Managing Your Online Reputation Across Multiple Languages
No matter where your business is based or what it does, you will always need to manage your online reputation. While developing an online brand offers the potential to grow into new countries, it also carries risks.
Whether an entrepreneur or a brand manager, your customer relationships are on the line every time you publish web content. Are you saying the right thing to the right people? Are you engaging in the right way? Get it wrong and you could damage the brand along with your reputation.
Increasingly consumers all over the world are turning to e-commerce. Whether clothes, books, music, beauty goods or toys this growth offers an opportunity to expand into new countries. Research by Nielsen says 85% of the world population has bought a product online. The highest percentage is in South Korea where 99% of those with internet access use it to shop. It’s closely followed by the UK (97%) and Germany (97%).
Your business might want to tap into these markets but to do so you’ll need to understand the consumer. This is where reputation management comes into play. If you’re talking directly to the consumer, which online networks make much easier, then remember the importance of communication, understanding different behaviour around the globe and using the best social networks to suit the market.
Choose The Right Channel
Facebook and Twitter might be king in the US but that isn’t true across the globe. Understanding that your target market in a different country and might use a different social network will affect how you promote your business and reach them. Half of Orkut’s users are in Brazil; Qzone has over 700 million users in China and is breathing down Facebook’s neck. While the US social media giant uses advertising to pay its way, Qzone sells tools to its users, meaning brands talk to consumers differently. In France companies build pages on Skyrock to reach its ten million users, that are more often men than women and are more commonly aged 18 to 34 (www.complex.com). The right social network won’t just connect you with your target market by understanding the user profile, it will help you understand your customer better.
Tailor Your Message
Knowing where to say it is the first step to managing an online reputation. Knowing what to say and how to say it is next. Consumers behave differently around the globe so you’ll need to research your target market. Understand their buying patterns and how they interact with brands. To post in multiple languages you should always opt for a professional translator or copywriter who understands the language.
The benefits of this are that they will be able to talk to your consumers in a more personable way, they will understand nuances of language that you might not. Language errors stand out to native speakers and mean they switch off, rather than engage, particularly if you’re selling yourself as a localized brand.
Social networks have changed forever how we interact with brands. The key is in the phrase “network”. It’s a two way street and to manage your reputation you need to welcome and respond to feedback. A native speaker or translator will be invaluable during this process. As customers start to answer questions and engage with your brand it shows they are interested. Ignore them and they might think you, and your brand, are just not worth knowing.
67% of companies use social media and for many of them customer service is part of that (www.destinationcrm.com). You need to keep up with your competitors but also understand that a question, idea or feedback needs to be taken on-board. Responding to customers will also help you understand them even more.
Monitor The Conversation
You need to setup a regular system for monitoring what’s being said about your company online. Google Alerts as well as tools like MonitorThis and RepVine will track mentions of specific keywords across Google as well as other search engines. This is vital if you’re expanding abroad and Google is not the dominant platform. As well as monitoring comments about yourself, you can keep an eye on your industry. If you’re in the retail sector then you want to keep up with news in different countries. Set-up a variety of searches by choosing a few words in different languages that match the sector in your target market. Each day you’ll receive an update about what is being said and where. It will help you keep up to date with developments and understand the market better.
Managing an online reputation shouldn’t be scary. It can pose a challenge particularly if you are expanding into new territories and are using different languages. Planning in advance, doing your research and hiring a professional translator will help you understand your new customers better and develop the best of online relationships.
About The Author:
Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, a provider of top translation services. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 170 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. In the past twelve months, they have translated over forty million words for businesses in every industry sector, including the likes of MTV, World Bank and American Express. Follow Lingo24 on Twitter: @Lingo24.
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