Translating content for social networks
A company’s website and the social networks connected to it are often a company’s main communication channel with its reference markets. This makes them vehicles of the company’s communication strategy, tone of voice and image: messages that are useful and immediate for readers in both the source language and in the languages of the target markets.
Most social networks let you translate a post into different languages: this is certainly a very useful option. However, when a company’s goal is to implement an international marketing strategy, then they need to work with a translator specialised in content for social networks and commercial communications. In this article we’ll explain the particularities and challenges of translating content for social networks, and why it’s so important to work with a professional translation service if you intend to expand your company’s business in foreign markets by exploiting social communication.
Characteristics of translating content for social networks
Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, Twitter… Although the language of social media features a concise, incisive style, every social network has its own audience, jargon and style. These substantial differences relate to the different reasons why people use a particular social network: a LinkedIn post describing the innovative app your start-up has developed will certainly have a more formal, professional style than a post on Instagram written by one of the influencers working for your brand.
To obtain maximum results from the potential of each social channel, you must have a very clear communication strategy diversified according to the platform used. It must also work in different languages and in different cultural contexts. Furthermore, when writing and in the subsequent translation of social content, community rules must be respected, and you must clearly understand the requisites of a post seeking to reach the largest possible number of users: a translator specialised in social networks must therefore have digital marketing and community management skills. The linguistic adaptation of posts for the target audience also requires thorough knowledge not only of the language, but of the target culture as well, and a generous dose of creativity to ensure the effectiveness of the content in a different language from the one in which it was originally conceived.
With a view to an integrated communication strategy among various communication channels and social networks, you also need to be rather consistent in terms of style and content between the various texts (such as newsletters, tweets, posts, press releases, etc.), so as to preserve your tone of voice and brand identity. The content to be translated must have a certain continuity, because it all contributes to forming a brand’s social presence.
Challenges in translating content for social networks
Here are some of the challenges posed by this complex branch of translation services:
The language used on social platforms is full of abbreviations, acronyms, neologisms and sectoral terms. In short, real jargon which varies significantly depending on the geographical and cultural context. The situation becomes even more complicated once you begin adding emojis: these icons convey users’ reactions and emotions, becoming a real code for images that must be decoded and recoded based on the unwritten laws of a target language’s cultural conventions.
The publication format of content on different social networks imposes certain constraints, including the number of characters available: for example, a tweet on Twitter is limited to 280 characters. This means that the translator must be able to convey the message of the source text using only the space available.
The translation of hashtags is an extremely delicate matter: these tags aggregate content y topic to make it easier to search for them. The direct translation of a hashtag into a different language could misdirect users to a different trend, so it’s important to carry out a search to find the corresponding hashtags in the target country. If there is no direct match, it’s best to avoid translating the hashtag in question.
Translation Agency offers ad hoc consultancy to help you outline the translation strategy that best suits your needs, entrusting the task to competent professionals who can guarantee the correct dissemination and understanding of the social content on your company’s channels. Want to find out more? Contact us using the form or the contact info on our site to request custom advice.