01/03/2017

How to be Bilingual on Social Media

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." - Nelson Mandela

Using social media bilingually (or multilingually) allows you to connect with new audiences and better connect with existing ones. Big brands often have multiple pages on social media platforms dedicated to different languages in different countries. But what happens when your target audience is in a bilingual country, where the dominant language is not everyone's mother tongue?

Here are some tips on how to be bilingual on your social media pages with examples of big brands who do it well.

Know Your Audience

Literal translations are not always the best way to relay messages as they're often not very effective. They can also sometimes result in embarrassing errors.

Messages need to be authentic in each language and if you're aware of your audience, it's easier to tailor these messages.

Take for example these tweets from Halen M ôn:

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Key Messages

Not every message needs to be translated but it is essential that the key messages are relayed bilingually. Identify your key messages and think about how best to communicate them in both languages.

When possible, it’s very effective using both languages in one message, even if it’s using a hashtag or just a few words in the other language. This reaches out to your whole community, and includes everyone in the message. 

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Idioms, Sayings & Quotes

We often use idioms, sayings or quotes on social media posts, so if you do have a clever idea to use one, check it has the same meaning in the other language. Otherwise, find an alternative that works and conveys the same or equivalent message.

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The most important thing about being bilingual on social media is using both languages correctly. If you’re serious about using social media bilingually make sure there’s someone on your team who can confidently communicate in the second language. 

Errors reflect badly on your business or organisation, therefore it’s imperative that messages in both languages are correct. 

If you’d like to be bilingual on social media but don’t have the means, why not get in touch with us

As experts in bilingual communications, with a multilingual team - speaking Cymraeg (Welsh), French, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi and English - Mela can help you create bilingual content for your audiences.

Author : Mela

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