One of our regular clients at EVS Translations is a European manufacturer that provides innovative equipment and automation solutions. The company’s social media management team recently asked us to translate content for an upcoming seven-month social media campaign, which included:
- Case studies
- Client stories
- Event announcements
- Quizzes and polls
- Recruitment call for specialist support engineers
Translating social media content: getting the tone of voice right
The subject mix for this campaign was quite unique, spanning aspects such as automation, IT and industrial engineering. It was presented in a way that was accessible, informative and interactive. Social media translations are often more casual in tone than other types of business content and less technical than, say, product sheets, but this campaign involved a mix. Our in-house translator, Chris, gave his insight after working on the content:
‘You have to be aware that you’re communicating directly with a company’s audience. Mostly with potential clients who are interested in their field of activity, product range and the benefits the company can bring them. It’s important to choose your words accordingly. At the same time, there were also stories based around really positive client feedback so, of course, as a translator, you really want to convey a sense of joy on part of our client. In the end you have to approach every single post from a different angle, which is an interesting mental exercise.‘
Should you translate hashtags for social media posts?
Hashtags are an interesting example of how a lack of localisation (and applying a direct translation of words) can cause content in a new language to fail. Content has to be localised for the intended audience. For this campaign, the client wanted the English hashtags that were placed into the source sentence structure like regular words to be left untranslated because the translated terms had little to no following in the foreign language. Neverthless, having a random English hashtag in the middle of a foreign language sentence would have looked awkward. In the end, the client and translator settled for translating the English hashtags as normal words, with the English hashtags added in at the end of the post. This approach aided content discovery, while ensuring readability for the audience.
Multilingual social media management: getting the tactics right
Different businesses will have different strategies for translating social media content and for managing multilingual social media. To highlight a famous example, take the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau: he runs his Twitter account in English and French. Every time his social media management team posts in English, they quickly follow up with a seperate but matching French post. Some brands, however, will separate social media channels according to language.
Our team at EVS Translations runs social media in three languages: German, English and Bulgarian. How do we ensure we don’t send out German language content to English speakers? For LinkedIn, we use the ‘targeted audience‘ feature. This allows us to publish German content but target it only to audiences based in Germany (or, sometimes, the DACH region). When visitors come to our LinkedIn social media page, they will see posts in all three of our languages, but if they are following our page, we can ensure that only the content in the appropropriate language will appear in their home feed.
Got a campaign running and want to ensure that visitors from the campaign come to your page and are met with content in their language? Pin it to the top of your company page during the campaign. There’s nothing worse than a German paid ad campaign visitor coming to check out your company and they land on Bulgarian content.
It’s really important to tailor the content experience for your international audiences with tactics like these. As marketers often say: you have to get the right content to the right people at the right time. We would add: ‘And also in the right language!‘
To learn more about how a translation company can support social media management and marketing teams, why not take a look at our multilingual social listening and website copyediting project features? Or contact our team today.
EVS Translations UK Ltd.
+44 (0)115 964 4288
EVS Translations USA Inc.
EVS Translations GmbH
+49 69/82 97 99-99
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