Managing social media for a brand across multiple languages

01.10.2014

Managing multiple social media accounts can be challenging at times, so trying to manage a brand in multiple languages can be even more challenging—especially if you aren't fluent in one or more of the languages.

Don't fear, help is here! In this blog you will find tips and downloadable documents to get you started.

One of the most essential things you will need is a social media calendar. If you haven't been using a social media calendar to manage your social media accounts, now is the time to start. Social media calendars are a great way to stay organized and they allow you to plan ahead, so that you are not scrambling on a day-to-day basis trying to find something to post. I recommend creating a monthly calendar, but there are some who find bi-weekly calendars more useful. In time, you will figure out what works best for you.

Once you have your social media calendar set up with dates and all of your social media accounts, you are ready to start filling in your content. If you don't have enough content to fill out the entire calendar, that's fine; you can alternate days or post on days that are known to have higher interaction rates, like Thursdays, Fridays, and weekends.

After you have your calendar filled out you need to figure out a couple things about you audience before you start posting.

  1. Where they live and what their time zone is. This will affect the times that you post in each language.
  2. How will you be addressing your audience? I know this may sound a bit confusing, but when you are dealing with some languages, for example Spanish, you have to pay attention to your tenses (i.e. Tu vs. Su, Usted vs Tu, Necesita vs Necesitas, Prueba vs Pruebe). Choose the one that is most appropriate for your audience and stay consistent.

Now that you have laid out your content, figured out when to post, and who you are posting to, make sure to proof all of your content and make sure that it is consistent in all languages. If you are not fluent in one or more of the languages, please get a copy editor who will proof your content or provide you with a translated version of what you want to post. Do Not, I repeat, DO NOT rely on Google translate to obtain accurate translations. While Google Translate does an OK job at translating simple short phrases or sentences, it often gets longer, more complicated sentences wrong. Trust me!

Once you get all of the above done and are ready to start posting on your social networks, it is useful to have a checklist. After all, if you are posting/scheduling three posts a day, or every other day to four or more social media networks, it can get quite complicated to keep track of what you have posted and still need to post.

Remember, when managing a brand in multiple languages, be fair by sharing with your entire audience, even if one audience is significantly smaller than the other. Ignoring a smaller audience will likely ensure that it stays that way. Instead, address them and give them an incentive to spread the word about your brand and help it grow.