8 Tips for Successful Social Media Translation
Social media marketing is a brilliant way to showcase your business to the world. Many companies have a renewed focus on social media translation, ensuring their content is effective with global audiences. However, it can be hard for companies to adapt captions effectively due to the unique challenges of social media. For maximum impact, a social media translation should always be carried out by a professional transcreation agency.
This article briefly highlights some of the main challenges when translating social media content and tips for overcoming these obstacles. This helps ensure that your translated content can make your business boom!
1. Translate Social Media Jargon First
All social media platforms use jargon that has been developed for that specific site. For instance, words such as “Like,” “Tweet,” and “Follow” have originated and are primarily used in the English language. Your social media translation must consider how these site-specific words are used in different languages.
Before translating your captions, it’s a good idea to take on the individual challenge of social media jargon first. Take all terms used on your preferred social media platform and decide whether to find an appropriate translation or keep them the same in all languages. A professional transcreation agency can help if you’re unsure how to do this.
For example, a “Tweet” on Twitter might mean the same in English and Spanish. However, a “Like” on Facebook might need to be translated to “me gusta” in Spanish. Likewise, “Follow” may need to be translated to “seguir” for Spanish speakers to understand your meaning. Your social media translation will be much easier if you first handle all these specific terms.
2. Take Care with Internet Slang
Internet slang that most English speakers are familiar with includes LOL (laughing out loud), IKR (I know, right), and IDK (I don’t know). However, some of this slang may be hard to translate.
Policies on internet slang differ depending on your transcreation agency. Some translators will suggest a direct translation of all slang words and abbreviations to ensure your message is retained. Others may ask you to adapt your source text to remove confusing abbreviations before beginning your social media translation.
Either way, your translator should keep the translation flowing while using context to get your point across. The context will give the person reading in their native language enough clues, and they may even be able to understand internet slang in the original post.
3. Choose your Words Wisely
We are all familiar with the character limit that Twitter enforces. This character limit goes across the board for all languages (excluding Chinese, Korean, and Japanese), but translated content is rarely the same length as the source text. Your social media translation will likely be longer!
If your preferred social media platform restricts characters, your translation must stay under the character count restrictions. A transcreation agency can help you adapt your text so it has the same meaning without exceeding the character limit. If this is impossible without cutting out crucial parts of the post, the original post can be translated into two or more posts in the new language.
4. Don’t use Social Media Machine Translations
It may be tempting to run a social media post through machine translation, such as Google Translate. Some social media platforms even offer automatic social media translation directly via the app. However, machines offer word-for-word translations. When using this direct form of translation, it is near-impossible to translate personality and maintain your brand voice.
Your posts will be much more successful if you hire a professional transcreation agency to translate your captions. This will allow you to remove the “machine” feel of the translation, producing more authentic and engaging content. It will also ensure that the post still sounds like the original and retains your brand personality.
6. Remember to translate Emojis
Different gestures mean different things in other languages. Let’s take the simple “thumbs up” emoji as an example. In the UK, a thumbs-up means “great job” or “okay”. However, a thumbs-up gesture takes a vulgar meaning in Greece and countries throughout the Middle East. It is seen in the same way English speakers view the middle finger!
You want to avoid accidentally offending anyone reading the social media translation. Therefore, you must remember that emojis also need to be translated! Basic marketing translation research is all you need to succeed in this area, or a qualified transcreation agency can handle this for you.
7. Know your Target Audience
Always research your target audience before starting a social media translation. You must be familiar with local customs and how certain words or gestures are used within your target audience. Get a clear picture of who they are in your head and build your content strategy accordingly.
When defining your target audience, consider age as well as nationality. You will not want to translate a post so that teens and young adults will understand perfectly, but your target audience is elderly adults. For example, reducing slang and removing emojis is a much better strategy for older populations. A transcreation agency can help you picture and tailor content to your new audience.
8. Get Creative with Social Media Translations
We all know that social media is becoming a huge digital marketing platform. Marketing translations translate from one language to another and from one target audience to another. They make your content understandable and enjoyable for a new target audience.
If using social media as part of your marketing strategy, hiring a transcreation agency is non-negotiable. They can offer creative solutions to ensure your social media translation evokes the right emotions and engages your unique audience. This requires a deep understanding of the culture and can take your content up a level.
Renaissance Translations’ Professional Social Media Translations
Social media translation may initially sound like an easy thing to do. However, a lot of work and thought goes into the final translation. It is essential to translate not only words but also emojis, internet slang, and site-specific words. You must also retain the original post’s character while keeping within the character limit and connecting with your new audience.
If you want to improve your presence in foreign markets, Renaissance Translations can help. We offer professional translation and transcreation services in over 120 languages and have access to over 5,000 professional translators worldwide. Our expert translators have all the required skills to provide social media translations of the same quality as the original.
Our transcreation agency is member of the Association of Translation Companies in England as well as SDL LSP Partner Programme. Contact our project managers today to discuss your project or request a quote online.