The Guide to Social Media Content Localization
Entering a new market is always a good opportunity to scale your business. However, showing your product or service to a completely new type of audience is always challenging as well. Let’s find out how to attract a new share of the social media audience with the help of carefully localized content.
There is no sense in referring to the statistics on social media popularity, effectiveness, and adoption by global as well as aspiring brands. Social networks are the tools that may work quite well for promoting most of the products or services, especially if you talk with an audience in their language, both literally and figuratively. But there are a few more reasons why you should start a social media localization campaign:
- Customized content is always more engaging than “one-size-fits-all” social media posts.
- You will be able to stay in touch with the audience and inform them of company news, advertising promos, and so on.
- There is a great chance of increasing the company's website traffic using social networks for different countries.
- As a result, your brand awareness will be increasing globally as well.
Steps to Take to Conduct Social Media Localization
Where to start localizing your content?
“Social media usage as well as localizing the content you’re going to post may become a winning strategy if you do everything right.” - shares Louise Stanker, a content marketing specialist at Adsy.
Starting a localization campaign will not be effective without defining the goals of your business. Someone wants to present a new product to a new market, someone wants to sell an existing range of products but in a new market, and someone wants to just research the market and then start developing a customized product. And this is not the complete list of goals the business may strive for.
Understanding your goals will help you create such marketing materials that will hit your foreign target! So, below is how to localize your social media content step by step.
1. Know the Local Internet Media Rules
For example, penetrating the Chinese market using popular platforms like YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook is a flawed strategy since all these social sites are banned in China. In fact, there are many countries that restrict information access, and that’s why you should be especially careful when entering the corresponding markets.
What’s more, the analysis is still necessary if you are going to use well-known social sites to get in touch with your foreign target users. Understanding their portraits, demographic, occupation, and age is the first step to be done.
2. Research Culture and Mentality Features
If you open the social profiles of brands from different countries, you will notice a significant difference in content. It's all about mentality and culture. Also, social media preferences may differ (and in fact, are quite different!) in each country.
For example, photos of bones are prohibited in China. In Muslim countries, taking a picture without a person's consent and publishing it is not allowed. Several years ago, BBC reported that a photo of an Israeli man in a Muslim mosque posted on social media caused a lot of discontent, so you should be careful with everything about religion as well.
Such mistakes can cause problems with government officials, public authorities and can hurt a business with just one wrong photo. Analyze content bans and create a cheat sheet for the creative team.
3. Conduct Competitor Analysis
When entering a new international arena, it is essential to understand what new competitors await you. It is vital to conduct a competitor analysis in each country. Analyze social networks, highlight successful brands, analyze their social media strategies and find out what makes their content interesting and demanded by the audience.
4. Discover Social Media Trends
After you identify the platforms that are popular in the market, you need to analyze the platform-specific trends and tailor your content to them. For example, Tik Tok is famous for its challenges, Snapchat for its filters, while Instagram and Pinterest are purely visual platforms.
You should also find out what specific promotional method works best while taking trends and users’ expectations into account. For example, paid advertising is good for Facebook and Instagram, so the localized content you will share should be platform, audience, and advertising strategy-specific as well.
5. Stay Up To Date
Every PR specialist, journalist, manager, or content writer usually has the rule to monitor local and global news every day. This rule allows you to keep abreast of all events and use the news as good occasions to attract the users’ attention to your business. To do this, you need to find a platform with reliable information.
6. Develop the Social Media Strategy
Once you have an idea of the new market, you need to create a development strategy to localize social media content. If you are working on several markets at once, then think about creating one content draft for all countries; however, don’t forget about possible cultural and mental differences we’ve already mentioned.
For instance, you can create video clips without text and then add the desired subtitles for each country. You can also prepare templates for infographics in advance to avoid wasting time on the design for each country but only add the necessary text.
Remember to create a content plan with a timeline for each post so your employees can clearly understand the deadlines and scope of work.
7. Don’t Use Google Translate
Google translate becomes smarter year after year; however, you still shouldn't use it for your social media content localization process. Instead, find a translator who will do the quality translation. Pay attention to native speakers, as they understand the nature of the content based on cultural characteristics. You can find a freelance employee whose services will be cheaper than hiring full-time specialists.
8. Create a Local Creative Team
In addition to translators, you will need SMM managers, writers, and designers who will understand the market’s specifics. As with translators, it is better to choose locals and hire freelancers from a particular country.
Also, pay attention to social profile management. Managing several accounts at once is a feasible task for one person, but not when these pages are in different languages. You need managers who can quickly answer questions from customers, provide them with complete information about goods and services without a language barrier.
For example, here is how Under Armour localizes their social media content. They have several different profiles for each of the target locations and manage them quite successfully (which may be confirmed by the level of their users’ engagement and the number of subscribers).
Under Armour Official Instagram Profile
If you have decided to enter a new market, you should not limit yourself to localizing your site. Do the same with social media and then you will be able to withstand the competition of the new market. Make social media a powerful tool to scale your business globally with the help of the tips we’ve shared above.