Every company that has been in business for some time, has probably had its own wake up call courtesy of the increasingly present digital age. The 21st century is knocking on everybody’s door, whether we like it or not, and perhaps one of the hardest knocks comes from the world of social media.
What began as a platform to keep up with friends and family, or to share cat pictures on a slow Sunday evening, has rapidly transformed into a space where everyone, from small businesses to international corporations, is setting up shop in the virtual high street of the future. There’s a bit of a catch though: It isn’t the future anymore. It’s already the present.
Hear that knocking on the door getting a bit louder?
But what about the companies that didn’t have a physical display window to begin with? Countless businesses that played an integral role in running our society within offices behind closed doors, have suddenly found a place that offers them the same amount of visibility than any retail store out there. In this social media high street, a translation company can do its business right next to a flower shop, only missing out on the smell of red roses in the morning.
As of 2017, Facebook has over one billion active users that log on at least once a month. The Ethnologue catalogue of world languages, which is one of the best linguistic resources, currently lists 6909 living languages. Since we all still need to understand each other, it’s easy to see why social media has a huge potential for any translation business.
So, where does one start? What social network to pick? Can we do all of them? How does all of this really work?
While every business that has taken the step into the world of social media has had a different set of challenges, for a translation company there’s a few rules of thumb that can set you up for a good start.
Be constant. Incorporating social media into the day to day operations of a business is no easy task, especially if there isn’t someone on the payroll who has it covered. But forgetting about it altogether can easily leave a social media profile looking like a ghost town, with people wondering if you’re still actually in business. If someone wants a translation fast, they will probably look elsewhere.
Regular updates are a must, and everything counts, from the short and sweet status updates to lengthy posts about a related topic. It shows you’re there, and that you care.
An image is better than a thousand words. While this might sound counterproductive for a business that lives and dies by language, social media can be a cruel mistress and adapting is the key to success. The vast majority of users skim through their updates and limit their interactions to things that really catch their eye, and unfortunately text isn’t one of those things.
There are two solutions for this: Keep the message short and meaningful, and build your profile so that it looks like a million dollars…which leads us directly to the next point.
Make your profile look like a million dollars. And we’ve repeated it because it’s hugely important. If death and taxes are the only two sure things in life, there’s one thing that’s sure in business: Quality sells. Make customers feel like they’re entering the most expensive office in the world every time they see your profile. It is human nature to associate a good image to a good product, and brand image is something that’s been around for so long for a reason.
While we all adore comic sans in a wonderfully ironic way, investing in a well designed corporate identity is key to catching people’s attention online. Think of the money you’ll save on pricey furniture for the real office!
It’s better to run one network properly, than to run a lot of them poorly. This one requires an evaluation of the time you can dedicate to social media. It’s usually better to pick one network and be very active, than to be overwhelmed by running multiple profiles and ultimately being unable to keep up. Learn the ins and outs of your network of choice, and you’ll gradually find new and better ways to achieve your goals.
We’re sure that with these basic tips you’ll be able to fire up a profile and get the ball rolling. Building social media presence may seem daunting at first, but there are tons of resources available online that can help you find your footing in the future of business. Or should we say the present? ;)