How language skills can help you become a successful social media specialist
It cannot be denied that the role of foreign languages in business is important. If you want your company to grow successfully and reach the international market, knowledge of at least one foreign language is essential.
Studies confirm the importance of language skills in business administration as well. A study by the Macrothink Institute, interviewing 53 managers at various levels, confirmed that knowing a foreign language is essential in many areas of business operations – product development, customer care, sales, human resources, etc.
This study also mentioned that knowing 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 specialist?
Let’s take a look.
1. You are in demand with international companies
Many world-famous companies pursue their social media strategies internationally. It helps them develop a relationship with an overseas audience. Also, 60% of shoppers never buy from websites that are only available in English and prefer content in their own language.
IKEA is a perfect example of an international company with a multilingual social media strategy. The company has separate Instagram pages with content in the languages of each country where you can find IKEA’s stores. Here is an example of IKEA’s Instagram page in French:
Photo 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 broken down into different foreign languages.
So if you dream of working as a social media specialist for an international company, knowledge of foreign languages is an absolute must.
2. You can read research in a foreign language
Another point about foreign language proficiency is that you have the opportunity to read research in other languages to diversify your knowledge.
Surely there are plenty of social media studies out there in English. It is also common practice to provide a summary of the paper in several languages, including English. However, this is not always the case and should not be completely relied on.
In addition to researching, you can read case studies from companies around the world in another language. That way, you can discover unknown gems of social media strategy and try them out in your company as well.
3. The learning process gives you marketing ideas
Learning a foreign language always brings new discoveries with it as you immerse yourself in a different culture. And since learning a foreign language has a lot to do with social media these days, you can get study materials as well as social media marketing ideas.
For example, let’s say you use podcasts to learn English and improve your pronunciation. The podcast you’re listening to has a series of interviews with native speakers to help you learn and get used to different accents, such as: B. Teacher Luke’s podcasts in the following example:
Photo credit: Luke’s English podcast
Interviews are a great format for teacher Luke to share knowledge of English. As a social media manager, you can analyze how this format works and recommend using it in your 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 of before. All you have to do is keep your eyes open for more discovery.
4. You will not make cultural mistakes
Today is the age of global business expansion and many brands are going international. To engage with overseas audiences, one of the things they need to do is adjust and localize their social media marketing strategies.
There are many examples of famous brands failing in overseas markets due to poorly localized social media marketing strategies. For example, KFC could not properly translate its slogan “Finger-Lickin ‘Good” into Chinese and convert it to “Eat Your Fingers Off”.
Even if they seem tiny and unimportant, mistakes like this can ruin your entire marketing strategy. And considering that people usually learn about a company entering the overseas market through social media, a simple localization mistake can undermine the entire brand expansion campaign.
As a social media specialist with good language skills, you can prevent such situations. Knowing a foreign language also means understanding the foreign culture. You will also think like a native speaker and recognize the difference between certain cultural phenomena.
Learning a language pays off professionally
As you can see, the importance of foreign language skills for the careers of social media specialists can hardly be underestimated. Even if your job doesn’t directly depend on these skills, they can play a crucial role in your professional success.
So learn foreign languages to broaden your perspective, run successful social media marketing campaigns, and eventually get that cute job with a multinational company.