Social Media Translation for Surviving and Thriving in the New Normal - Social Media Explorer
Social Media Translation for Surviving and Thriving in the New Normal
Social Media Translation for Surviving and Thriving in the New Normal

The information in this article is updated regularly. Last updated: December 2021.

From companies struggling to transition from pandemic to post-pandemic situations, social media is a virtual vibe check. Social media lets you know how the business landscape works on a personal level, especially now that there are more and more people online. Statistics show that social media use continues to grow, with global users reaching 4.55 billion in October 2021.

All the more, now that social media has taken over the globe in 2021, that translation is necessary to reach more global users. The same source says that the number of social media users around the world grew by 409 million in the past 12 months, and that nearly 6 in 10 users buy something online every week. And translation can convert those buyers, as Redokun says, Fortune 500 companies that invested in translation saw a significant rise in their revenue. 

So what are you waiting for? Read on!

Explaining social media translation 

What is social media translation? It’s precisely what the term implies – translating your social media posts into other languages. There are various reasons for doing so. One is to share important information with those who don’t speak your language. Another is to build audience engagement with your brand. Another still is to showcase your products and services. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many businesses to turn to professional translators as part of reinventing their business model. For some businesses (mainly those that relate to home working, home education, delivery services, online communications, and so forth), this has been to capitalize on sudden increased demand for their services. For others, it has been a matter of survival. 

The post-pandemic world in 2021 has seen the economy emerge from a worldwide crisis. While some locations are still struggling, for the most part, businesses have recovered. In terms of social media, it’s stronger than ever and a particular emphasis has been placed on businesses using social media to build their brand. In 2021, it’s pertinent to have a global outlook on expanding to other countries. Businesses can do this through translation services.

Using translation services to build your brand presence 

How big is the translation industry? It’s big. Very big. Statista estimated that the market for global outsourced language services and technology rose to USD 56.18 billion in 2021, with a growth of USD 5 billion in just 5 years. That’s because businesses around the world are using everything social media to grow their presence and their fortunes. 

When it comes to building your brand presence, finding a proficient translator can make a significant difference. Be sure to track down a professional who knows and understands your business sector, as well as one who offers the language pairing that meets your translation needs. Translation services often use translation tests to identify and confirm their linguists’ specialist areas of focus, so using professional services could be an easy way to ensure that you can find the skills you need. 

Two prime examples of companies who conduct translation testing to ensure the qualifications of their translators are Tomedes, a translation services company that has thousands of translators globally but has stringent translator qualifying tests, and Gengo, a company based in Japan that asserts that anyone can be a translator provided they pass the qualifying exams. 

With the right translator on board, your marketing and social media translation work can proceed apace. Be sure that your translator localizes your copy as well as translates it. Why is localizing anything important? Because localized translation reshapes your content with a specific focus on the target audience and their cultural needs and expectations. Doing so can ensure that your brand stands a better chance of resonating with those to whom you are reaching out.

Finding new markets through professional translation services 

Professional human translators can do much to help you find new markets for your services. Indeed, many companies have engaged in language translation services to help them do precisely that during the pandemic. Wedding planners have been delivering online children’s parties through Zoom, florists have been teaching botany classes over Skype… businesses of all shapes and sizes have altered their focus in order to survive and in doing so have opened up new markets. For many companies, these changes will carry through into the new normal that follows the pandemic. 

Using human-powered translations brings another dimension to this. Companies can use professional services to connect with international audiences as well as with domestic customers who speak other languages (the US is a great example of this, with some 13% of the population speaking Spanish natively). 

When we consider the potential audience size, the power of social media translation becomes instantly apparent. Over 4.5 billion people were using the internet by the start of 2020, with over 3.8 billion active social media users. That’s a vast customer base for those companies savvy enough to tap into it! 

The practicalities of social media translation 

We’ve specifically mentioned professional services in this article. While many of the larger social media sites offer automated translation, it’s worth noting that human translation is better suited to professional purposes. Automated translation has come along leaps and bounds in recent years, but it’s not yet up to the standard that human translators can deliver. 

What is the best online translation service? It’s one that features human translation, using technology to enhance the linguists’ skills rather than replace them. The translation errors associated with automated translation are just too risky when it comes to presenting a professional image of your business to the world. 

Using human translators is one practicality to take care of. Another concern is your content plan. Taking a blanket approach to your social media marketing may now work in translation. That’s because different cultures will respond in different ways to the same material. As such, you need a country-specific (and perhaps even region-specific) marketing plan for your social media content. Good professional services specializing in translation will be able to work in partnership with you to help localize your plans. 

When it comes to the translation work itself, remember that it’s not just your written content that your translator will need to work on. Any infographics or polls that you use will need translation, while any video content will need either translation and voiceover services or translation and subtitling. 

Nobody (well, very few people) foresaw how fundamentally the world would change during the first half of 2020, nor how long-lasting the impact of that change is likely to be. Now, in 2021 businesses that want to ride the upward wave need to embrace the power of social media translation and rethink everything from the services they provide to their operational models. The world is no longer the same, so nor should your business be. 

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About the Author

Doug Brown

VIP Explorer’s Club