Social media tips

Top Social Media Tips to Engage International Customers

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.

BRICS countries

Linguistic Acronyms: What in the World are MINT, FIGS & BRICS?

If we were to ask you what you understood by the terms MINT, FIGS & BRICS, you’d probably rightly say the first is a plant used to flavour all sorts of foods and drinks; the second is a fruit famed for keeping you regular; and the last is a misspelling of a common building material; and of course, you’d be right.

But the capital letters change all that. If you’re a Robert Peston fan or regularly listen to news bulletins on Radio 4, you’ll know that all three acronyms are used to describe countries that have been grouped together for economic reasons.

Each acronym refers to the countries you can see below:

Mexico France Brazil
Indonesia Italy Russia
Nigeria Germany India
Turkey Spain China
(South Africa)

Why are these groupings used?

The countries have been grouped together in this way to account for their similar level of economic development. The FIGS countries are ripe for the picking (pardon the pun), because their economies are well developed, despite a couple of recent hiccups in Italy and Spain.

The BRICS countries are the rising stars and the world’s major emerging markets. They were grouped together by economist Jim O’Neil in 2001, with South Africa added to the list in 2010. O’Neil predicted these five countries would overtake the six largest western economies in terms of their economic power by 2041. He later revised this prediction down to 2032.

The MINT countries are full of economic potential. They cannot yet be classed in the same bracket as BRICS, but they are beginning to play a more influential role in economics and geo-economics, and turn their previously struggling economies around. They are BRICS countries in the making.

Why is this relevant to linguistics?

When it comes to expanding into foreign markets, businesses will consider those markets where the potential for sales is strong, and where the necessary framework is in place to encourage business growth and economic development.

For UK businesses looking to expand into a major European market, the FIGS countries are recognised as the most popular languages for the localisation of business assets like websites, online content and offline marketing materials. Why? Because these four countries represent the strongest European markets with the greatest potential for success. Of course, if a business was not based in the UK, Britain would also be added to this list.

The BRICS countries account for around 40 percent of the population, so the opportunities for UK businesses are huge. There is also a growing middle class in these countries, meaning more people with disposable income to spend. Expanding into a BRICS country will be risker than a FIGS country due to the significant cultural differences, but get it right and the potential rewards for British businesses are enormous. That is why an increasing number of business are localising their message for a BRICS audience.

The MINT countries represent a riskier proposition still, but again, the rewards could well be worth it. The boom years for BRICS countries have been and gone while the MINT countries are still in the early stages of their economic development, so establishing your business now could lead to great things in the future.

How can we help?

The only barrier preventing UK online businesses from entering into these potentially lucrative markets is language. At Linguistica International, our mother tongue translation, transcreation and telephone interpreting experts can kick start your international growth plans with language services that speak directly to your target market. For more information, please get in touch with our team today.