How Does Localization Relate to Social Media?

This post was inspired by an article written by Clinton Lanier on Technorati. The article can be viewed here: http://technorati.com/business/article/a-new-theory-of-social-media/

Many companies use social media to get in direct contact with their customer base. This allows consumers to engage with each other as well as the product makers about their issues, concerns, recommendations or satisfaction with a product. This instant feedback approach has reshaped how companies deal with customers: feedback is instant.

But what if their is no forum for your company’s customers to discuss their concerns in their own language using their own forum? Companies that have localized their product to multiple locales need also to consider localizing their social media messages for that same location. As I wrote before in a post about localized software in China, a successfully localized product considers all aspects of a product, not just translation. This same idea applies to the social aspects of said product.

A feedback avenue should be established for international customers to discuss their concerns, just as there is for domestic customers. In his article, Lanier suggests companies establish a social media presence in every locale they sell in, but his argument doesn’t necessarily apply to tech companies. His examples include Starbucks and Panera Bread shaping their message to specific demographics across a country (Happy Cinco de Mayo! Show this tweet and receive a free drink!). This messaging is effective for its goal, but goals as they relate to software and technology are obviously different (and that’s what we’re focusing on here).

Companies that have localized well have already established a presence within the locales they sell in. Assuming a trust has been created between the company and the consumer in a locale, setting up a social media avenue should be easy. My suggestion would be to do a little research into what social media platforms are most popular in a given locale, and set up an account focused on that area. Assuming your product has already been localized to that area, you should be familiar with the concerns of customers in that locale. Use this background information to establish a dialogue with customers to help further refine your product. Localization isn’t a one-time process, it’s ongoing and never ending as technology improves at an incredible rate. Staying on the front lines through social media will undoubtedly help shape a successful localization campaign.

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Top Five Reasons Localization isn’t even a Choice Anymore

With so many internet users and gamers consuming content in a language other than English, development companies no longer have the choice whether to localize or not; it’s a must! The following is the top five reasons why localization can no longer be overlooked.

  1. Because your competitors will gain the upper hand on you. If you’re not going to localize, someone else will. Since consumers best identify with products in their own language, they will gain a respect for your competitor for their product and overlook you.
  2. 75% of gamers come from non-English speaking markets. This doesn’t include all the high-tech games on Xbox and PS3; games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars are immensely popular in their localized versions.
  3. Non-native English speaking web users are growing rapidly. This new developing group represents a new market websites and game developers can target. 90% of these users prefer to use the web in their own language.
  4. Many immigrant communities need translated material for legal purposes. There is a real demand in the market requiring companies to address visitors of their web sites in languages other than English.
  5. People prefer buying in their own language. Have you ever traveled abroad and felt awkward when purchasing something because you either don’t know exactly what it is or aren’t sure of the conversion? Having access to that knowledge is powerful in the hands of the consumer.

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Worldware Presentation – The New Information Revolution

Information is being created more quickly and by more people every day. Anybody with internet access now has the ability to spread news and information at broadband speeds. This means that news is coming from millions of point sources, enhancing the web of information that we have already come to know. This information revolution presents a crossroads for companies: get lost in the clutter, or stand out like never before. In this presentation, Andrew Bredenkamp of acrolinx will go over strategies in producing high quality product information that will enhance customer experience and boost development.

Presented by:

Worldware Presentation – Emerging Markets

Emerging markets can no longer be overlooked as global economic opportunities have become more desirable for companies to explore. Join three industry leaders as they share their experiences in entering emerging markets, the differences between an emerging market and a well established market, and what strategies have worked for their respective companies.

Presented by:

  • Ghassan Haddad, Facebook’s internationalization director
  • Bob Jung, Google’s director of software engineering for internationalization
  • Nico Ponser, LinkedIn’s principle international product manager

Free IMUG Networking Event at Worldware

Finish up this year’s Worldware Conference in style at the free IMUG Networking Event. Leaders in internationalization and localization Lingoport and acrolinx are sponsoring the event that will feature food and drinks at 6pm followed by a brief user discussion session from 7-7:30pm, and some more friendly networking until 9pm.

Please RSVP and plan to arrive at the Techmart in Santa Clara at 6pm; the event runs till 9pm. Those in attendance do not need to be registered for the Worldware Conference.

For registration information, please view: http://www.imug.org/events/index.html

Lingoport to be Featured at Worldware Conference

Lingoport’s Adam Asnes and Olivier Libouban are going to be featured guests at this year’s Worldware Conference in Santa Clara, California on March 15 as they discuss with developers how to implement, track and improve their internationalization plans to the highest degree using Globalyzer’s static analysis.  The workshop will include an examination of new product development in the internationalization and localization field and how the relationship between project creation and implementation work so well together.

Come ready to learn from the best and share your own ideas. Friends of Lingoport will receive a 10% discount upon registering for the conference (use discount code WW11SLD, not eligible for the preconference). This year’s event looks to be a smashing success!

Internationalizing and Localizing Complex Software Systems in an Agile Environment

Software development is often hindered by communication issues between company stakeholders. The solution to bridge this gap, Agile software development, has been particularly troublesome for internationalization and localization activities. In an hour long webinar, Yuka Kurihara, Director of Localization at Pitney Bowes, joins Adam Asnes and Olivier Libouban of Lingoport, and Adam Blau of Milengo to discuss how internationalization and localization efforts can synergize with an Agile software development strategy.

Those interested in software internationalization and localization strategies are encouraged to join on Wednesday, March 2nd at 9am or 2pm (Eastern) for the hour long webinar.

More information on software globalization is also available on the Lingoport site.