One area of companies’ marketing strategies which is ever more important is social media. Making their presence known on social media is now an effective (and indispensable) way for them to reach their target markets and increase brand recognition.
Social media is advantageous for companies in many different ways, not least of which is the fact that they are able to communicate, engage and connect with their audience in a way that is usually not possible though corporate websites. It also helps businesses to improve their search engine rankings, increase inbound traffic and gives their brand more authority. All this means that, as translators, social media translation is an area that is worth familiarising ourselves with.
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If companies sell their products or services in different international markets, they should not overlook the importance of having their publications accurately and effectively translated by a professional native translator.
Unfortunately, it is very easy for clients to assume that a shorter text like a Facebook post or tweet can be improvised by someone in the office with a decent level in that language or by relying on tools like Google Translate, when nothing could be further from the truth! The whole point of social media is that it is easily and frequently accessed by a large and diverse public and so any content should be as accurate as possible. This is where we, qualified and native translators, come in!
When it comes to social networks, localisation is of vital importance! Publications need to take into account the current political and social climates of each target market, as well as important local events and the social habits of your intended public. This is why it is essential that companies work with native translators with the necessary cultural knowledge. But, even more than this, they need to define their market well and work with translators that know and understand the specific sector and target markets.
With this kind of project, as with any, translators need to be familiar with the correct terminology. We need to bear in mind the specific channel (i.e. which social network), as well as the intended audience. Each social network employs different terms and has its specific purpose. One particular pothole with this kind of translation is the use of slang, set expressions and plays on words.
Another restriction which is particularly pertinent to this kind of text is the space allowed! As we know, on social networks such as Twitter, the message needs to be localised and effectively conveyed within the confines of 140 characters. In many ways, the challenge is akin to that of subtitling in this respect. Often this means that social media translation calls for a creative and clever solution that speaks to your audience!
Luckily, as translators, we often use social networks to keep up to date with goings-on in the sector, events, updates, jobs, etc. so we are able to put this experience to good use when translating social media content!