LinkedIn boasts 645 million global users and is available in 24 languages. While it’s always been popular as a recruitment tool, it’s increasingly being used by B2B companies for marketing purposes too.
This social marketing tool has led to many global companies translating LinkedIn posts and profiles for customers in each of their markets.
If you haven’t got time to read this post now, download our translation guide that shares advice for localising marketing materials, including social media posts. Click here.
Localising your organisation’s social media profiles and content is an excellent way to build brand awareness, trust and professional relationships. It can also help you stand out from the crowd as not all companies go the extra mile with translating and localising their LinkedIn content.
Is your target market on LinkedIn?
Unless blocked by governments (for example in Russia), anyone can access this platform around the world. LinkedIn currently supports Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai and Turkish.
It’s important to remember that although your organisation may want to engage other businesses on LinkedIn, your aim should actually be to engage their employees. They’re the ones using LinkedIn professionally and therefore will be most likely to read and interact with content in their native language. They’re also the people who might be buyers or decision makers within the business.
Using LinkedIn to network across different markets
In many cases, it will be necessary for individuals within your business to optimise their professional LinkedIn profiles for your target market. LinkedIn is a professional network where online networking happens between people, not company pages. Therefore, if you have UK-based employees who will be talking to prospects in a different market, it could be advantageous to create secondary profiles in the native language of that market.
Users can create their profile in more than one language using the ‘View profile’ option, under the ‘Me’ icon and selecting ‘Add profile in another language’. LinkedIn doesn’t use machine translation tools to create this profile so you’ll need to do this yourself or use the services of a translator.
As a highly professional image is needed on LinkedIn, accurate translations are essential. Any mistakes could reflect poorly on your company image, so avoid using free online translation tools. It is also important to consider business etiquette in that market – casual or more consumer-friendly updates may not be appropriate. Please speak to your translation partner about this as they will have a good understanding of business communications and etiquette around the world.
Engage a new market by localising your LinkedIn page
LinkedIn also allows businesses to run multilingual company pages. When you add a new company page in a different language, LinkedIn will automatically translate all the section headers into that language. But not your content.
Therefore, you’ll need to translate this information into the target language. Instead of translating your English company description directly into the target language, you should localise your content to make it more relevant to the people you wish to do business within that country. Contact information and links to websites etc. can all be localised with country or market-specific details.
Translating LinkedIn posts into multiple languages
Once your company pages are set up in your target languages, and key personnel have multilingual profiles, you need to think about how to translate LinkedIn posts. Most clients we work with create a monthly content calendar of social media updates aligned with the target market; these are translated and scheduled for publication.
Business leaders often also require self-published LinkedIn articles to be translated to build their influence in target markets, and they may also need some posts translated for their professional profile.
It’s a two-way street
Translating brand messages and marketing content on LinkedIn provides an opportunity to network with other businesses and build relationships in your target market. You’ll probably require some ad-hoc translation work so that your business can reply to comments or have a conversation with prospects overseas. Many translation service providers offer marketing translation services including social media engagement.
For more advice on translating different kinds of marketing content, including social media posts, please download our guide below. If you would like to discuss business etiquette and communications in more detail, please get in touch. I’d be delighted to share our knowledge and experience.