How language skills can help you become a successful social media professional
There is no denying that the role of foreign languages in business is significant. If you want your business to grow successfully and reach the international market, knowledge of at least one foreign language is essential.
The research confirms the importance of language skills in business administration as well. A study by the Macrothink Institute which 53 managers were surveyed of different levels confirmed that knowledge of a foreign language is essential in many areas of business – product development, customer support, sales, human resources, etc.
This study also mentioned that knowledge of a foreign language plays an important role in marketing. But what about social media marketing, in particular? How can language skills help you become a successful social media professional?
1. You will be on demand among international corporations
Many world-renowned companies run their social media strategies internationally. It helps them establish relationships with foreign audiences. Except, 60% of customers never shop on sites in English only, preferring content in your own language.
IKEA is a perfect example of international business with a multilingual social media strategy. The company has separate Instagram pages with content in the languages of all countries where you can find IKEA stores. Here is an example of IKEA’s Instagram page in French:
Credit: IKEA France
IKEA also has Instagram pages in Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian and many other languages. The company’s Facebook accounts are also divided according to different foreign languages.
So, if your dream is to work as a social media specialist in an international corporation, knowledge of a foreign language is absolutely necessary.
2. You will be able to read research in a foreign language
Another point in favor of knowing foreign languages is that they give you the opportunity to read research in other languages to diversify your knowledge.
There are certainly a lot of social media studies in English. In addition, it is common to give a summary of an article in several different languages, including English. However, this is not always the case and you should not rely on it entirely.
In addition to research, you will also be able to read case studies from companies around the world in another language. In this way, you may discover the unknown gems of social media strategy and try them out in your company as well.
3. The learning process will provide you with marketing ideas
Learning a foreign language always involves new discoveries as you immerse yourself in another culture. And since learning a foreign language now involves a lot of social media, it can also provide you with learning materials and marketing ideas for social media.
For example, suppose you use podcasts for learning English and improve your pronunciation. The podcast you listen to contains a series of interviews with native speakers to help you learn and get used to different accents, such as Master Luke’s podcast in the example below:
Credit: Luke’s English podcast
Interviews are a great format through which teacher Luke shares his knowledge of English. As a social media manager, you can analyze how this format works and recommend that you use it in your own company’s social media strategy, for example, to diversify your brand’s YouTube channel.
Learning a foreign language opens up opportunities for social media strategies that you may not have thought about before. All you need to do is keep your eyes open for new discoveries.
4. You won’t go wrong in culture
Today is the era of global business expansion, and many brands are becoming international. So yes connect with the audience abroad, among other things, they have to adjust and localize their marketing strategies on social networks.
There are many examples of well-known brands failing in foreign markets due to poorly localized social media marketing strategies. For example, KFC failed to translate its slogan “Finger-Lickin ‘Good” in Chinese correctly, turning it into “Eat your fingers”.
Although they seem tiny and unimportant, such mistakes can ruin your entire marketing strategy. And, given that people usually find out about a business entering the overseas market via social media, a simple mistake in localization can undermine the entire brand expansion campaign.
As a social media expert with good language skills, you will be able to prevent such situations from happening. Knowing a foreign language means understanding a foreign culture as well. In addition, you will think like a native speaker and see the difference between certain cultural phenomena.
Learning a language is worth a career
As you can see, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of foreign languages in the careers of social media professionals. Although your job does not depend directly on these skills, they can play a key role in your professional success.
So, start learning foreign languages to expand your prospects, run successful social media marketing campaigns, and finally start that sweet business in a multinational corporation.