In the last decade, social media has taken the advertising world by storm. If you are a freelancer or aspiring T&I entrepreneur who is not taking full advantage of this free form of marketing, now is the time to start. Read on for a few ideas on how to make Twitter, Instagram and Facebook work for you.
Create bilingual content
Twitter: Now that tweets can be up to 280 characters, as opposed to the initial 140, you have twice the space to share your thoughts. So, instead of rambling for all of those characters, write something short and sweet in your second language, and then translate it into your native tongue.
Facebook: Your content on Facebook should be translated as well. Don’t make your followers rely on using the “see translation” feature. However, should someone still choose to click this button, your thoughtful, bilingual post will surely show them the beauty of human-over-machine translation.
Create eye-catching imagery
Instagram: Turn any word, quote or thought into an attention-grabbing image by overlaying it on a photo (using Photoshop or any similar photo editing application). Then, caption your post with the translation of the text in the image. Just be sure to use your own photos so as not to infringe upon copyright.
Facebook: Photos and images with text also attract a lot of views on Facebook. However, you should be selective about what content you share on both platforms. Every Instagram post should not be shared to Facebook and vice versa.
Hashtags are your friends on social media. Add a few hashtags to all your posts that relate to T&I, your languages and/or your specializations. Use as many as you like on Instagram and then fewer on both Twitter and Facebook. Anyone searching the terms to which you attached a hashtag has an opportunity to visit your page.
Engage with your community
The best way to continue driving traffic to your pages is by communicating consistently with your followers and others involved in your field. Be sure to follow potential clients and influencers who work in your specializations on their social media, as well as individuals and organizations you admire in the translation and interpreting sphere. Additionally, you should add posts with regularity and keep your content varied and interactive.
Twitter: Depending on how relevant the content may be to your target audience, “like,” comment on, and re-tweet other posts and news articles.
Instagram: End your photo captions with a corresponding question to encourage your followers to comment on your post.
Facebook: Use the poll feature to ask your followers questions about themselves in order to gain a better understanding of who your audience is and how you may better serve their T&I needs.
Perfect your grammar
Before you post anything on social media, be sure to double and triple check your spelling and grammar. Editing is supposed to be our specialty as linguists, so be sure your reputation remains flawless with polished and precise posting practices.
More than anything, social media is supposed to be an exciting and enjoyable form of marketing that feels more personable and less forceful than traditional advertising. So, step a bit outside the box of what you may view as traditionally “professional.” Always remain respectful and smart, but feel free to be your witty, quirky and entertaining self.