Social media communication is an essential part of international growth strategy.

With digital marketing and adverting agencies under ever-increasing pressure to deliver quality content and stay culturally relevant, here we discuss successfully posting on social media in a foreign language.

Research shows that more than 1 billion of the 1.7 billion people who use Facebook speak a language other than English, and that the 82%of consumers are more likely to buy a product if it’s marketed in their native language.

So, what should you consider when posting on social media in a foreign language?

In sales and marketing language is one of the most powerful instruments. When you need your social media content to be used across a variety of regions and to accurately reflect your marketing messages, you need to consider the following:

Localised social media content brings more exposure

Your social media campaign could have all the elements to be successful overseas, but if you are trying to communicate only in English, people who speak a language other than English simply will not be able to find you.

In most languages, words can have several different meanings. Without expert knowledge of both languages, it can be difficult to know the correct translation for the context. When you need to create a post on social media in a foreign language, the reality is that inaccurate automatic text translation – or machine translation – can fall short. Ideally, you need a fluent English speaker to create a post in English, and a French fluent speaker to create a post in French for French-speaking audience. If you are managing social media posts in a language your audience is comfortable with, you are much more likely to get engagement.

Understanding local and cultural context improves posts performance

When posting on social media in a foreign language, it is very important to be sensitive to different cultural norms and values. Each culture has its own. For example, in China, there is a list of keywords which will result in your content being banned by the government. Without truly understanding the culture of the people who speak the language, it becomes easy to offend people when interacting with them.

If you want to effectively communicate your content to your foreign audience you need to consider whether or not your social media post contains culture-specific references and how you can adjust the content to make it relevant to them. For example, if the post was originally written for anEnglish audience, and contains references to a respected British sports person, how can you adjust it so it’s relevant to your audience in Poland or Germany?

People tend to use social media for different purposes indifferent countries, so it’s useful to have an understanding of what people from different cultures will best respond to before launching. You need to ensure your social media marketing is appropriate for your target audience.

A consistent tone of voice makes a company appear more client-focused  

Think of all the places in the world that speak French, outside France — Congo, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Belgium, Haiti, and so forth.As I am sure you are aware the French spoken in these countries is by no means identical to the one spoken in Paris, for example. Localization uses cultural elements and the local linguistic standards as its guide.

If you want to emotionally engage your global audience, it is not only about using the right words but also about adopting the right tone of voice. As a result, you maintain the power of your marketing messages, reinforce the brand with a consistent tone of voice, and build an authentic, long-lasting connection with customers.

An adequately localised website and social media will gradually lead to a better online presence.

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