Whether you’re new to freelance translation work or are a seasoned pro looking to expand your client base, social media can offer a thriving market platform upon which to build your business. With more than 2.2 billion active monthly users on Facebook alone, effective use of social media can open up access to a vast audience, the scale of which is growing day by day. However, many freelance translators have yet to explore the value of social media as a means of client acquisition.
Social media platforms and translation specialisms
Below we’ve listed some of the social media platforms that are among the most popular worldwide. However, while these offer a good starting point, it is important to consider which social media platforms are the most prevalent in your target market areas. For example, if you offer Russian translation services it may be useful to know that a number of Eastern European social media users favour VKontakte (VK) as their social media platform of choice, over and above other world-leading social media services.
Social media usage
The average user spends approximately two hours on social media services per day. With such consistently high traffic, social media can offer a number of obvious marketing opportunities.
It takes only a few clicks and keystrokes to set up a social media presence capable of displaying everything you need to promote your freelance translation services, from your areas of expertise and the services that you offer to your contact information and your working hours.
With a profile set up, next comes the task of establishing a strong base of followers/connections. Although this can come naturally by maintaining activity on your profile, there are a few services available such as CrowdFire that are worth looking into if you want to try and hurry the process along.
Building your translation reputation on social media
Social media offers you the opportunity to engage with your target audiences by sharing interesting content that is relevant to your translation work. You can build your reputation as an expert by providing real-world proof of your knowledge and expertise.
Word of mouth is a powerful form of advertising and through social media, it has never been easier to spread information among friends, family and professional contacts. And thanks to the exponential effect of the internet, once people start to share your content, it can spread very quickly. In seemingly no time, knowledge of your services can reach an impressive number of people around the world.
Not only will regular social media activity help to expand your circle of influence and attract new customers, but it can also have the added benefit of humanising you as a service provider – and many prospective customers will be drawn to you as a personable and knowledgeable individual.
Of course, when sharing real-life examples of your work, it’s important to respect the principles of confidentiality expected of you as a professional translator. If your client hasn’t given their express permission in writing to share a translation, don’t do it!
Social media and customer service
Social media also facilitates fast, responsive customer service in a way that traditional advertising and service provision struggle to match. Social media platforms offer the ability to communicate directly with prospective customers through the platform itself. This allows you to respond to requests or to answer questions quickly and directly, building up a reputation for your excellent customer service as you do so.
Surveys relating to social media marketing have highlighted the top social media actions that lead to consumer purchases and it should come as no surprise that responsiveness regularly tops the list. Other top activities include offering promotions, providing educational content and sharing interesting visual content.
The most popular social media platforms for freelance translators
Of course, with so many social networks out there, it can be difficult to decide which best suits the services which you are offering. To that end, here’s a brief rundown of some of the most popular social media platforms:
With more than 2.2 billion active monthly users, Facebook is without a doubt the most popular social media service worldwide. With an algorithm that favours content that generates conversation and interaction between users, Facebook can be a good place to set up an active and responsive freelance translation profile.
Targeting a more corporate audience, LinkedIn is an effective service for establishing and building professional networks. With approximately 300 million active monthly users, LinkedIn may not match Facebook in terms of sheer popularity, but few social media networks can match LinkedIn’s image of professionalism.
Twitter offers an incredibly interactive and responsive social media platform for its 335 million active monthly users. With its targeted system of ‘tweets,’ businesses and users can easily interact directly with one another – a service the likes of which many customers find attractive.
Although generally lending itself to selfies and photos of food, Instagram is home to a number of vastly popular social media influencers. Enjoying around a billion users a month, all content on Instagram is focused around image posts.
Taking the form of a large messaging board forum, Reddit prides itself on offering threads on virtually any imaginable topic. As a result, it can be fairly easy to find a niche amongst Reddit’s 330 million monthly active users.
Social media marketing is an excellent way to spread the word about your translation services. Which networks have you already successfully tried this on? And which do you plan to try next?
And while we’re talking about useful online activity, have you checked out the free-to-use Tomedes Text Summarizer Tool yet? If not, it’s time you did!