Thorbjörn Warin is Head of Marketing at wooga, a Berlin based social games developer. He is responsible for all Marketing, Customer Care and Community Management.
Facebook is a truly international platform. As a matter of fact, about 48% of the total Facebook population has another language than English as their setting. This number is likely to increase over the coming months as there is still space for Facebook to grow in countries like Brazil, Germany and Russia.
At wooga we offer all of our games and customer care in several key languages (German, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and English). After detecting the user’s language setting the game is automatically displayed in one of six supported languages so that the end user will only experience the game in their chosen language.
Since February this year we have also been using Facebook’s feature for language-based targeting of Fan Page posts.
This is a great feature for fan page managers tasked with looking after pages with a high share of international traffic.
We translate every post that we publish into all of our supported languages and post these separately using language targeting. This allows us to do extensive customization and optimization for each user group. People visiting our pages will only see posts and content targeted to their location/language settings – including uploaded photos and videos.
Check it out for yourself – visit www.facebook.com/monsterworld with different language settings and you will see how the posts on the page change.
Now how can you use this to strengthen your ties to your fans? Here are a few examples:
- Country specific posts: Publish special updates for country holidays; let your Indian users know that they can now buy Indian flags for their farm and congratulate Italian users on winning an important football (or “soccer”) game. By doing this you will encourage more positive interactions (likes, comments, and shares) on your posts and increase the likelihood of the post appearing in the “Top News” and not just in the live feed (“Most Recent”). This is very valuable because a large percentage of users will never see your posts if they only appear in their “Most Recent” stream.
- Optimize exposure: You can optimize the time when a post will be published to maximize exposure to each user group. If you can determine when your users/fans are most active on Facebook, you can then spread out your posts to aim for the “peak” of each group’s time zone.
- Customize graphics: You can customize the graphic in a post to suit the country/group you are targeting. Most Fan Page Managers have already figured out that attaching media to a post usually increases the response and share rate. When we began adding customized (often country/nationality-based) graphics to our posts we immediately saw an increase in comments, shares and likes.
During the 4 months we have been doing this we have noticed clearly measurable and positive effects on our pages. If you start doing language based targeting you can expect:
- More active users: your non-English users will become more active and provide more feedback as they will feel more comfortable expressing themselves in their native language. We have seen an increase in both fan-to-fan communication and fan-to-provider feedback since adding multilingual capabilities to our pages.
- Reduced spam: Using multi-language posts also reduces your fans exposure to spam messages. We have yet to find a single comment on any of our non-English posts from “serious” spammers (i.e. grey-hat type scams – not hobbyists promoting their own page/group).
So, if you have the organizational resources available I highly recommend taking advantage of language targeting for your page(s). You will see increased traffic of a higher quality and gain much more user feedback from fans that would have never done so in an English-only environment – all without the hassle of managing different pages for each language.