Multilingualism is catching up fast in digital media with the increasing number of non-english speaking audience taking to social media engagement. Websites and popular social media platforms have installed translators to add convenience for the users as is evident on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But are translators able to deliver the right message? A million dollar question!
Today, the rising social media engagement is influencing the traveling market in a bigger way than anticipated, which cannot be written off as a mere trend. The travel organizations are innovating engagement tools for marketing to loop in more prospective travelers and are also increasing budget allocations in this marketing wing. Russia is one of the thriving online cultures in the world. 91% of Russians are engaging in social media on a daily basis.
In this perspective, it is high time to realize the role the Russian language can play in social media marketing to drive in more Russian-speaking traffic for better audience engagement. It is important to note even for travel related research and information gathering, now-a-days people are relying more on social media platforms than other search engines. They are enjoying the convenience of holiday bookings and are posting queries aimed towards having a better travel experience.
Touch the customers’ heart first:
Though we see the dominance of English language in social media channels but the usage of other languages is also rising significantly. Therefore, to reach out to each and every potential traveler of the Russian speaking market, social media marketing in Russian language is highly recommended because local language strikes the customers’ heart.
Many travel and hospitality organizations and online travel agencies are already into customer engaging business leveraging the social media channels posting contents in languages widely read and understood by the target market segment.
The advantage of content in regional language:
Mainly because it adds convenience and reliability. People tend to rely more on the opinions and messages of their own community or country. People speaking similar languages have a tendency to develop quick rapport among them and get engaged readily giving ‘Likes’ and posting comments on social media channels.
People like to share interesting travel experiences to gain popularity in this virtual social world and the huge number of travel related postings bears a testimony to the fact. What could be a better way to share and gather information than social media engagement?
In traveling sector, where words of mouth play a significant role in customer building, interacting with people in their mother tongue provides a win-win situation. It helps in developing a comfort level among the prospective travelers winning their confidence quickly.
Russians are considered to be one of the big spenders in tourism especially in abroad travel. Therefore, the strategy of social media marketing posting contents in Russian would naturally drive in more traffic.
Online translators are helping in translating the words but are unable to deliver the exact feel. Often, the translated version turns out to be weird and make no sense at all.
Social media engagement of Russian speaking audience:
Facebook (Ukraine -5.2 millions, Russia – 21 millions), daily use – 6 million
Linkedin (Ukraine ~1 million)
Instagram (Russia – 11 million, CIS – 7.5 million)
Vkontakte (VK) (Ukraine -27 millions, Russia -43 millions, CIS – 72 million)
Odnoklassniki (Ukraine – 11 millions, Russia – 50 millions, CIS – 73 million)
Moi Mir – About 25 million Russian users as on 2014. [http://www.stopfake.org]
Seize the moment with local Social media platforms:
The former 3 social media websites are popular and extensively used by the global audience but Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki are widely used by the Russian speaking population. While Facebook engagement continues to be the top ranked around the world, VK is the most visited in Russia and currently enjoys the 5th position in the global ranking.
It is also known as the Facebook of Russia and is popular among the educated urban population. Odnoklassniki is much preferred by the «Boomers» Russian speaking generation generally from small towns and cities. Moi Mir is the 3rd popular social media network in Russia.
Among the common features available in all social media websites or apps, the ability of VK to synchronize with other social media platforms gives the travel companies and hoteliers an added advantage. They can post contents and run ads in Russian language which automatically gets shared on Facebook etc.
Concentrating on the content:
In view of the domestic social media platforms dominating the Russian speaking audience, creating market penetrative content in Russian language is a must to improve audience engagement.
• The content should be unique, readable and understandable to attract the linguistically sensitive prospective Russian travelers.
• Hiring educated native speakers for content creation. They have the ability to deliver the right message and understand the behavior of Russian speaking travelers, their preferences, likes and dislikes, which the translators fail.
• Integrating the Russian content posted in domestic social media sites with Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. This would enable covering a broader market segment.
• Posting videos in RuTube in Russian language.
The contribution of content marketing in digital media is undeniable but it is time to consider the importance of generating quality content in regional language for a deeper market penetration.
Author, Anna Guchok, CEO of Travel Image – tourism marketing and representative company in Russian Speaking countries, global traveller, tourism marketing speaker & trainer, wellness expert.