Five social media localisation traps you should avoid
Social media localisation can help you expand your business on the global market and gain trust of your customers around the world. Adapting social media profiles to different cultures and posting news in the local language is a key to engaging with your international followers and, ultimately, converting them into loyal customers. But the road to success might be a tough one, if your localisation strategy doesn’t include all relevant items.
To save you headaches and failures consider these five social media localisation traps with tips how to avoid them.
1. Not adjusting your social profiles to the target culture
Social media localisation isn’t only about posting the same updates in different languages on different profiles. Your followers in the target market want to see that your brand really speaks their language – knows and respects their culture and is aware of the local context. That’s why your social profiles may need a thorough adaptation before you can actually go on and start posting and sharing news. Think about the cover and profile photo, your profile description and any extra functions you can add on your page. For example, make sure you know what kind of call to action button will appeal more to your Facebook Page fans: “Contact us”, “Get directions” or maybe “Call now”? Depending on your business and preferences of your target audience you might need different calls to action and different settings of your social profile.
Do you know what call to action buttons are most appealing to your target market?
2. Not engaging with your local audience
A Twitter or Instagram profile that tells a story of your brand in the local language sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Well, this might not be enough to establish your business or attract more customers on the target market. Only posting the updates in the local language won’t make your localisation strategy effective. That’s why you will need to treat your localised social profiles the same way you would treat your main profile, which means you need to engage with your followers. Reply to their comments (in the same language), retweet or hit like. The real engagement will help you boost exposure of your brand and build strong connections with your potential customers from across the world.
3. Not linking your social profiles with the website in the same language
Only posting and sharing news for your target market won’t miraculously boost your online presence and grow your business. If you don’t link your localised profiles with the localised website, you might be missing a great opportunity to increase your website traffic. So, before you attempt to localise social media profiles, make sure your website is properly localised to create a consistent brand image.
4. Posting without a plan
The strategy for your localised social profiles is no different from your main profile – you’ll need a schedule or content plan as well. There are some general rules that determine what is the best posting time on each social media channel, but are you sure your audience in the target country has the same preferences? Consider different time zones or different lifestyle of your target group. Don’t follow the statistics blindly and make a thorough research of your target market to find out which social media channels, when and how are widely used by your target customers.
5. Not adjusting your product offer
A multilingual content plan, culturally adapted profile or interactions with your followers might be the core elements of your social media strategy, but without adapting your offer to the target market you won’t get anywhere. Graphics, prices, or flavours and ingredients (if you work in the food industry) might need to be adjusted to meet the preferences of your target market. A localised social media profile won’t be enough if your services and products are the same across the world. Sometimes a little tweak is all you need to make your offer look and sound more local to gain trust of your potential customers.
Social medial localisation is a good marketing strategy if you’re planning to expand to the new markets. Tread carefully though because there are many traps and pitfalls that can sabotage your efforts.
About the author: Dorota Pawlak
Dorota helps businesses, organisations and individuals to communicate successfully across cultures in the online and offline world. She is an entrepreneur and a qualified translator specialising in IT and localisation of websites, games and software.