To first understand localization, it is essential to know that localization is a far more complicated procedure than simple translation. It includes a comprehensive study of the target culture and community. It is not just the language to correctly adapt to local needs and put forth a message that is consistent in tone and story across various languages.
With a growing internet user base across the world and internet facilities reaching further every day, online traffic has become just as diverse as the one in the real world. With people from all communities and cultures interacting with social media platforms, these platforms must localize their content for a better reach and impact across the world.
How Facebook localised in various countries
Facebook started the localization project with simple translation, in January 2008, when the first translated version of Facebook was released in Spanish and by June 2008, was available in 16 different languages including French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian. Facebook opened the translation process for 55 other languages in the same month to the community intending to provide their social media platform in the native language of every user.
How Facebook helps brands in localised social media marketing
The complex process of localization has been undertaken by Facebook by providing their social media interface in various regional languages. It also entails providing businesses with the facility to run localized ads and have unified global pages. Those pages offer the market a unified “Like” and “People talking about this” count, while automatically redirecting the interacting users to the version of the page specific to their region which can be changed by the user by selecting the “Switch Region” option.
This service of localization by Facebook is an amazing tool for social media marketers. The ability to run location-based ads provides them feedback on how a certain demographic would react to their product or service. It also allows them to select the location, age and gender or the target audience for their ads.
In addition to ad localisation strategies, Facebook also helps businesses to create their own pages with various options to localise them according to the market. The global pages feature provides options to create a page based on the nationality of the brand and also create individual pages for different target locations. This allows for easier segregation of content based on different target markets. As revealed by researches, 72% of brand engagement happens on localised pages rather than the national page. Thus it becomes one of the most useful features for businesses.
Facebook also recognises high levels of engagements for certain features, posts and reactions and study them to create more content appealing to the audience. This is different for every target market considering the choices of people. Thus, Facebook rolls out new features for testing to determine whether they’d be popular in a particular location.
Many brands have rival that they have to compete with and they implement strategies to be better than their competitors. However, Facebook has a different approach to compete against other social media app and it is by purchasing them. Facebook has not only purchased Instagram but it has increased it’s firm roots to WhatsApp as well. By doing this, Facebook promoted the nature of inclusivity to ALL its customers by reminding them that they own these apps and not only this but it integrated a login method (similar to how Gmails are used for easier access almost across all platforms)- now since login with Facebook has been made as seamless as to do it with an email, it has cornered more than a billion active users to produce gross revenue for its own company.
Facebook understand the updated trends and the needs of its customers which is what has made it an immortal app even after so many years. It has accurate localised websites and pages which welcomes every user around the world. And the biggest feature of it all being it pairs up similar communities to each other and helps the small or large business make a stance in the world of social media.
In this ever competing modern times the ability to run location-based ads, pairing it with the ability to create unified localized pages that cater to the ever-growing user base and getting personalized content that is meaningful to their demographic and culture makes social media marketing a must for almost all businesses. Campaigns successful in one region may not work as well in another. Localized pages give the operator power to create region-based strategies to target an audience and engage them through the means of regional holidays, celebrations, and news hooks.
By Geetanjali Mehta
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