're entirely sure that your localization techniques are working well.
Creating a unified brand image for your clients is super beneficial. On social media, the opportunities to reach new people is limitless – this should be seen as a chance to reach new clients around the globe.
To be successful at this, localization is essential – translation just doesn't cut it anymore. You want to keep your brand consistent and increase your client base. The only way to do it is to use social media localization.
Erica Sunarjo is a translator with more than six years of work experience. Currently, she works as an editor at The Word Point. She likes to discuss topics related to translation services, content localization, and digital marketing. Apart from work, she enjoys reading books, riding horses, and scuba diving.