25 Language Facts That You Might Not Already Know

Global MarketingLanguage is all around us. From birth, we are taught to speak the language of those around us in order to communicate. Some of us might learn another language, or several, later on in life. We spend our lives using languages day after day, but there are so many things about them that we do not know. While there are hundreds of facts about languages, some jump out as particularly interesting or very unique.

Since language is our business and our passion at LinguaLinx, we wanted to share some of these facts with you.

25. Khmer, the official language of Cambodia, has the largest alphabet with 74 letters.

24. The most translated document is Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written by the United Nations. It has been translated into 321 languages and dialects.

23. In the United States, there is now almost 7 times the number of Vietnamese speakers there were in 1980.

22. Mandarin and Cantonese are spoken dialects of Chinese. Traditional and Simplified are written forms of the language.

21. South Africa used to have 2 official languages: English and Afrikaans. Now, there are 11: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.

20. The name of the Irish language is actually “Irish.” Gaeilge (Gaelic) refers to the name of the language in Irish. Irish is the name in English.

19. The Constitution of Bolivia recognizes 37 official languages, aside from Spanish, including the languages of Bolivia’s native indigenous nations. This is the most of any country.

18. The literal translation of the German word Kummerspeck into English is “grief bacon.” However, the meaning is the excess weight gained due to emotional overeating.

17. In Japanese, Tsundoku describes “the act of buying books and not reading them, leaving them to pile up.”

16. There are 381 languages spoken in the United States; about 169 are Native American languages

15. Persian is also the same as Farsi. There are so many former Iranian nationals and their descendants living in Los Angeles that it is sometimes nicknamed “Tehrangeles.”

14. In Vatican City, the directions for ATM use are in Latin: “Inserito scidulam quaeso ut faciundam cognoscas rationem.”

13. There is a single word in Russia, Zapoi (Запой) to describe a drunken bender.

12. Swedish was not the official language of Sweden until 2009. The usage of English became so prevalent that the government wanted to strengthen the status of Swedish!

11. It took the Greeks nearly 200 years to decide which official language – Demotic Greek or Ancient Greek (katharevousa) – to use. Demotic Greek won.

10. The popular phrase “Hakuna matata” (meaning “No worries”) from The Lion King is from Swahili.

9. Papua New Guinea has no less than 832 different languages!

8. The number 5 is pronounced “ha” in Thai, so 5555 is Internet slang for LOL.

7. In Indonesian, “Jayus” is a slang word for someone who tells a joke that is so bad, that you laugh because it is so unfunny. Such a word does not exist in English.

6. The word for turkey in Turkey is Hindi, which is an official language in India.

5. David Peterson, inventor of Dothraki and Valyrian for HBO’s Game of Thrones, is known as a professional ‘conlanger’- someone who has been hired to create languages.

4. There are 6 official languages of the United Nations.

3. Pope Francis tweets in 9 different languages.

2. There is no official language of the United States.

1. There are about 7,000 languages in the world.

Interpreting Interpretation

sign languageInterpretation is the oral form of translation. There are several different types of interpretation from consecutive to simultaneous to over-the-phone to video. What do they all have in common? LinguaLinx offers all of them. What makes them different, and which option is best for you? Keep reading.

Consecutive Interpretation

Think of consecutive interpretation as a conversation – both start with “c.” The interpreter waits until speaker is done speaking before relaying the message to the listener in the listener’s language and then back to the speaker in their language. Consecutive interpretation works best in small group settings or in one-on-one type situations. Common types of events include parent-teacher conferences, student testing, HR meetings, interviews, medical consultations, court depositions, and client-attorney meetings.  The downside to this type of interpretation is that it can take a long time when going back and forth between speaker, interpreter, and listener.

Simultaneous Interpretation

Simultaneous interpretation happens as the speech is in progress, hence the term “simultaneous.” Have you ever watched a speech being given by a public figure on television with someone standing off to the side signing? That is an example of simultaneous interpretation. This type of interpretation works best for formal or large group settings such as courtrooms, employee trainings, diplomatic conferences, lectures, presentations, tours, or business and board meetings. (Usually when there is one person speaking to an audience.) Equipment such as wireless receivers, headsets, and microphones are typically involved to help the interpreter relay the message to the audience.

