How not to localise your social media

social media localisationA growing number of businesses realise that a multilingual website is not enough to support the international growth. To fully adapt your online presence to the culture of your potential customers across the world, you’ll also have to think about localising your social media profiles. This step can help you engage with your prospects, build better connections with your consumers abroad and increase your online presence. However, localisation of social media pages can be a tricky task. To make sure you’re on the right path, try to avoid these common social media localisation traps:

1. Publishing the same content for all language versions

The aim of localising your social media content is to present a customised profile for your target users from each and every country. If you fail to adapt your content and end up publishing the same updates, the same promotions and images across your channels in different language versions, you’re not truly exploiting the potential of social media. Your target customers and social media users in every country may have different habits, lifestyles, expectations and traditions. So, go one step beyond translation of your original content into other languages. Craft personalised marketing campaigns, publish images that can be the most appealing to your users in the specific country and adopt a tone or style that would be engaging for your target customers. Sometimes you’ll be able to use the same or similar updates and images, but in some cases, you’ll need to show that you do understand the culture and habits of your international customers by publishing culturally adapted posts.

2. Not posting regularly

Not updating your localised social profiles is much worse than ignoring your original social feed. After all, you’ve already put so much work and effort into creating customised pages for every language and country, so why would you avoid building meaningful conversations now? Ignoring your international customers or posting on some language versions and forgetting about other pages won’t create a good impression and may affect your brand image. To avoid this trap, schedule your updates for every localised channel in advance to make sure you have enough content to engage your users on a regular basis. Another strategy is to have a dedicated team who would manage your social media profiles in other language versions, which brings us to the trap number 3…

3. Not having a community or social media manager

Your social media team may need members responsible for creating social media strategies for every country and building a community in every language version. It might be one person who prepares content for all localised channels and works with translators, consultants and reviewers to make sure the content is adapted to the target audience. Alternatively, you can work with a larger team that includes native speakers for your key markets. Ideally, your all social media pages would be monitored by a dedicated community manager to encourage conversations and create content tailored to your target consumers, instead of cross-posting or using the updates designed for your main or original channel.


4. Using the same social media channels in all countries

Popularity of social media platforms varies from country to country. In some regions Facebook and Twitter will have the highest number of users, in other it will be Instagram and Pinterest. Apart from the preferences in the specific country, you’ll also have to consider likes and dislikes of your target group. Depending on the age, interests and location of your prospects you might need to focus on different social media channels in different countries. Your business doesn’t have to be present on all social platforms, but it should be active on the social pages that are the most frequently used by your target customers. For example, if you want to promote your e-store with women’s clothing in Poland, you’ll be more likely to find your target users on Facebook and Instagram, but if you want to sell the same products in Japan, you might need to focus on Twitter or the homegrown network called Line.


Once your social media channels are properly localised, it will be much easier to tap into new markets and engage with users regardless of their location or language skills.  


Are your social media updates adapted to your target customers?


Photo by D. Pawlak

Dorota helps digital brands infuse their content with a local touch. She is a localization consultant, translator specialized in IT, prompt engineer, and a book author. Dorota teaches online courses on localization, writes for her blog and a Medium publication. She also runs a Small Biz AI, a Substack newsletter for freelancers and small business owners ready to discover handy AI tools.

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