Facebook has more than one billion users. Twitter and Google+ are not far behind, each of them growing between 35 and 40% per year.
Obviously, with these numbers, use is not confined to English speakers. All major social media platforms are firmly planted throughout the world. As well, there are a number of country-specific social media platforms that are widely popular within their own confines.
Businesses that want to move into international markets cannot ignore the power of using social media marketing strategies, just as they do in their home countries.
But is it worth it? Will utilizing social media really boost sales in foreign countries? Businesses who are doing it say yes.
So exactly how does the use of social media boost sales in foreign countries? The answer lies in the localization of all content that is posted there.
Defining Localization for Social Media
Localization is far more than mere translation. It involves all the following tasks:
- Conducting market research to determine if there is a need for your product or service in a country you are considering moving into. It also involves looking at the amount of competition you have.
- Deciding on the types of content to be translated. In the case of social media, these will be in the form of posts, obviously. But you must know enough about your target audience to know how to inform, entertain, and/or inspire through those posts. This will require some research into that culture and into the social media posts that are the most popular, as well as such things as the sense of humor of the demographic you are targeting.
- Identifying the social media platforms that are most popular with the demographic you are targeting. While Facebook and other U.S.-based platforms exist the world over, they do not have a presence in other countries. Take China as an example. Facebook and Twitter are banned. Their most popular platforms include WeChat (with its e-commerce store Youzan, sporting over 500 million users), Sina Weibo, and Xiaohongshu, to name a few. So, if you choose to use Mandarin translation services, you need to be certain that there are native Chinese experts who know which platforms will work for you and how to localize your marketing posts for that audience.
- Having a plan in place to obtain feedback on your results. Again, you will need analytics on readership, likes, shares, and conversations that occur within each post. This must be weighed against the sales that you are generating from both the platforms you are using and the specific posts that are generating the most “play.”
- Having a method to respond to questions, comments, and other feedback. Again, a native of the target language should be used
As you can see, the localization of social media involves some complex steps and processes. The goal with any foreign audience is to fill a need, to show the value of your product or service, and for your brand to become well-known, shared, and recommended. This is accomplished by localization, and these 10 tips to increase your international sales address the need for and the benefits of such localization.
Can social media boost a company’s international sales? The answer, of course, is yes, if it is done right. But there is a process involved, called localization for the target audience, and it involves far more than a mere translation of a company’s source language social media posts. If a business follows the points listed above, then international sales will follow.