Over the Phone Interpretation (OPI)

The first two options we talked about are great for face-to-face events or events that are planned in advance. What happens when you need an interpreter in 24 hours or less? Some examples of these instances might occur if you have a conference call with an international contact or an ER patient in your hospital that you need to communicate with. We offer this service in over 100 different languages. The advantages to this type of interpretation are that it’s on-demand, no equipment to lease, set-up fees, travel expenses, etc. The disadvantages are that since the interpreter is not present in person, things such as context or speaker expressions might get construed.

Video Remote Interpretation (VRI)

This type of service uses devices such as web cameras, videophones, or other services such as SkypeTM to provide interpretation services for sign language or spoken language interpretation. The interpreter is usually offsite, hence “remote,” while the other two parties are located at together at a site. How does it work? This involves audio and video connectivity. In the case of American Sign Language (ASL), the interpreter would listen to the hearing participant and then convey the message to the deaf person via signing and vice versa. This also works for emergency room settings and on-demand situations, and cuts down on travel costs for interpreters.

It is important to make your message available in whatever language, no matter which method you choose. Interpretation can help ensure information is conveyed accurately and appropriately from one party to another.

Global Marketing Spotlight: India

global marketingAs you will read later on in this article, quite a few global brands are entering India this year. As a BRICS nation with the world’s second-largest population and ample room for growth, India continues to be a destination for brands looking to expand their borders. At LinguaLinx, we know that marketing to a global customer base may prove challenging, but definitely rewarding. That’s why we like to shine spotlights on different global markets. This month, we chose India. Why India? Here are a few reasons…

The Economy

India boasts Asia’s third largest economy and the tenth largest in the world. EY surveyed 500 foreign investors as part of the 2014 India Attractiveness survey and found that 50 percent planned on expanding their operations in India over the next year. They cite factors such as local labor cost, domestic market and availability of educated workforce as reasons for continued investment. They also feel that the outlook is good in this emerging market, as India’s economy will continue to grow and be a top manufacturing destination.

Big Brands Expanding Into India

Five global brands including Burger King and Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) are planning to enter India starting in 2014. In addition, PepsiCo’s Global Snacks Group, Lay’s, launched their largest integrated global marketing campaign ever in June 2014 starring globally recognized soccer (or football) star Lionel Messi. India is one of the targeted countries, and the campaign offers consumers the chance to engage with the brand by voting on new “Football Flavorite” flavors for a chance to win prizes.

An Increasingly Connected Population

India’s total number of Internet users increased by 37 million from 2011 to 2012, bringing the total to 137 million. The penetration rate is currently only 11 percent; imagine the possibilities as this increases! WeAreSocial points out that even with this low rate, India’s Internet population is still the third largest in the world behind China and the United States! Over half of India’s population is under 30 and most of their Internet users are under 35, meaning that the social media boom there is underway; there are over 60 million social media users! What does all of this mean for your business? India presents one of the largest (and fastest growing) online marketplaces in the world. It is a good idea to reach out to potential customers in India via your website and social media.

But it might not be that easy…

To say that India is diverse would be an understatement. There are up to 780 languages spoken in India, according to the People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI). Hindi is the official language of the government while English is used a lot for business. Each state in India has its own official language and regional languages as well. Six major religions are practiced there.  When talking about India, localization is key. As mentioned, most people speak English, which is an advantage, but not everything translates perfectly. If you target specific regions of India, pay attention to what languages are spoken there and translate accordingly. Also, be aware of the large number of religious holidays in India. Keep this in mind when planning business calls, meetings, or travel there.

The McDonald’s Example

A great example of a major global brand that is localizing its product and message would be McDonald’s in India. The fast food chain saw India as more than just another place to sell their product. They did their homework and figured out that it was better to invest time to eventually make money. The cow is sacred in Hinduism and Jainism, while Muslims do not eat pork. Much of the population in India is vegetarian. Most of McDonald’s menu in India, about 50 percent in fact, is vegetarian. In 2012, they opened their first vegetarian-only restaurant.  Their rival KFC has been in India for 18 years, and has just started to launch India-exclusive products, such as a potato burger, in order to compete. Both chains have also paid attention to the price sensitivity of India’s market and have rolled out value menus.

Lesson learned: Brands that tailor their products to Indian cultures and customs do very well. It is also important to pay attention to such things as spending habits.

We’ve only scratched the surface on India. For all of the diversity and challenges, there is also opportunity there as well. If you need help with your global marketing efforts in India, LinguaLinx has you covered. Contact us today.

