by Calvin Scharffs
· 77% of B2C companies have found users on Facebook
· 65% of B2B companies have acquired users through LinkedIn
· 59% of B2C companies have found customers on Twitter
That said, 77% of small businesses say they lack sufficient resources for their social media efforts, according to the State of Social Media survey by Awareness, Inc. Translation often isn’t even a consideration. It may be true that the majority of global Internet users visit websites in their own language, but most companies are too busy trying to analyze their retweets to even broach the topic of globalization.
I’d like to propose that there’s a way to do it all. Expand your social media presence, translate your content and grow brand awareness in other countries, even with limited resources. Here are a few places to start.
1. Build your strategy
You probably already have a short list of markets you’d like to enter, and market opportunity statistics to back that up. Before you make any moves to translate into one language or the other, use your English-speaking social media audience to help you brainstorm ideas. Would they like to see more content in Spanish, Portuguese or Chinese? Would Romanian users prefer your chocolate-colored widget or the silver one? By interacting with your audience, you’re building engagement while potentially gaining valuable feedback. Combine that approach with social analytics tools to pinpoint trends in your target markets, and build a social strategy off that.
2. Re-use your social content
Make it a point to save your social media content, so that it can be translated for the other markets you want to enter. You’ll end up getting more use out of your content during its lifecycle, gaining a better content ROI as a result.
3. Crowdsource your translation
Now that you have some content to re-use (and some trend-based new content), have your fans and followers help you conduct actual translations.
· Ask them, within reason, to help you translate phrases or other forms of content
· Harness them as your QA team by asking them whether a translation is accurate or not
· Ask them if anyone is a professional translator, or knows of one, or knows the best (most cost-effective) way to translate content
Your Network is a Gold Mine
The bottom line is this. Social media grants you access to a huge international network of people. Where there are crowds of diverse people, there are opinions, insights and corrections to mine. There are few limits to the creative ways that you can harness your social media community to help your company go global. What are some things that you’ve tried or plan on trying?