Social media – You can’t escape it- probably ever – until technology produces instant communication via telepathy. So, if you’re a marketer trying to drive your strategy, social media is your life line.

But how can a global company ensure its messages are effective the world over?

The quick answer is – localise your content but keep the creativity of the original language’s message intact.
Today, globally, there is a need for locally translated marketing messages in social media posts, internal newsletters, email content and incoming business communications. The challenge is making the translation comprehendible without losing the original message.

It is integral to sustain the brand image not only across all social media platforms but across global markets. What people want is timely quality that is cost efficient, with subject matter expertise and the correct terminology for their specific field. So adopting different strategies for unique markets is clearly important. Here are some quick tips on how global companies can go local:

1. Go native and live your market!

It’s not enough to get your team in Sweden to “research the market” in China. Get your team out there or, hire someone who lives in the area, knows the geography, demographics, economy and culture.

2. Get help from a globally active PR company

As above, they’ll know the natives, the language and the culture. But they should also have a thorough understanding of the media landscape and are likely to have relationships with the local journalists.

3. Know your social media

Facebook and Twitter are the ‘must haves’ for many marketers, but some new kids on the block such as WhatsApp are turning heads as a “key network for news.” Picture-based social media like Instagram and Tumblr are also ideal for some campaigns. Also, some social media platforms are specifically geared for online communities of people who share the same interest.

4. Target practice

You know who buys your products in your home country, but are you sure you know who’ll buy them abroad? The demographics of consumers for certain products can be quite different in other countries, so do your research before targeting.

5. Community care

A good way to localise your content is to sponsor and support local groups and good causes. It automatically puts you “on the ground” in the eyes of your audience, and shows you’re prepared to invest in them.

6. Geographically relevant content

Promotional content or information showing specific locations can be effective. For example, you have a sale on in a certain country and your social media campaign promotes the local branch for the promotion.

Localising the content, message and marketing material is vital but so is translating things correctly.

For example US audiences tend to respond well to shiny new things, whereas UK audiences are more sceptical and conservative in their approach. And if you move to somewhere like Germany, brand loyalty becomes a key focus.

Having a single marketing strategy for a global brand rarely works. A campaign may have common themes across borders, but it’s clear that the most successful companies – the world leaders in their specific fields – tailor their marketing approach for each region they operate in.

We (at thebigword) have been utilising OnDemand, an easy-to-use, 24/7, online technology service that uses highly skilled linguists around the world for our translations for social media, emails and more. When time is tight it is important to have linguists who understand cultural differences and specific nuances of that region’s language.