Voiceover vs. Subtitling: Which to Use for eLearning Localization?

global marketingIt’s time to localize your e-Learning course. You have on-text and audio components. The text part seems pretty straight-forward, but what do you do with the audio? There are several considerations when localizing the audio component of your e-Learning course. As a leading provider of e-Learning localization solutions, LinguaLinx has solutions for you. Do you choose voiceover recording or subtitling? Let’s start by explaining the difference between the two and then looking at the pros and cons of each one.

Voiceover means re-recording the audio files into your target language. Subtitling involves adding subtitles to the narration of the course, and then replacing these subtitles with another language.

Pros and Cons of e-Learning Voiceover Recording

Adding multilingual voiceovers makes your localized course look and sound complete and professional. It is a great option when your course has a lot of on-screen text or multiple speakers in your audio files. There are also three different voiceover options to consider: off-camera narration, UN-style narration, and lip-synching (dubbing). Off-camera narration is most common in corporate training, and, along with UN-style, is the much more cost-effective than lip-synching. Lip-synching provides the most relatable audio component, but it also requires more work with timing and engineering, meaning more time and a greater cost.

On the other hand, though, voiceover recording is more expensive than subtitling your eLearning materials and you may want to match your studio-quality English recordings with similar quality for your localized versions. Also, voiceover recording involves translating a script. If the text expands, so might the length of the recording, which might make the voiceover talent have to speak faster. All of this affects audio synching and timing.

Pros and Cons of e-Learning Subtitling 

Subtitling is cheaper than voiceover production and does not affect the original audio track of your training course. Also, your learners may be able to understand the original audio, but they may not be able to read it – subtitling helps with this.

While it does not affect the audio track, however, subtitling affects the course visually in terms of screen space. Therefore, you have to try and keep the subtitles at about two lines apiece. Language expansion might make this more difficult. A lot of languages expand when translated from English, so while your English script might meet special requirements, the translation may not. Subtitling also becomes increasingly difficult with lots of onscreen text and multiple speakers as timing becomes very tricky.

Which is best for you?

Consider the following: expectations, budget, and quality. If your budget is lower, then you may want to look at subtitling. Also, look at the course itself. If there is a lot of on-screen text, voiceover might be a better option. How many speakers do you have in your course? When you start getting into 2, 3 or more voices, then subtitling becomes a challenge.

If you have a need for voiceover or subtitling for your e-Learning courses, contact LinguaLinx today.

Another version of this article ran on eLearning Industry. Access this version here.

Avoid Kinks In Your Translation Quality

watering hoseIt’s that time of year again – summer is here! Everything’s in bloom and the sun is shining. But the heat is on… to make sure your translation projects are completed accurately and on time! Translating your materials into different languages is a big step in planting the seed for your global marketing initiatives to help grow your business overseas. As a client, you might have concerns for your vendor about quick turnaround time, large volume projects, and accuracy. We have some tips for you to avoid these small obstacles so they do not become larger ones. Think of these obstacles as kinks in the hose as you water your garden; they can easily become unkinked! Here’s how:

1. Teamwork for quick turnaround time

The average linguist can translate about 2,000-3,000 words per day. That’s great – but what happens when you have a large volume of words that you needed yesterday? You have your own deadlines to complete a project for publishing, distribution, release, or general use.  As your multilingual solutions partner, LinguaLinx works with your deadline. Therefore, it is important that we collaborate to make sure projects are completed accurately and on time.

How do we do so? The short answer is planning – on both ends. As a client, communicate with your account manager ahead of time when you think a large project is in the pipeline. This allows us to align our resources. It is always good to be proactive, rather than reactive. In order to turn around a project quickly and efficiently, communication between the client, account manager, and project management team is key!

For a real-world example of a large project with a tight turnaround, check out our case study on how we translated 2.4 million words in 20 days!

2. Many linguists equals many voices

We already mentioned translator capacity. What happens if you need 20,000 words completed in 2 days? We would have to put together a team of linguists to complete this. Don’t fret about consistency. We know that every person has their own style and voice, and your brand’s style and voice should not be lost because of this. How do we un-kink?

First, it is always great to have up-to-date, relevant reference materials. Recently, a team of linguists had some questions about business terms during the translation of materials for a first time client. The issue was that certain economic terms can mean different things in different contexts. The client was able to provide us with reference material in a timely manner to make sure we used their preferred terms. Providing this up front will help, too.

