Multilingual Facebook Page

Multilingual Facebook Page

Creating content and engaging a multilingual Facebook community presents many obvious challenges, though none of which are insurmountable.

I live and work in Canada, which means many of the national clients I’ve worked with require that all marketing materials and content for social media be created in English and French. While this can sometimes prove to be challenging, there are a few tips and considerations that can make your life easier and help to sustain the impact of your content, no matter what language it is in.

Following are 3 tips for managing your multilingual Facebook Page and creating awesome multilingual content:

1 – Use the native tools that Facebook provides to target by language

Facebook provides a tool that controls who can see your posts. When posting to multilingual communities, you’ll want to limit who can view each of your posts based on peoples’ language preferences.

There are a few reasons why this is important; you don’t want to annoy consumers with posts that aren’t in their native language, you don’t want the content your consumers are interested in to be pushed down your timeline, and you don’t want irrelevant content cluttering your consumers’ newsfeeds, which could result in an unlike.

So, how do you control the content that can be seen based on users’ language preferences? Here’s a quick 1-2-3:

Click on the Public button.

Facebook Update

Choose to target by location/language.

Facebook Update Public

Type the language that your consumers should speak to view your post.

Facebook Who Can See It

2 – Take cultural differences into consideration when creating content

Depending on the category in which you compete, there might be cultural differences that you’ll want to take into account when creating content for your Facebook community.

For instance, I live and work in Canada where we have two official languages – English and French. When creating content for French-speaking Canadians, who largely reside in Quebec, it can be helpful to know that they tend to have a much more cheeky, irreverent, and over-the-top sense of humour than English-speaking Canadians. Also, French-speaking Canadians tend to identify more strongly with products and services that have local roots.

Take time to learn the cultural nuances between your consumers who speak different languages, and how you can address those differences to create the best possible content.

3 – Don’t simply translate your content, adapt it

You create your content in language X, and you need it in language Y, so you should just have it translated. Right? Not exactly. A lesson I’ve learned more than once is that it’s not quite that simple. In different languages, there are many words that take on new meaning when they are translated, or contextually don’t make the same sense they do in the native language of your content. This is why it really pays off to have your content adapted by someone who is familiar with the linguistic and cultural intricacies of your targeted consumers. It could be the difference of your content being a hit, or a complete bust.

Do you have any tips or tricks on how to manage and create content for a multilingual social media community?

It would be awesome to chat about your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial

Join the conversation! 20 Comments

  1. [...] Creating content and engaging a multilingual Facebook community presents many obvious challenges, though none of which are insurmountable. I live and work in Canada, which means many of the nationa…  [...]

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    • Hey Mathew!
      Really helpful, however I have doubts how it exactly works: I need my FP in 3 languages. And now: how FB determins publicacion in language X, Y or Z on one´s wall? It depends the country of residence (declared in profile of the user?), language he speaks and declares it in FB profile (what if he speaks 3 languages: he can see 3 posts or if he declares none). What if some of my friends has his FB in Turkish for fun (or because he´s studying it) ? Exists any kind of algoritm that considers amount of pages in language X visited by user (and I want him to read my posts in language X)? Thanks:)

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      • Hi Maggie,

        Thanks for the comment, let’s see if I can clear this up for you.

        First things first; Facebook determines who sees posts targeted by language based on the user’s language preferences. For instance, if they’ve selected Turkish as their language, and you target a post to Turkish speaking people, they will see your post. If they’ve selected multiple languages in their preferences, they will see any posts targeted to any of those languages.

        Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an algorithm that accounts for the proportion of pages a user visits or ‘likes’ to determine which language-targeted posts they should see. However, if you don’t target by language, they will of course see all posts.

        Does that help? Is there anything else I can help out with?

        Let me know, and good luck!

        Matthew.

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    • Thanks Mathew:) It seems that there´s no perfect solution for me, so I just have to choose something:)

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  2. [...] Creating content and engaging a multilingual Facebook community presents many obvious challenges, though none of which are insurmountable. I live and work in Canada, which means many of the nationa…  [...]

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  3. I am following your posts since I first started blogging, and find them helpful; the content is so clearly stated. I write in Greek and English, and I constantly translate. From my studies in literary translation, I also became conscious about the issues you deal here. Thank you for the tips! I know the theory but not this possibilities to address different mentalities, different conceptions of reality, as shaped and mirrored by a language, even a dialect. Humour is one of the ‘traitors’, easily lost in translation!

