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Localization has become an indispensable part of every global strategy, especially if you really want to make an impact on your target audience. And since we’re living in an era where we get most of our information from channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and similar platforms, including social media localization in your strategy is a must.
How does localization help you grow your brand?
Localization has become somewhat of a buzzword over the last few years, and rightfully so! With localization, you adapt your content to your target market, and this doesn’t mean “just” translating your content into the target language.
“Language localization is the process of adapting a product’s translation to a specific country or region. It is the second phase of a larger process of product translation and cultural adaptation (for specific countries, regions, cultures or groups) to account for differences in distinct markets, a process known as internationalization and localization.
Language localization differs from translation activity because it involves a comprehensive study of the target culture in order to correctly adapt the product to local needs.”
So, we know what localization actually means, but how does it affect your business growth?
Instead of writing a long paragraph on why localization is a must, if you want to be a globally known brand, it’s better that we reveal some statistics, because after all, numbers are worth more than a thousand words (we might have adapted this saying to our needs a bit).
- Even among people with high proficiency in English, 65% prefer content in their native language.
- 44% of internet users in the European Union feel they are missing important information when webpages aren’t translated in a language they understand.
- 80% of marketing decision-makers in the US, the UK, Germany and France believe content localization is essential to entering new markets.
- 60% of global consumers rarely or never buy from English-only websites.
- Around 75% of online customers think that if after-sales service is in their native language, they are more inclined to buy again.
Mind-blowing numbers, right?
Now onto how social media localization is going to help your brand grow…
Social media helps your business to attract new customers, get instant customer feedback, build customer loyalty, develop your brand image and so much more!
But before we dive deeper into social media localization, you’ll have to define the channels that work best for your business. That’s of course something you do within your initial social media marketing strategy.
Keep in mind that different countries use different social media platforms. There are some channels that are used worldwide, while there are other more unique platforms that are popular in one market but not really in others. For example: WeChat is a popular platform in China (with a whopping 1 billion monthly active users), but not really as well known in other countries.
So, do your research and see which social media platform your audience is spending their time on.
When you establish your preferred social media channels, you can continue with planning your localization strategy.
But what if I just post in English, shouldn’t that be enough?
A lot of companies decide to simply post in English – and don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with that. But you have to be aware of how many potential clients you could be losing by not including social media localization in your strategy.
Let’s show you some stats again to demonstrate the power of localizing your social media channels (just another excuse to show off some numbers, because who doesn’t love a great statistic?).
- 41% of prestige brands maintain at least one local country page on Facebook. These local pages have grown at twice the rate of global communities and register 50% higher engagement.
- According to an experiment done by Nieman Journalism Lab, geo-targeted posts were 6 times more successful than posts shared globally.
- 91% of social media users access their accounts from smartphones or tablets.
- 49% of millennials claim that they are ready to buy a product after they’ve seen it advertised on social media.
Quite an impact localization has on your customers’ decisions, right?
Okay, so what do you have to do to really ace the social media localization game?
The two most important things in the social media localization process involve thorough research of the target market and carefully planning out your activities in advance.
With market research, you should look for specifics that apply to the target market. That way, you’ll avoid cultural offense and provide meaningful and relevant content for your audience.
By planning out your activities in advance, you can include all the significant holidays or special events your target audience is celebrating. Timing is everything, so a carefully thought out plan will help you hit the right notes!
Let us let you in on one of the strategies that will really wow your audience
The best way to connect with your target audience is to set up multiple localized social media pages.
You can have your main social media page in English, but also create specific pages for your target market. For example, if you want to really make a great impression in the Spanish market, you should create a page that’s localized to that market.
All the big brands do it, and not just because they have too much time on their hands, but because it works.
I hope this article will come in handy when you’re setting up your social media localization strategy. And if you ever need extra tips on how to really impress your international audience, you can contact us anytime!
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