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Translating for social media: what to consider

There were 5.04 billion social media users worldwide as of January 2024, equating to 52.3 percent of the total global population. In today’s globalised social media landscape, savvy international brands have countless opportunities to forge connections, raise their brand’s authority, and reach a more diverse audience.


While global content is generally easier to create and therefore cheaper to produce, local content (or content that’s targeted at a specific market or demographic) is where real conversions tend to happen. Local content builds on that backbone of global content and considers the diverse range of experiences, tradition, and linguistic nuances of local audiences.


Creating intentional campaigns with a clear understanding of your audience and their culture and tailoring your content to them is what will set your brand apart from your competitors. It’s also these types of campaigns that get the best engagement from local communities.


How do you tailor global campaigns on a local scale? What are the factors to consider? How can you translate and adapt posts to make them relevant to your local audience(s)?

Building a social media translation team

The best way to ensure your social posts take into account the local culture, linguistic nuances, and industry-relevant terminology is to hire specialist native translators. Contrary to popular belief, a professional translator is much more than someone who can speak multiple languages. It takes thorough training and experience to become specialised in creative translations for social media, and this is something to be conscious of when you’re building your content localisation team.

Translators are experts in their field and can also give local insights that could level up your local social strategy, tailoring your content to make it more relatable to your local audiences while building engagement and trust for your brand.

Localising global content

Translating for social media is also a way of building and sharing a consistent brand message around the globe. But what that looks like across borders isn’t always straightforward. There are a few points to think about before you begin translating:


  • Do you want your brand to evoke the same emotions for your audience in every market?

  • What parts of your messaging do you want to keep consistent across all markets?

  • Do your company values shine through in each language?

  • If you use humour in your messaging, will it resonate in the same way with each audience?

  • Are there any cultural symbols, holidays, or sensitive subjects that you need to consider for different regions?

Social media translators are not just wordsmiths, but they’re also social people at heart. They can (and should) localise your post copy as well as the visual imagery that goes with it. This can include adapting basic date formats or using regional spelling, but also includes more granular details like adapting hashtags, colours, emojis, knowing language-specific subtitling rules, etc.

International community management

Managing accounts worldwide requires a careful approach to ensure that your brand remains consistent, relatable, and impactful across linguistic and cultural barriers, and recruiting a team of trustworthy community managers is just as important as your translation team. The information you’ve put together on your tone of voice and branding will be invaluable to your team. It will help them be aligned on the brand vision, the register they should take when interacting with content, and the audience that they’re catering to – all of which will be slightly different depending on the language and culture.


Striking the balance between global and local content is essential in your campaign and translation strategy and how your brand defines itself abroad. In taking the time to localise and tailor your social media strategy for every market, you’ll be able to highlight all the different aspects of what makes your brand unique, no matter the language.

Want more tips on translating for social media and managing your accounts on a local level? Check out our free eBook: International Social Media Management in 2023!


Written by: Marie Thouvignon, WIT Account Manager & Kelsey Frick, WIT Account Director


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