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    • Hey! Thanks very much for your comment. I’m happy you found some of the tips I shared to be helpful. You’re absolutely right that humour in particular is easily lost in translation. Also, different people’s sense of humour can be quite different from culture to culture.

      Thanks again for the comment.

      Matthew.

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  4. That sounds interesting, nevertheless I am missing the “Public” button on my site. Would you know where the bug can be?

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    • Hi Daniel – Thanks for your comment. Regarding the ‘Public’ button, your Facebook profile needs to be set up as a business page or fan page in order to have this button. Further to this, there is some functionality that is only accessible once you’ve reached the requisite number of fans. If either of these things aren’t in place, the ‘Public’ you unfortunately won’t have access to the ‘Public’ button in addition to some other functionality.

      Is your Facebook profile set up as a business or fan page? How many ‘likes’ have you acquired?

      Let me know if I can help out any further.

      Thanks again.

      Matthew.

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      • Hi Matthew, thanks for your reply. I have more FB pages (not personal profiles) and none of them has the “Public” button. However, I remember times when the button was there :-). The biggest page has 2K “Likes”.

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      • Hi – Good news! I think you’re going to easily rectify this by making some adjustments to each of your pages privacy settings. Here’s how to do it:

        1. In the admin panel, click the ‘Edit Page’ drop down
        2. Click ‘Edit Settings’
        3. Ensure you are on the ‘Manage Permissions’ tab
        4. Toward the bottom there is a check box for ‘Post Privacy Gating’, make sure this is checked
        5. Click ‘Save Changes’

        And that’s it. You should have all of the targeting options available to you.

        Let me know how this works out.

        Matthew.

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      • Oh, Great Matthew – thank you so much for your experienced advice! You fixed my page :-). Using this feature is essential for me. Thank you once again! :-D

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      • Not a problem, I’m happy I could help Daniel.

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  5. […] 1 – How to Create Content for Your Multilingual Facebook Page […]

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  6. Hello and thanks for the enlightening information!

    I have an example however to give you and ask you which is the most appropriate solution.

    I am the manager of a page which targets 5 different languages. Two times per week I have to send a post with some information. Would you translate the same post in all the 5 languages and change accordingly the settings. But with this way the users that have set their language preferences to En & lets say It would see twice the se post. So here I have a problem with dublicate content.
    Another solution that I was thinking is to open multiple page account to target each region separately. Waiting for your feedback.

    Kind regards
    Andreas Kyprianou

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    • Hi Andreas –

      Every scenario calls for a unique solution, but generally it is my advice to translate your content into the various languages of your audience, and target your posts by language preference. If some users see the same post twice, in two different languages, I don’t think it will be a huge annoyance to them.

      I prefer this to creating multiple Pages for a couple of reasons. First, it will streamline your management of the community not having to keep tabs on several Pages, and second, it is likely that the vast majority of your audience will be perfectly happy with you targeting posts to them by language.

      I hope this was helpful, and if you have any additional questions, or would like some clarity, please feel free to write back.

      Thanks very much for the comment.

      Matthew.

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  7. Do you know the minimum number of likes a page has to have before you can do that setting? cos i can’t see the ‘Manage Permissions’ tab. With the other page I manage I have just been added as a content creator so i don’t have Edit Settings under the Edit page menu, is there a way i can still language target my posts?

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    • Hi – Since I posted my reply to the comment above that outlines the steps required to activate targeting options within Page Settings, I believe Facebook has made some changes that alter the process that needs to be followed to do this slightly.

      Try this out:

      1. In the admin panel, click the ‘Edit Page’ drop down
      2. Click ‘Edit Settings’
      3. Ensure you are on the ‘Settings’ tab
      4. Toward the top, find ‘Post Targeting and Privacy’, click ‘Edit’ and ensure the check-box is selected
      5. Click ‘Save Changes’

      I believe that should do the trick.

      To do this, you need to have Manager permissions on the Page, so unfortunately you won’t be able to make this change with Content Creator permissions. Also, as far as I know, there’s no alternative method to target posts by language.

      As for your question about how many ‘likes’ are required to do this, I’m sorry, but I don’t know. I know it’s unrelated, but I think Facebook requires a Page have 30 ‘likes’ before giving access to Page Insights, so perhaps this is enabled at that threshold as well?

      I hope this helps, and if you continue to have any troubles, write back and I’ll be happy to help if I can.

      Let me know how things work out.

      Matthew.

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  8. […] Creating content and engaging a multilingual Facebook community presents many obvious challenges, though none of which are insurmountable. Following are 3 tips for managing your multilingual Fac…  […]

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