Second, translation memory (TM) not only helps reduce cost, but also helps to ensure consistency and efficiency over time. MemoQ picks up things such as grammar and punctuation. Translation memory is updated real time, so a rich database of terms is constantly being built. Eskimos have about 50 ways to say snow, and we want to make sure that we have the right way. Once a correct term is used, it will continue to be used until you say otherwise!

Third, your work is not just translated, but edited and proofread by another linguist. We try to use the same proofreader for consistency. It’s like writing an article yourself, and then having another trusted colleague read it for accuracy, grammar, etc. before publishing. It’s often hard to proofread your own work!

3. Is that your final answer?

This saying was made popular by the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” But it applies here, too. Make sure that the version of the source you provide is final. Any updates to the source while the translation stage is taking place will put a kink in workflow. As always, if a change occurs, let us know as soon as possible, so we can make the change on our end as soon as possible.

Do you have a project coming up? Contact LinguaLinx today.

LinguaLinx at ASSE 2014

LinguaLinx at ASSE 2014Communication for the health and safety of your employees is very important. Quality translation services can help keep members of your organization safe and sound – literally. At LinguaLinx, we are fresh off the plane from the ASSE Safety 2014 Professional Development Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida. Kayleigh Gratton and Nicole Savage of the LinguaLinx business development team exhibited. The feedback was very positive.

“The goal of the conference was to bring safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals together to talk about, discover, and share the best ways to keep people safe,” said Kayleigh. “Our goal was to stress the importance of language translation for the safety of multilingual employees. The conference provided a great platform for us to do that.”

Indeed, there were a variety of companies of all sizes present displaying their products and equipment from clothing to ladders to training software and more. Most companies were US-based, but there were several from the United Kingdom, Nigeria, and Canada. The linguistic diversity in the United States played a major role in the conversations Kayleigh and Nicole had with people throughout the conference.

“Besides looking at all of the cool equipment,” Nicole said, “A lot of people shared stories with us about instances where accidents happened in the workplace due to a language barrier. While people might speak English as a second language, providing information for them in their native language would help them to understand better, and perhaps prevent any accidents.”

Extending beyond just employees, providing multilingual safety information is essential for any product. Think about it – when you purchase a product whether it is a television remote or a microwave, the instructions are given to you in 5 or more languages. The companies that make these product are committed to consumer safety – and doing business internationally! Do you want to do the same?

LinguaLinx can translate MSDS’s, manuals, instructions, product catalogs, or safety trainings. We already work with ASSE, the host of the conference, on translating their materials and can help you do the same.

Overall, Kayleigh and Nicole enjoyed their time at the conference and met a lot of great people who were passionate about safety and how their organization can help keep other organizations and other people safe. For tips on multilingual safety information, take a look at one of our earlier posts. If you have any questions on how translation can help with your safety efforts? Contact us today.

LinguaLinx at SHRM 2014

SHRM OrlandoIn the age of global business, the likelihood of your employees speaking different languages becomes even greater. Along with that comes the need to translate your human resources materials. This will lay the foundation for an educated workforce.

At LinguaLinx, we work in all industries, and we like to regularly attend and exhibit at conferences in these different industries to network with professionals and try our best to align our solutions to their needs. This is one of the many reasons why we are exhibiting at the 2014 Annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference and Exposition in Orlando, FL from June 22-25, 2014. Ty Mills, Manager of the Metro DC Group, and Jason Beach, Business Development Specialist will be representing LinguaLinx at Booth 630.

Tynan Mills

Tynan Mills

“We know that Human Resource Managers understand the importance of providing clear, concise communication with their employees,” says Mills. “We want to be able to offer our services to them so that these same materials will convey the same clear message in another language.”

Such materials may include: HR forms and policies, employee applications, handbooks and manuals, e-Learning and training materials, safety documents, newsletters, or review forms. These materials are designed to keep employees informed and safe, as well as to help establish a company culture, domestically and internationally.

“Our goal with human resource translation is to help our clients eliminate linguistic and cultural barriers. We use in-country native speakers with industry knowledge for all translations which helps your materials make sense in the context of corporate culture as well as local culture,” says Beach.

Jason Beach

Jason Beach

Current trends also show a need for multilingual communications domestically, as well. We’ve written a few posts already on language usage in the United States, and what this means for your business. The Association for Talent Development (ATD), formerly ASTD, wrote about this in a great article titled “On the Horizon: Hispanic Influence,” which highlighted the growing Hispanic demographic in the United States, and what this means for organizations as they look to welcome this demographic into their organization. Take a look at your current and prospective employees – what languages do they speak? What cultural backgrounds do they come from? How will you make them feel welcome, while still abiding by all of the rules, laws, and regulations?

