Social media translation: translating tweets and posts

English may be the predominate language for social media, but reaching your international customer base is vital. Have you thought about social media translation?

Social media is a major asset for companies across the globe. Whether you need to communicate something as quickly as possible, or you want to interact with your customer base in a less formal way, a variety of social media platforms are available for your every swipe, click and tap.

TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (and the rest!) can help your business or charity have a global impact.

We can all tweet or write a status update in our mother tongue, but what happens when you need to communicate your message to people across the globe? A simple matter of translating the content, right? Not exactly. In this article we’re going to give you some handy information for getting the best out of your social media translations.

Our 3 top tips for social media translation are:

1. Plan ahead

Producing engaging social media copy can often be a difficult process. Add to this the character constraints of a social media platform like Twitter and things start to get even trickier. This is why it’s always a good idea to pre-empt any issues which may also affect translation.

Here, it’s important to think about:
• any cultural complexities that may arise
• any messages or social media buzzwords which are going to cause linguistic difficulty
• the character limit for your target copy (the same thing can be much longer in one language than it can in another!)

These are all ideas that are good to start thinking about even before the source text is being written. By preparing yourself to answer these questions, you’re sure to save a lot of time when the translation process begins.

2. Consider your #hashtags

Hashtags can be a great way of engaging with your customer, but you have to play it right. Creating a hashtag can involve a lot more than simply placing the symbol in front a word. You need to think about the role the hashtag is going to play, how it fits with your brand and the reaction you expect to elicit from your audience.

Once again, forward thinking at this point will help you when it comes to the translation stage. Will you want to translate this hashtag, or do you intend to go live across different markets with the English version? These are important questions to think about.

3. To jargon or not to jargon

With the US at the forefront of the digital revolution, English has become the de facto language leader in social media. The important question here to think about is: what do I translate and what do I not? While certain languages and markets seem more than happy to adopt English social media jargon, others are keener to make up their own. Knowing when to translate and when not is a key issue for any effective social media translation strategy. 

Social media is an important part of today’s globalised world, and a structured social media strategy is important for businesses that wish to engage with customers and suppliers overseas. If you don’t have in-country specialists who can help with your social media translation, companies like Sure Languages can help you adapt your content for international audiences.

Are you expanding your social media campaign into multiple languages? If you need professional translation services for your content, we’d love to help. Contact us to discuss your project! 

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