Business marketing has revolutionized with the rise of social media websites. Now even the smallest of businesses can make their voice heard through websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. The data and statistics extracted from these social networking websites allow businesses to learn more about their target audience.
Recently, Google announced that it has started taking social searching into account. This means that whenever individuals post something on their Google+ account, it will influence their Google search results. The ‘Search’ company is trying to make searching easier and more relevant for its users. Similarly, organizations should offer products and services that cater to the need of their customers.
Language and Social Media
It is estimated that 50% of social media users communicate in other languages on social networking websites, rather than English. For example, research shows that Twitter is a multilingual place. Chinese, Russians and Arabs prefer to post their Twitter updates in their own language. Organizations that deal with the international market can gain social data and feedback from these websites.
Let’s take this example: a female customer buys a custom-made bag from a company page on Facebook. She posts a picture of the bag with her comment. The small company that designed the bag is tagged in the picture. Like any savvy business in the 21st century, this company wants to share the woman’s comment to their followers. However, the company’s employees cannot understand what the woman said because she wrote her comments in Canadian French.
In order to understand what she wrote, the company will need proper tools to translate the comment. Most small organizations don’t have a diverse workforce. Although small companies can easily understand the social media data in English, other languages like Chinese (Cantonese), Russian, Arabic and even French can be a big problem.
Therefore, it is vital that businesses adopt language diversity so that they gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries. Does that mean the custom-made bag company should hire a diverse workforce with individuals from different countries? No, but what they could do, in this example above, is to hire a Canadian French translator.
How Organizations Can Beat This Communication Barrier
Most companies think that utilizing language software is enough to tackle the language barrier. This is an incorrect assumption. Software cannot judge, convey or translate the message in the right manner. But a certified, human translator can! Every language is complicated; every language comes with its own grammar rules and sentence structures. Therefore, there is a limit to what a software program can accurately translate. Language was created by humans, not computers. How then can we expect computers to be effective translators?
Software might translate the selected text for you but it won’t be able to understand the cultural implications of the text. Therefore, the translation might be incorrect. It is ten times more effective to hire human experts on translation jobs, including to capitalize on social media. When humans translate text, they are easily able to understand the cultural implication.
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