7 myths in using Facebook for business (and in general)

amis-facebookRandom thoughts… 7 myths or mistakes you may be doing, without knowing it, on Facebook.

Myth 1: no, it is not possible to know who has seen your Facebook profile, so pleeeaaaaaase stop installing apps that claim the contrary and that post status updates to your profile calling your friends to install it. Really, please, stop.

Myth 2: no, sharing your tweets on your Facebook Profile/Page is not such a great idea. It is counterproductive and extremely annoying for anyone following you on Facebook. And for those following you on both: even worse. Facebook has a very different netiquette from Twitter. You don’t tweet on Facebook. You tweet on Twitter Same goes for “RTing” people on Facebook, by the way: huh?

Myth 3:  no, the copyright and privacy disclaimer that you have to post as a status to prevent FB from using your data is not for real. It’s a hoax, and it’s been ciruclating for months. Please, please, stop sharing it. (“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communique, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.”)

Myth 4: no, your professional contacts don’t care about your workout stats, so pleeeaaaase stop sharing the runtastic report of your latest run (or any other sport tracking app, for that matter) with said business contacts (your personal contacts are a complete other matter –  you do what you want, personal stuff is personal stuff. But there is personal stuff your business contacts really don’t need to see/read. No? )

Myth 5: no, the status update asking your Friends to hover over your name and change their settings so that friends of friends of friends don’t see what you like or post is a fake too. This is a hoax that has been circulating since May 2011. (“To all my FB friends, may I request you to please do something for me: I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. However, with the recent changes in FB, the public can now see activities in any wall. This happens when our friend hits “like” or “comment”, automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it this way. So I need your help. Only you can do this for me. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (do not click), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on “COMMENTS & LIKE” by clicking on it. By doing this, my activity amongst my friends and my family will no longer become public. Many thanks! Paste this on your wall so your contacts would follow suit too, that is, if you care about your privacy.”) – and similar ones, there are some variants of it.

Myth 6: no, Facebook will not become a paying service anytime soon, so please stop sharing hoaxes pretending otherwise…

And if you don’t believe me, see Facebook’s FAQ – Common Myths about Facebook.

Myth 7: no, your phone number is not accessible to anyone on Facebook. Unless you entered it yourself and made it public. So, the status update claiming “ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS IN YOUR PHONE… INCLUDING YOURS are now on FACEBOOK! go to the top right of the screen, click on ACCOUNT, click on EDIT FRIENDS, left side of screen and click CONTACTS. you will see all phone numbers from your phone are published that you have stored in your mobile phone. TO REMOVE, go to RIGHT column, click on “this page.” please repost this on your status, so your friends can remove their numbers and thus prevent abuse if they do not want them published.” is just a big hoax… and an old one, from 2010 or so.

There are many more! Which ones come to your mind?

Lyon conference workshop – Boost your use of Twitter

Last weekend, I attended the annual ProZ.com France conference in Lyon, which was not only a great opportunity to return to the city where I studied and lived for five years, but also to see the French translation crowd again – many I hadn’t seen since the Nice conference in 2009, the Paris event in 2008 or for some, even the Aix en Provence conference in 2007! We had a great time and the atmosphere was relaxed and happy.

The event was the opportunity to give a presentation on Internet Marketing for the first time ever in French – which is quite amusing when you think about it, given that I am French. Anyway, it was also the first time that I spoke to a French audience on those topics and I was curious to learn about the relationship between social media tools and my own fellow translation country(wo)men. Although the group was very small, the presentation was extremely interactive – just the way I love it! Actually, forget I said “presentation”. It was a discussion, and a very interesting and lively one at that. It was a pity I didn’t have more time – again, I know! How time flies when you’re in good company with interesting questions and feedback.

The topics I presented were 1. Twitter (how to use it to gain visibility and boost your online reputation) and 2. Facebook – privacy issues to protect your personal life and reputation on the Web (unfortunately not enough time for that one, we had to rush through it, but we covered some main points presented in this article and in this one in very basic terms).

Here is the Twitter presentation (in French) available for download: Twitter presentation FR Lyon 2012 -

- many thanks to the attendees. I hope you enjoyed the workshop and more importantly, that it helped you in some way. That was, after all, the objective. And as promised, if you have any questions or need anything, just send me an e-mail!

Thanks again to John for once more giving us the opportunity to meet, exchange and party. I’m really looking forward to the 2013 French conference!

New series of webinars – autumn 2012

I’m happy to announce the freshly baked new webinars for translators for this upcoming second semester of 2012!

