How an International Profile Can Help Online Marketers


How an International Profile Can Help Online Marketers

By Kristina Knight – June 9, 2011

The world is shrinking. Okay, not technically, but the Internet is making it simpler for brands and businesses to connect and build their customer base around the world. The key is to have an international strategy that supports international marketing.

I had the chance to chat with Liz Elting, CEO and co-founder of recently. Here are her top tips for building an international profile.

Kristina: Is social a good place to begin building an international presence or platform?

Liz: For internationally focused companies, these activities are time and resource-intensive, since multilingual social media cannot be managed by machine alone. Consider the fact that a tweet of fewer than 140 English characters may be over that limit in French or German. Human experts are required to oversee the translation process, as appropriate idea expression takes precedence over direct, word-for-word translation. The same holds true for other social media outreach, such as responding to wall posts on Facebook or answering messages on a blog.

Kristina: What do social networks not offer brands looking for international results?

Liz: Effective localization and translation requires more than plugging words into a bot that spits out literal results. This is certainly true for global websites, but the importance of connotation intensifies as communication gets more compact. Twitter's strict length parameters, for example, make every character choice a critical one. Translating for this kind of platform requires not only timesaving software solutions, but seasoned human translators, as well. Additionally, crafting those short texts and broadcasting them frequently takes ongoing local support, since the basis of social media is not one-way communication but many-to-many conversation. For companies looking for a marketing effort that can be completed one time and then replicated endlessly, social media is an inappropriate choice.

Tomorrow, in part two of my chat with Liz, her top tips for integrating a social and international marketing plans.


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