Facebook, Twitter and similar websites make marketing a little easier for the ecommerce website owner, and this is not true in English alone. The advantage of social media can be seen in other linguistic and national groups as well. People all over the world are checking in with their social networking pages, which means that creating an international social media presence is a crucial step in reaching out to other markets. Here are a few tips for building your international social media presence.
- Hire expert translators. Unfortunately, even people with a limited to moderate grasp of the language will make annoying and unprofessional mistakes in translation occasionally. The matter can be even further complicated if you are using social media website where there is a character limit—what fits neatly within the boundaries in one language might not work as well in another. Expert knowledge will also be required to respond to posts from visitors and carry on conversations. Do not make your international expansion until you have the means to hire a fluent speaker of both English and the new language.
- Choose culturally friendly visual elements. Photos, videos and other visuals are an important part of every social media campaign, regardless of culture. However, elements that don’t resonate with your target audience (or worse yet, offend them) can do more harm than good. Make sure your videos, photos, and other elements are culturally sensitive and created (or at least approved) by someone who is extremely familiar with the market.
- Know the limitations. While social networking is internationally popular, there are certain markets in which it is less so than in others. Even more confusing, some markets may have many social networking users whose purchasing decisions are not influenced by it. One important key to determining whether international social media is right for your business is to know whether it is right for your consumers. If social marketing has only limited resonance with your international consumer base, you may need to find another strategy.
- Make social media the center of an international campaign. Social networking is most effective as a marketing tool when it is used together with other marketing efforts. You will want to create culturally targeted landing pages that are search engine optimized for the language at hand. Have a person who is native to the culture look over all of your materials to ensure that there is nothing offensive or ‘lost in translation’. Research the keywords that will be relevant to your business in the new language. Merely having a Twitter in the new language is not enough; if you are marketing to an international market, you need to jump in feet first.
Many ecommerce website owners give international expansion a little effort and then pull back immediately when they do not get immediate results from a machine-translated social networking page. Unfortunately, expanding into international markets through social media can be difficult. Fortunately, because it can be such a complicated move, doing it right can give your ecommerce website a huge advantage.