There is no denying that the role of foreign languages in business is significant. If you want your business to grow successfully and reach the international market, knowledge of at least one foreign language is essential.
Research confirms the importance of language skills in business administration as well. A study by Macrothink Institute that surveyed 53 managers of different levels has confirmed that the knowledge of a foreign language is essential in many areas of business operation – product development, customer support, sales, human resources, etc.
This study also mentioned that the knowledge of a foreign language plays an important role in marketing. But what about social media marketing, in particular? How can language skills help you become a successful social media specialist?
Let’s take a look.
1. You’ll Be In-Demand among International Corporations
Many world-renowned companies run their social media strategies on an international scale. It helps them establish a rapport with an audience overseas. Besides, 60% of shoppers never buy from English-only websites, preferring content in their own language.
IKEA is a perfect example of an international business with a multi-language social media strategy. The company has separate Instagram pages with content in the languages of every country where you can find IKEA’s shops. Here’s an example of IKEA’s Instagram page in French:
Credit: IKEA France
IKEA also has Instagram pages in Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, and many other languages. The company’s Facebook accounts are also broken down according to different foreign languages.
So, if your dream is to work as a social media specialist for an international corporation, the knowledge of a foreign language is an absolute must.
2. You will be Able to Read Research in a Foreign Language
Another point in favor of foreign language skills is that they give you the ability to read research in other languages to diversify your knowledge.
Surely, there’s plenty of social media studies in English. Besides, it is common to provide a summary of the paper in several different languages, including English. However, it’s not always the case, and you shouldn’t fully rely on that.
Apart from research, you will also be able to read case studies from companies around the globe in a different language. This way, you might discover unknown social media strategy gems and try them out with your company as well.
3. The Process of Learning Will Supply You with Marketing Ideas
Learning a foreign language always involves new discoveries since you are immersing yourself in a different culture. And, since learning a foreign language now involves social media a lot, it can supply you with both learning materials and social media marketing ideas.
For instance, suppose you’re using podcasts to learn English and improve your pronunciation. The podcast you’re listening to has a series of interviews with native speakers to help you learn and get used to different accents, like Teacher Luke’s podcasts in the example below:
Credit: Luke’s English Podcast
Interviews are a great format through which Teacher Luke shares knowledge about English. As a social media manager, you can analyze how this format works and recommend using it in your own company’s social media strategy, for example, to diversify your brand’s YouTube channel.
Learning a foreign language opens social media strategy opportunities that you might not have thought about before. All you have to do is to keep your eyes open for more discoveries.
4. You Won’t Make Cultural Mistakes
Today is the age of global business expansion, and many brands are going international. It means that to connect with the audience overseas, they need to adjust and localize their social media marketing strategies, among many other things.
There are many examples of famous brands failing on foreign markets because of the poorly localized social media marketing strategies. For instance, KFC failed at translating its slogan “Finger-Lickin’ Good” in Chinese properly, turning it into “Eat Your Fingers Off.”
Even though they seem tiny and unimportant, such blunders can ruin your entire marketing strategy. And, considering that people usually find out about a business entering the foreign market through social media, a simple localization mistake can undermine the entire brand expansion campaign.
As a social media specialist with good language skills, you will be able to prevent such situations from happening. Knowing a foreign language means understanding the foreign culture as well. Besides, you’ll think like a native speaker and see the difference between specific cultural phenomena.
Learning a Language is Worth It Career-Wise
As you can see, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of foreign language skills in social media specialist’s career. Even though your job doesn’t depend on these skills directly, they can play a pivotal role in your professional success.
So, get to learning foreign languages to become more broaden your outlook, run successful social media marketing campaigns, and eventually land that sweet job at a multi-national corporation.