When communicating with customers on a global scale, both businesses and marketing agencies have a very real responsibility to bridge language barriers and understand the difference in cultures between a brand’s home country and its new target market.
Once you bring social media marketing into the mix, the frequency and volume of communications make this responsibility even more important. We’re taking a look at three of the key challenges associated with social media marketing on a global scale and how single-language businesses can negotiate these issues.
Learning the Language
Although it may seem an obvious complication, there’s more to altering the language of your marketing campaign than you might think. We’ve found that often, clients and marketing agencies approach translation with the single aim of having their social media content directly and accurately translated into their target languages.
However, the best translators will also consider the cultural differences between the two languages and ensure that they handle the translation with care to avoid the risk of causing unintentional offence.
One major consideration for social media translation is current events, which regularly shape social media content. But headline news and how it is interpreted differs wildly; a post that is light-hearted or informative in one country could appear provocative and poorly timed in another.
Similarly, taking into account the meaning of common UK phrases and slang words in international markets is essential when it comes to preventing your firm from offending your new audience before your marketing campaign has even got off the ground.
Tailoring to Time Zones
On a more practical level, social media marketing on a global level needs to pay close attention to time zones if it is to achieve maximum impact by posting carefully crafted content at the right time. Establishing the ‘peak’ posting time is difficult in itself, requiring marketers to consider the various peak hours of different social networks, while keeping in mind the most beneficial posting hours for the type of product in question.
When this is expanded to international social media marketing, there is the difficult added issue of time zones to contend with. For brands posting marketing materials exclusively targeting European customers, this challenge is less of an issue. On the other hand, those targeting countries with a significant time difference may find their targeted content is being wasted on a small or unsuitable audience.
Adjusting Brand Values
Just like language, values can differ dramatically between countries and cultures. As a business attempting to infiltrate a new market, it is your responsibility to consider these differences and abide by a country’s values if you want to ensure a campaign’s success.
Altering values could mean re-adjusting your (or your client’s) campaign strategy to place focus on a different benefit provided by your product or service. However, it’s also important to establish the overall demand for your product in new markets to ensure you don’t invest in a country whose culture has no place for your offering.
With the help of a professional translation services team, you can take your preliminary research that pinpointed international markets that may be receptive to your product or service and tweak that message with sensitivity and perfect context. This ensures you target a country that will prove lucrative to your company or client’s growth.