Love it or loathe it, social media is a powerhouse of a platform for marketing businesses of just about every size and sector. In your personal life, you’ll be forgiven for not updating your ‘followers’ about just how much fun you’ve been having at the local car boot sale, or posting those all important pictures of your lunch #noonecareswhatyouhadforlunch – but when it comes to business, social media is an indispensable marketing tool.
Businesses that are already using social media to connect with prospective customers will probably already have the odd Twitter follower or Facebook fan from a foreign country, but connecting and engaging with international customers are two very different things. If you want to actively target international customers with social media, you’ll need to take a localised approach.
It might sound tricky, but localising your social media campaign is not as complicated as you might think. Here are our top tips to help you along the way…
1. Hangout in all the right places
Every social media platform has its own particular demographic. While Facebook is more likely to be the place where the young‘uns like to hang, LinkedIn is a more popular space amongst professionals. However, different countries also have their own distinct social media preferences.
Facebook is the world’s most widely used social media platform with 1.49bn active users worldwide. QQ, which many of you will have never heard of, is the second most popular social media platform in the world, with 832 million users. QQ is used primarily in China, so if want to expand into the Chinese market, QQ is where you need to be.
2. Talk their language
English was by far and away the most common language spoken online, but in the past few years the rest of the world has started to catch up. The latest stats show that the English language accounts for about 30 percent of the content out there in cyberspace. The use of French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Chinese online has grown massively over the last decade, so it’s essential you choose the right language to engage your target market.
3. Check what’s trending
If you want to engage your target market, you need to find out what they’re talking about online. The culture of your target market will have a considerable impact on the type of conversations they’re having. Engaging with customers on their level is central to turning your brand into a living, breathing entity your target market want to be a part of.
Tools such as Trendsmap and Twitter’s local trend search feature give you a better idea of the hot topics globally, nationally and in your local area. Staying on top of the changing trends will help to keep your brand relevant.
4. Gauge the tone
Social media is not the place for stuffy, formal language. Social media is the one place where businesses can let their hair down and communicate on their customers’ level through the use of colloquialisms, slang and idioms. The use of ‘social’ language is one of the keys to your success, so using a native speaker who is familiar with your target market will help you hit the right tone.
5. Timing is everything
It might be convenient for you to send social media updates while you’re in the office, but your posts will fall flat if your target markets are tucking themselves into bed. It’s essential that those in charge of your international social media campaign are mindful about when posts are going out in different countries. It is relatively simple to geo-target your messages and schedule them to be sent out to different countries at different times.
How can we help?
If you need a hand localising social media, website or marketing copy to engage your target market, wherever they might be, we can help. Get in touch with Linguistica International today to learn more about our transcreation and localisation service.