Managing multilingual social media takes an already complicated job and multiplies it by the number of languages, with a few additional monkey wrenches thrown in. Not only do you have to plan the basic social media strategy for multiple accounts and handle all of the regular moving parts (images, post times, copy), you also have to consider which strategies work best within the context of each market. On top of that, you have to coordinate which words and abbreviations to use, how to localize humor and how to avoid offending people. It’s a challenge, but here are some tools and tricks to help.
Additional languages doesn’t have to mean additional work
The biggest fear we hear is that adding another language will double the workload and time spent on social media. It’s not nearly that bad! It’s actually relatively simple to streamline your social media marketing, but you will need proper planning and strong leadership to keep your social media managers from task overload.
If you’ve played fast-and-loose with your social media organization, now is the time to tighten up your ship.
1. Who, what, when, where—planning dates and details
First, you need to decide a few things:
- How do you delegate your social media tasks? Do you have one manager or several country-specific managers? Do your managers have dedicated social media teams or helpers?
- Who is responsible for what steps in your promotion process?
- Do you plan to create content in one language and translate it, or create and curate content for each region individually?
- How do you measure success with your social media strategy?
2. Calling mission command
Your challenge is to make social media posts across multiple channels and multiple geographic locations simple and effective. To do that, you’ll need to put your resources in one place. Emerging translation platforms let you fully automate social posting so when you publish in one language, it triggers translation (and publication, but only if you approve it) to all of your associated feeds through one easy interface. Research to find the best translation platform for your company.
3. Best practices for setting up multilingual accounts
Your strategy for creating accounts will vary depending on the social network you use. For example, Facebook lets you target users by location and language, but Twitter doesn’t (so you’d have to set up language-specific feeds). Ask yourself where it makes sense to use targeting, and where setting up separate accounts in the new language is necessary or preferable. For language-specific feeds, be sure to link to them from your localized homepages so multilingual users can easily find those pages.
4. The balancing act between scheduling and live interaction
It won’t take long for you to find your rhythm of producing, translating and publishing your content—and then you can schedule your posts in advance. While there are some general guidelines for the best times to post, they vary by time zone and target audience, so you’ll need to research for each market.
However, it’s not enough to just schedule your posts and call it good. Social media is about live interaction and having conversations, and it’s only by listening to feedback and responding to comments that you’ll be able to create a community receptive to your marketing efforts. It’s well worth your time to respond to users who take the time to interact with your pages, and there are a number of quick, high-quality methods you can use to do this in multiple languages without stretching your resources.
If you’ve got questions for how to manage multilingual social media accounts, give us a call! We’d be happy to walk you through our process. Or, read more by downloading our social media guide, produced in collaboration with Fliplingo. This free guide introduces key strategies for successfully expanding your brand to global audiences.