Your goal is to have a workforce that is enthusiastic about their work: they want a job and they want to do a great job. Providing up-to-date and easy-to-understand materials to them will help with this. It will show a commitment to their overall safety, well-being, and value as an employee of your business or organization.

If you’re going to be attending the SHRM Conference in a few weeks, make sure you stop by Booth 630 and visit Ty and Jason!

Global Marketing Spotlight: Brazil

Global MarketingWith the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ kicking off this month, all eyes are on Brazil. American brands such as Apple, Dunkin’ Donuts, Forever 21, and Gap are opening up stores in South America’s largest country. As a marketer looking to take your brand global, Brazil might be a place for you to kick start your efforts. Why Brazil, you ask? Keep reading.

The Economy

Brazil is a top emerging market and a BRICS nation. They boast the world’s 7th largest economy and have a population of over 200 million people. According to EY’s attractiveness survey, 7 out of 10 business leaders said that Brazil was the most attractive place to establish business. Brazil is growing – will you grow with it?

Social Media

As mentioned before, there are over 200 million people in Brazil and they are very connected. This article from the Wall Street Journal calls Brazil “The Social Media Capital of the Universe.” About 35% of Latin America’s Internet audience is located in Brazil, making it the largest in the region and the seventh largest in the world, according to this ComScore report.

Facebook, Orkut, and Twitter are the top three social media sites, but users spend a majority of their time on Facebook. Brazilians love online video sites such as YouTube and their viewing rate is higher than any other major market in the world. What key content categories are Brazilians browsing for? Entertainment, retail, and news lead the way.

Now that you know the population is very engaged – how will you engage with them? Big brands such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have their own Twitter pages for Brazil where they tweet in Portuguese. Adidas, official World Cup sponsor has a Twitter account (@brazuca) for the official ball of the World Cup. The tweets are in English and Portuguese to attract a multilingual audience. No matter what, it is important to interact with your international followers. For more tips on global social media, read one of our earlier blog posts.

Sure, It’s Not Easy…

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese. Most people speak it. Don’t bank on everyone in Brazil speaking English, as this is not always the case. Portuguese spoken in Brazil is also different than what’s spoken in Brazil. Most of the time, your Account Executive will ask you “What kind of Portuguese?” but it’s always helpful to let us know.

We say it time and time again; it is not enough to translate but localize. When marketing your product or service, make it Brazilian. Brazilians are naturally very upbeat and optimistic people; centering your marketing campaigns on the themes of family life, optimism, family life, and Brazilian pride will go a long way in reaching an audience there. Use in country resources to help you out; cultural consulting and transcreating your marketing copy can help customize your approach and create brand loyalty and recognition.

But you’ll have some help…

Contact LinguaLinx for help accomplishing your global marketing goals for Brazil.

Localization Close to Home

global marketing“Think global, act local” is a phrase we use a lot in our industry to frame the mindset of clients looking to market globally. It is important when going global with your business to think locally in terms of language and culture to adapt your content in an appropriate way to ensure your content resonates. However, it’s also important not to overlook linguistic diversity right here in the United States. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to reach a multilingual audience; there are many ways in which your business can benefit from localization right here in your own backyard.

We’ve covered the Language Use survey done by the United States Census in a previous post where we talked about what this increased linguistic diversity can mean for your business. Over 60 million people in the United States speak a language other than English at home; 37.6 million of these people speak Spanish (two-thirds). Browse these articles written by us that tell you the best ways to market to the Spanish-speaking population in the United States:

For some examples of brands and publications that are effectively going after the Hispanic market right here in the United States, take a look at Mattel and People Magazine. Mattel’s Toy Feliz (a play-off of the Spanish phrase Estoy Feliz – “I’m happy”) holiday marketing effort came after Nielsen named Hispanic women as influential consumers. People en Español has started running English content for the first time in over a decade to highlight the pride that the Latino community has in their bilingualism and duality.

Let’s look beyond Spanish. There are almost 3 million Chinese speakers in the United States, and this number is expected to grow. Just remember, Mandarin and Cantonese are spoken dialects. If you’re looking for written Chinese, do you want Simplified or Traditional? Are you confused or unsure? Read one of our previous blog posts or contact a LinguaLinx representative and ask us! Besides, Spanish and Chinese, the usage of other languages has grown exponentially over the last decade. Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese have over 1 million speakers in the United States. There was also a large percent increase in African, other South Asian, and Indic languages.

