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Broken Channels - How to fix your local brand pages

social media

Would you like a piece of cake with your wine?

Sure, that sounds delicious. But very confusing.

Messages can easily get lost in translation and confuse your customers without a careful local social strategy. Perfecting the right localised content can be the key to expanding your brand globally, creating an extra layer of personalisation, driving your local web traffic and ultimately, increasing revenue.

In fact, a recent study by the Common Sense Advisory found that 70% of respondents said that they mostly buy products advertised in their mother tongue, and nearly half of people were even willing to pay more for products advertised in their native language (bonus tip, throw in a local dialect for extra traction!)

A social localisation approach is much more than just translation, going beyond what you say and how you say it; it's about getting under the skin of the chosen audience.

As both a social media strategist and a French and English speaker, it's obvious when these "local" campaigns miss the mark, but sometimes they're spot on!

The other day, I was targeted with an ad on Instagram from Danish Sunglasses brand MessyWeekend. The presenter spoke in English with a Danish accent and threw in a smattering of french colloquialisms "Il fait un froid de canard!" (it's brass monkeys outside!) and "la vache!"(blimey!).

This is an excellent example of a brand doing its research. It was funny, the video was well-thought-out (using familiar expressions in targeted language), and they sealed the deal with a country-specific promo code. This made the content more exciting and reflected the brand's personality, making it relevant to the targeted audience.

Your local brand content is your chance to connect with a new customer base, and that comes with different priorities, tastes and values.

Are your local brand accounts not performing as well as your global parent account? Step away from Google Translate and consider these tips today (you can say "merci" later!)

Don't underestimate the importance of keeping an ear to the ground in your local markets.

If you don't take the time to understand your local markets, you might find yourself suggesting a puzzling 'cake and wine' pairing. Even worse, you could find yourself at the centre of a controversy like Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana did in 2018 when an ad campaign was met with backlash for racist stereotypes on its release in China.

The lesson? Aside from the obvious bad taste and offence, local consumers will notice insincerity from miles away. Keeping a tight rein on local culture by working with native specialists is the way to keep your messaging authentic.

Market with specific cultural elements in mind.

The things that your local markets relate to will not be the same as the customer base for your 'parent' social media page. Embrace the differences!

Once you keep an ear to the ground and understand your markets, you can target them far more insularly - allowing you to build a personal connection between your brand and that locale.

What's your favourite example of a brand localising its social media? Comment below!

Further reading:

Include Localisation in Your Social Media Strategy

How To Localize Social Media Campaigns

Six Key Considerations for Social Media Localization


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