Translating social media: the pre-social translation flow

Social media works best when paired with other content marketing. It’s a way for you to tell people about your offers and deals, show the new e-book you’ve created, share your latest white paper, and most importantly, engage with your users on a social level about all of these.

It’s one arm of a huge body of content strategy and, to be effective, you’ll have to translate much more than just your tweets. Here’s how to structure your pre-social translation flow to get the best results from your social media.

Begin with your goals

What are your specific marketing goals? Increasing the number of users? Increasing conversions? You’ve likely designed your native content strategy to achieve something specific, and you’ll need to do the same with your strategy in foreign markets. Yes, it’s not only social media you’ll need to think about, but the entire user funnel.

Localization starts here

Even though your buyer’s journey might not start with the product itself, the product is the first thing you’ll need to localize. Think about your primary product interface, which could be:

  • A dashboard
  • Admin console
  • Shopping cart and checkout process
  • Subscription page
  • Login page

What will people absolutely need to be successful with your product?

Then there’s your website

Translation and localization of key parts of your website (or the entire website, or a brand new website) are the next steps. Localize the pages your users will most likely need first, but don’t forget about information that isn’t essential to the core product experience, like how-to pages, about pages, press pages and catalogues.

Special ops for answers on the fly

Localization doesn’t begin and end with static pages—you have to plan processes that allow you to interact and answer questions on the fly. Many times, customer inquiries come through social media channels, which makes social media an extension of your customer service (or customer success) offerings. How will you handle questions fast enough to satisfy your social users?

Laying your local foundation in content-based marketing

The beating pulse of social media is content, and you won’t be able to use your social media accounts to their best effect without localized content to promote and share on them. Should you translate your existing blogs, articles, white papers and ebooks? Should you invest in fresh new content written by someone in your target market? Perhaps the best answer is to choose flexible translation tools that allow you to regularly create and promote multilingual content. Whatever method you choose, plan ahead to define your workflows.

Promotional materials

The success of your landing pages, marketing campaigns, email marketing and social media interactions have their foundations in how well your product, website and user experience has been localized. From there, you can explore ways to reach out to your international audience—including social media!

Remember, success with international social media isn’t just about translation. Every joke you share on Futubra, each article you post on Mixi, or how you interact on Gree all have to be context appropriate. For seamless localization, be sure to double-check that every stage of your customers’ experiences is grounded in their local language and culture.

Social media is a vital way for your brand to reach its audience—but are you maximizing your impact? Our social media guide, produced in collaboration with Fliplingo, introduces the key strategies for successfully expanding your brand to global audiences.


Lauren Van Mullem

The author

Lauren Van Mullem

Lauren assists in content production for Gengo's marketing team. As a former food and travel writer, she has experience communicating with all kinds of people from around the world and believes in celebrating different cultures through understanding them.

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