In this day and age, one of the most effective means of marketing your business and reaching your clients directly is through social media. Whether you choose Twitter, Facebook, or any of the other multitude of social media choices, preparing understandable and relevant marketing messages to an international audience can be challenging.

It’s important to remember that social media marketing is truly a specialty, and you should seek the services of a professional to help build your social media marketing campaign. If you have a qualified marketer on your own staff, your problem is solved. But if you need the help of an outside source, you’ll need to either hire a marketing person in addition to a qualified translator, or hire an experienced translator who is well versed in social media. Once you decide who will create your marketing campaign, the next step is understanding some of the difficulties that come with social media marketing.

Social media acronyms don’t translate worldwide

In the US, most of us are accustomed to social media “shorthand” that is so commonly used English-speaking countries. But “OMG” and “LOL” don’t typically translate in non-English-speaking countries. Make sure your translator understands the social media acronyms and shorthand that is typical for the language he or she will be translating your marketing message into.

Squeeze your message into a limited space

Most of us know that Twitter, for example, has a definite character-length limitation. But even for other social media sites that aren’t as restrictive – Facebook, for example – it’s vital to keep your message brief. The shorter and more relevant your message is, the more likely your target audience is to read it.

Use visual images wherever possible

Remember the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”? As it turns out, that is pretty close to the truth. Not only do images speak volumes on their own, but they’re easily understood by your target audience, no matter what language they speak.

Make sure your information is interesting and relevant

Providing your customers and clients with useful information will encourage them to “follow” you on social media. If space is too limited to get the information across, include an attention-grabbing sentence with a link to your website or a blog you’ve written on the topic. And, of course, make sure that your site and your blog are accurately translated for your target audience.

When it comes to social media translations, one piece of advice stands above all the rest: find a translator who is also a native speaker of the target language. While this is always a good idea, it’s particularly important with regard to social media translations, where it’s vital that the linguist knows the language well enough to convey a complete message with an economy of words, and understands the specific acronyms and abbreviations used by speakers of that language.