Tips on How to Manage Online Reputation across Different Languages
Written By: Christian Arno
If you are writing for a worldwide audience you could already be seeing the advantages of connecting on a global scale. Multilingual content not only opens doors to new markets but lays down a welcome mat too. It sounds like a winning strategy, and for the most part it is. But bear in mind that the more languages your business uses, the more you will need to work at managing your online reputation.
Don't let that put you off. Those global connections can be valuable for your business. Instead, take note of these tips and you'll be starting out on the right track.
1. Be alert. Do you know what's being said about your business in Europe? How about in Asia? You can use tools such as Google Alerts or Yahoo! Alerts to monitor conversations. Don't just enter your business or product name. Also find out the correct translations for your keywords, and let the search engines notify you when they crop up.
2. Be accurate. While we are talking translation, it makes sense to use professionals. Why? Because it's simply too easy to end up sending out confusing messages. Languages evolve, and you need to know everything from current usage to the right jargon and even what level of politeness to use. Native speakers have the ability to steer you through these treacherous waters. Trying to 'get by' is not a good idea when your reputation is on the line, and it’s even worse news when things have gone wrong and you are trying to fix the damage.
3. Be active. Remember, social media is about conversations. Keep an active presence on the relevant sites and platforms so that you can join in. With multilingual marketing, being active in online communities means going beyond Facebook or Twitter. Find out which social media services dominate in each of your overseas markets. Do you need to be seen on Renren (China) or are your contacts on Mixi (Japan)? Don’t forget to keep an eye on the trends. If your connections switch to the popular new social media site in their country, make sure you do too.
4. Be up to date. Alongside those conversations, we all have static content. Your website, for example, probably has some information that has been there a while. Not everything changes from day to day. Don't become blind to it, though. Every so often, check that the most up-to-date facts and customer information are available in each language. Out-of-date content that creates confusion can lead to some very public negative feedback.
5. Be responsive. The same rule applies for any comments or forum on your site, or incoming emails. Let these get stale at your own risk. Keep on top of messages, and provide polite and helpful responses to keep your reputation intact. Unless you are a multilingual insomniac, native speakers on location can be the best way to stay responsive to non-English speakers round the clock.
6. Be proactive. Take control of both what's being said about your business and who's saying it. You can do this by cultivating the right connections. Professional communities around the world can be valuable for building a reputation in a certain industry or field, so don't restrict yourself only to English-language ones. Interact in positive ways and be prepared to share your knowledge. Building a strong reputation as a generous and insightful business leader reflects well on your business.
It's essential to stay involved with your foreign-language markets to let them know they matter to your business. Get this right and the world's your oyster!
About The Author: Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, one of the world’s fastest growing translation companies. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 170 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. Follow Lingo24 on Twitter: