While English is most certainly a business standard worldwide, the citizens of other nations often, and rightfully, feel most comfortable in their native language.
Having a translation available button is nice, but not the option you should offer. Rather, you should publish the material in that language, possibly with translation option back to English. Fact is, every language has their own nuances from tone to phraseology to spelling. The slightest variation can change meaning and create at the very least an embarrassing situation.Each nation targeted for a campaign should be assigned their own employee advocate focused in all matters of language, ensuring understanding and respect for the people that share in the language. Most importantly, research and put into practice local colloquialisms. Social media wasn’t designed for formality – it was designed for active communication at a more personal level. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t take care to present your campaign in a streamlined and potentially grammatically “clean” manner. Rather, don’t get caught up in using business, academic, or an otherwise formal tone. Don’t be afraid to use the language of everyday dialogue. And in certain regions of the world, where old movies from the United States are just now becoming popularized, cliché phrasing avoided in the United States becomes a necessity to gain attention.
Social media produces change in language, both with regard to new words and new meanings. This is true no matter what region to which you are advocating. Stay current and know the trends for the localized audience in your campaign.
“Pay attention to discussions in your social networks and you can spot emerging new words, new uses of words – and maybe even coin one yourself.” Jon Reed
Check out our eBook for more tips on launching an effective global social media strategy.
Bradley Yeater is the former Marketing Manager at GaggleAMP.
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