Since its inception in 2006 Twitter has fast become one of the most powerful social media sites for businesses. Many companies have seen firsthand the staggering impacts of utilizing the micro-blogging site, so why so many are still reluctant to start tweeting in multiple languages remains a mystery. The truth is that, if you are an international business, then you need to be tweeting in the languages of your target markets; simply communicating in English is not good enough.
It’s easier said than done though, isn’t it? It took you long enough to get your head around using Twitter in one language, so how do you go about the mammoth task of replicating your success in several other languages? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Separate Your Accounts
Thinking of just tweeting from the same account in multiple languages? Think again. While this may save you time and effort, it’s going to be incredibly annoying for your followers, who will have to suffer seeing your posts in eight different languages that they probably can’t read. You know that annoying guy at the party who spends two hours talking to you about the advantages of using an ATA controller chip with a converter chip over using a Serial ATA controller chip when you have no idea what a computer even is and all you really wanted was to come and get drunk and maybe have a bit of a dance? It’s exactly like that.
Research and Optimize
As you’re building each account, you’re going to want to do some localized keyword research to see what terms people are using to find you, your products, or your services. Make sure you use them in your biographies so that potential customers or clients can find you. You will also need to consider your Twitter handle – your company name followed by the language is usually a good option (eg. @[Company]_Espanol or @[Company]_Deutsch). Don’t make the rookie mistake of leaving the name of the language in English!
At least, don’t just translate. That UK product launch probably isn’t going to be of much interest to a follower based in Brazil or South Korea. Make sure that you plan your content individually for each market.
Outsourcing to a translator is an option, but remember that you will lose out on so much by doing this; local trending topics, proactive outreach, and specialized customer support. If you have the budget, then it’s much more advantageous to employ a social media expert for each language, or to outsource to a multilingual social media company.
Different countries will have different topics trending on Twitter. At the time of writing, #EnglishDemocrats is trending in the UK while #MentionPeopleYouNeverForget is trending in the US, and #NativeAffairs in New Zealand.
In order to gain maximum exposure, you can monitor trends in each language and tailor your content to take advantage of each. Use the hashtags and you will appear in the results pages for this search query, opening you up to a much larger audience.
Don’t Just Tweet. Communicate.
Shouting at your followers about new products, events, and industry news is going to have little effect on its own. You need to reach out to your followers, respond to their comments and questions, and monitor recurring themes for each market. Follow the leading industry figures in each country/language and try to find out what people are talking about and contribute to the discussion. Remember the golden rule: conversation, conversation, conversation.
At MO Group International, our team of multilingual social media experts can help you with your international social media campaign. Contact us today to find out how we can help you to expand your markets and support your customers. And keep an eye out for part two of our Twitter for Multilingual Businesses article!