With millions of bloggers worldwide, blogging has become one of the most diversified communities. No matter what niche you are blogging in, the internet enables you to connect with like-minded people from all over the world. But how do you really connect with them if you’re not even speaking the same language? How can you follow your favorite fashion blogger from Japan on Twitter without getting literally lost in translation? Not to worry, here are a couple of easy tips to help you connect globally.
Do you speak…?
Most likely, all your friends and core followers are based where you are based and therefore familiar with your local language. English speakers have it especially easy as it is taught in many other countries and understood fairly easily all over the world. But what if you’re a native Spanish or Chinese speaker and aren’t as familiar with English? Some bloggers opt to write everything in their first language and then translate it into English for their international audience.
But if you are too lazy to go through all that trouble yourself, you can always use a translator widget. The Google Translate widget is probably one of the more known widgets available. For WordPress find plugins here and here. Blogger users can find the translate widget under “layout” -> “add a gadget” or here for the website tool version. Websites like the Widgetbox also offer a range of language and translation related widgets, in case you prefer flag over word icons or want to actually learn a word or two along the way.
However, translating your text via the internet is usually not recommended. No matter what site you use, the risk of inaccurate translation is extremely high as these sites usually only translate words but fail to incorporate grammar or syntax and a lot of times completely miss the point you are trying to make. iFabbo recommends therefore to always translate your text into English yourself, instead of using widgets.
Know your audience….
If you want to reach more followers in a specific area or just want to be fair and share your content with everyone equally, consider posting in different time zones.
It might be 1:00 PM in New York and the perfect time to share your newest finds on Facebook but what about 1:00 PM in Madrid? If you look at your blog analytics, you will be able to see where your audience is located by percentage. If you want to increase your audience from Moscow because you noticed a high percentage of visits from Russia, try to include their time zones into your schedule.
Twitter and Facebook can easily schedule your posts ahead of time so that even India and China will get notifications when your newest outfit post goes live or what you think of the new Marc Jacobs Beauty line. Try Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your social sharing ahead and see here more tips on how to use Twitter to increase your followers.
Talking about Twitter – Did you know you can potentially use more characters when you tweet in a different language?
Fair or not, some languages can offer you to write a whole lot more based on the amount of characters used. Say you want to announce your top beauty products of 2013:
English uses 28 characters for “Top Beauty Products of 2013″.
Germans would use 35 for “Top Beauty-Produkte des Jahres 2013″.
The French can get away with 30 for “Top produits de beauté de 2013″.
The Japanese however would only need 13 characters for “2013のトップ美容製品“.
Using translator widgets on your blog is an easy fix but what about social media platforms like Twitter?
There used to be a small variety of options available that did not seem to last over time. Twitter is currently in development of their very own version of an instant translator in cooperation with Bing. If and when that is going to be widely available however is still to be determined. In the meantime, Tweetdeck offers this unique feature of immediate translation already. Hover over the tweet in question and click on it. The “translate” icon will appear and Bing will do the work for you. Unfortunately, Bing isn’t always quite right and still spreads plenty of language mishaps as seen in the example. The German syntax is completely inaccurate and therefore fails to translate the correct content. It still is certainly enough though to get an idea of what is being communicated.
Learn and discover…
Did you know that L’oreal is present in over 130 countries? Like many other big companies they do make an effort to even be present with a regional Facebook page in order to really engage with their local consumers. L’oreal USA has different needs than L’oreal Portugal, so it does make sense to separate their online presence geographically in order to be able to attend to every country’s specific needs. That of course does not mean you need to add 20 new Facebook pages to yours. What you can learn though from L’oreal in this case, is that local news and cultural characteristics certainly can have an influence.
If you wish to engage more with your audience from Brazil for example, make the effort to read a couple of local headlines to be able to address current topics. Do some reading on the cultural background or even start learning a few phrases in Portuguese. Anything that helps you understand your audience better can help you communicate more effectively. Next time you chat about the new Miss Brazil, you might get some more followers because you actually spelled her name correct and knew that her makeup was done by a new up-and-coming brand.
How do you connect with your international audience? Has English become the universal blogger language?
Want to know more about how to utilize social media for blogging and how to increase your followers including Twitter? Watch the Social Media Panel of the iFabbo Social Media Conference via PPV and get the scoop from the experts. Click here.