Well-executed website localization tactics can take your company’s social media messaging to the next level. But this will only work if you adapt and implement rock-solid social media practices from the get-go. The aim here should be meeting the social media needs of international audiences, which may differ some from the successful media strategies your company relies upon to meet the needs of folks at home. Here are six website globalization, social media and app localization tactics to kick start your international marketing presence, no matter the region your business happens to be focusing on.
1. Work with In-Country Website Localization Teams
By working with a website globalization and media translation service that partners with in-country website localization teams, you can ensure that your localized content isn’t just a bland translation of content that’s only relevant in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Homegrown localization teams can help you create references that truly resonate, including nods to local brands, famous actors, singers and television hosts, or popular local sports teams or culturally significant events. In-country website and app localization partners can also help you avoid taboo subjects (political flashpoints, for example) or inappropriate content that might not fly in all of the regions you’re building a social media presence in.
2. Be Aware of Cultural Style Differences
Tone is very important when working in conversational mediums like social media. Good website and app localization services take this into account when localizing digital content. For example, media translation houses can advise you when to use slang and when not to, what culturally appropriate colors you should choose from for your fronts and graphics, how aggressive and direct your marketing language should be (in some societies, a more passive linguist approach might work better), and which icons and emojis are trending (and which ones aren’t) domestically. The right stylistic choice can help you project a positive social media message at the regional level — and avoid embarrassing cultural faux pas.
3. Prep for Linguistic Structural Differences
Good website globalization and app localization practices, which are the bedrock of any successful regional social media campaign, need to take into account — and then prep for — linguistic structural differences. Some of these differences include: currency symbols ($, ¥, £, € and more), calendar dates (month or day first), measurements (metric or imperial), address forms, telephone number formatting, time zone differences, and spelling differences (American or British English, simplified or traditional Chinese characters, European or South American Spanish or Portuguese, etc.). By using the correct linguistic structures when localizing for a specific region, your social media content should blend in well with the domestic media scene.
4. Stick to Unicode
On the technical side of things, stick to Unicode when digging into website and app localization in support of your localized media campaigns. Unicode represents all of the characters used for writing the world’s different languages (Arabic, English, Russian, Chinese, etc.) in a single character set, which makes localization and globalization simpler. Unicode means you don’t have to sort through individual character codes representing specific language scripts. By using Unicode’s international encoding standard, your translated social media content can quickly be fed into a variety of global digital media platforms, and be displayed on most current digital devices without corrupting the original (source language) character data.
5. Research and then Implement ISEO Strategies
ISEO (international search engine optimization) strategies can set your localized apps and websites apart from the competition. While standard SEO might work wonders for your company domestically, when working on international app and website localization projects, ISEO can help boost your search engine rankings overseas. By applying keyword research principles, amassing quality backlinks, and utilizing transcreation when localizing important content, you can create a strong social media presence in foreign markets.
Transcreation is the process of recreating the essence (taking linguist and cultural differences into account) of the original content or media campaign, rather than a simple, straightforward translation. For example, Coca-Cola’s “Taste the Feeling” campaign made a lot of sense in English, but in Spanish it came across as slightly nonsensical. Through transcreation, the slogan was turned into “Siente el Sabor” in Spanish, which translates back to English as “Feel the Taste.”
6. Pick the Right Social Media Networks and Engage in Hot Local Topics
By picking the best regional social media networks to work with, and then engaging in hot local media topics, your media translation company can help assure that your brand is being talked about at the local level. Why invest in website and app localization if at the end of the day no one is paying attention to your marketing messages? While Google, Twitter and Facebook dominate many social media landscapes, in some regions, different media platforms reign supreme. In China, for example, Baidu, WeChat and Sina Weibo number among the most popular digital destinations. In Russia, look out for Yandex and VK, and in South Korea Naver and KakaoTalk.
Once you know where to post your social media content, investigate, then engage in hot regional media topics to grab people’s attention even further, from sporting events to political scandals (if allowed) to points of national pride or gossip about trending celebrities. By burrowing down into the nitty-gritty of a particular culture scene (with the help of a professional media translation service), you’ll be able to create stellar localized media content that gets potential clients excited about your brand.
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