Last year, the City of Houston began a Language Access Plan initiative to adequately provide information to people with Limited English Proficiencies (LEPs) living in the city. San Francisco recently added Tagalog to Spanish and Chinese as a language that all city service communications must be translated into.

From a marketing perspective, you might think “I’m not global, so I don’t need to localize.” Surprisingly enough, a lot of the translations we do are for a multilingual domestic audience. There are about 381 languages spoken in the United States. Extensive research has been done to show that people are more likely to buy a product or service if it is presented to them in a way in which they understand. Your translation efforts can not only help reach customers overseas, but also in your own country!

“Getting Technical” With Social Media Strategy

There are many goals and objectives for your brand’s social media strategy: establish brand identity and awareness, generate brand buzz, gain a loyal group of followers, and direct more people to your website. You want to do so by being relevant and interesting. At LinguaLinx, we have clients in all industries and recognize it might be harder to do this when your industry is considered “technical.” Coming from an industry that we feel is a challenge to market via social media, we feel your pain and want to provide you with some tips to help!

Global Marketing

1. Diversify your platforms

A lot of times people equate “social media” with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but there are so many other platforms! Try using Google +, Instagram, and Pinterest to build upon and maximize your social media presence. Of course, with different platforms, your approach isn’t always the same! Keep reading to find out some ways to use these platforms.

2. Use Instagram to Show AND Tell

Instagram is a photo (and now video) sharing platform that allows you to use different filters to enhance your photos. Instagram can help with your brand by showing your company behind the scenes. One of the goals of your social media strategy should be to add personality to your brand and Instagram is a way to do that! Show employees out there working and helping a hand. Take pictures of your innovative products.  Why not ask your followers to share pictures of the ways in which your products are being used or how they help them using an established hashtag?

3. Pinning for Success

Pinterest can help your brand in a variety of ways. It can serve as an online catalog of your products. You can photos and articles of your products in action. Establish yourself as an expert by creating boards of relevant articles and blog posts that you think your followers would want to read related to your industry – it’s also a good way to gain traffic for your company blog! Pinterest is very visual. You can also pin quotes and images of what inspires your innovation.

4. Beyond Instagram and Pinterest – Use Photos

Have you ever looked at your Twitter feed and noticed that photos take up more space? You want to be recognized and stand out on someone’s timeline. Try tweeting photos as much as possible. People also love infographics – data presented in visual form. The same applies for Facebook – people are more drawn to visuals.

5. Google+ Presence

Establishing a presence on Google+ is crucial for SEO and search results. What’s neat about this platform is that you can segment your followers into circles which allow you to target your content to a specific group rather than everyone. Create or join communities of like people where information is shared that you may find helpful, and generate more relevant interaction.

6. Use Humor Wherever You Can

In a previous post, Patrick Hayslett wrote about how humor fits into your content marketing strategy. At LinguaLinx, we like to tweet our #BadTranslation of the day. It’s hard to find humor in the language services industry, but why not show that we’re human and make light of a situation. We’ve started to have followers tweet pictures of this translation fails from around the world, and it creates a fun, light conversation! How can you incorporate humor into your strategy?

7. Incorporate Games and Contests

No matter what age, people like games and contests. Developing a trivia game with the hashtag #TriviaTuesday will get people to interact with you. Ask questions about your company history or services offered. You can shout out the winners, as people love mentions and retweets. Offer prizes if you want to, but it’s not always necessary.

8. Post Relevant Information

Become an expert! Scour the internet for articles related to your industry that will help your followers arrive at solutions. Tweet, post, pin and share your company and guest blog posts across different platforms. 

9. #Hashtags

Find the relevant hashtags within your industry and use them. For us, we try to use #xl8, #l10n and others. Not only do they give you more room to tweet, but they also connect you with a smaller community within Twitter. Instagram uses hashtags, too, without a character limit. If you’re at a conference or trade show, use the hashtag to get involved in the backchannel conversation. You can even start a social media campaign, as General Electric did with their #GEInstaWalk providing a visual tour of some of their facilities.

10. Interact!

Most of these tips given are designed to generate buzz and excitement around your brand which in turn creates interaction. Once you have accumulated followers who are reaching out to you, don’t ignore them!

The biggest and most important tip of all is to have fun! There is no “one size fits all” approach to social media – try out different ideas and find the ones that work best for you!