October 24th, 2012: Build yourself an optimized LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is now the most powerful ally of freelance businesses in general – it is an amazing shop-window. But how to sell yourself there? How to make that shop-window attractive so that potential clients and partners look at it and open the door to the shop? Your LinkedIn profile is where it all begins and in the web 2.0 era where everything goes so quickly online, you only have a few seconds to grab your visitors attention. Get some keys in this webinar to boost your LinkedIn profile and mak it one of your best online shop-windows!

Duration: 1 hour with Q/A

Complete information, sign-up and registration here


November 7th, 2012: Social SEO basics for translators

In the jungle of Web marketing today, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has become a must when doing business via the Internet. SEO is “the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” – or un-paid, search results”. In other words, as a freelancer, how can you make your potential clients find you before they find your competition on a Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. search? By making sure to rank among top results in given searches.
Social SEO is the art of using social platforms and social media to help boosting your Google ranking. Without entering into too technical considerations (we are not all Web developers!), this webinar will cover the basics of social SEO for freelancers.

Duration: 1 hour with Q/A

Complete information, sign-up and registration here


November 21, 2012: Social Media Marketing for translators 2012: a must or a should?

An overview of the state of Social Media Marketing in 2012 in / for the translation industry and keys for attendees to take a better enlightened business decision: investing in Social media Marketing or not.

Duration: 1 hour with Q/A

Complete information, sign-up and registration here


Remember that on-demand replays of some of my previous training courses for translators are still available as follows:

Social Media Marketing for translators: Do’s and Don’ts
view course feedback
watch video

Why you should seriously consider Google+ and Facebook marketing
view course feedback
watch video

Boost your use of Twitter
view course feedback
watch video

LinkedIn good practices for translators
view course feedback

watch video

Workshop: Harness Social Media Marketing for your business (160 minutes)
view course feedback
watch video

Barcelona conference presentation – Social Media Marketing for translators : why, what, how…

Last weekend I attended the ProZ.com International Conference 2012 in Barcelona. It was really fantastic seeing old friends again and making new ones, and to finally have a chance to see some of the wonders the city of Barcelona has to offer.

The conference was also the opportunity to give my presentation on social media marketing and online reputation – 1 hour is terribly short to cover the topic, but some basics were thrown at the audience and hopefully all attendees got something to chew on. The purpose, as outlined in the introduction, is not to make anyone a Social Media expert (and in an hour, that’s impossible), but rather to help translators in the decision-making of investing in that marketing strategy – or not – by giving them as many elements, pros and cons as possible to help them decide whether it’s something their own business could use/need  – and of course, for those who decide it may be something for them, make them curious to find out more and take the next step.

The presentation felt relaxed and was quite interactive. I don’t like to push the Q/A at the very end, attendees can just interrupt me if they want to rebounce on something I just said. IMO it is simply more comfortable and informal that way. Hopefully people feel this as well, because it not only creates a relaxed atmosphere, but it also makes the presentation more lively and ultimately (hopefully) fun. And well, egoistically, I have to admit it’s much more fun for me as  it makes each presentation different from the previous one and the audience has often really interesting, original and unexpected questions, comments or experiences to share. So, no routine. As always, I wish it could have gone on for another 3 hours – and hope attendees do as well!  ;)

A really big thank you to all of you for our attention and patience, I hope you all left the room with a clearer idea of this wide Internet marketing world and some (more) elements at hands to make your decision – if that’s the case, then I did the job in Barcelona (if that’s not the case, feel free to contact me via e-mail and shout at me ;))

An interesting thing happened during the session and in the plane back from Barcelona – or at least I consider those thoughts interesting. It occured to me that, compared to a year ago, I was focusing less on actual Social Media and always more on SEO, online reputation / online presence – that was the case at the Germersheim University a few weeks ago when I gave that same presentation and, to an extent, at the conference in Warsaw in April. This is definitely material for a future article (and sooner than later), but for the past 3-4 months, it seems social networks themselves are loosing the importance they had a year ago in online marketing – they are still important, no questioning that, but SEO and online image in general seem to grow more and more important. Social sites actually always were SEO and online reputation tools but this was maybe not always clear, or hidden behind the WOW factor of social sites. I have this feeling that perspectives are changing – client don’t ask “How can I be on Facebook for my business?” anymore because it’s Facebook and it’s hype. They ask today “Why would I be on Facebook for my business?”.

Interesting shift in perspectives here – but again, this is material for a future article.

In the meantime a big thank you to Patricia for the organization of this great conference, and a big thank you to all – it was simply fantastic being there with all of you. See you next year at the Porto 2013 Conference!

You are responsible for what you share online

A video from Andew Keen on CNN, author of “Digital vertigo”, has been buzzing today and kept popping up on my LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook with that dramatic title “Opinion: Facebook threatens to ‘Zuck up’ the human race”. Wow. With such a title, you can only click the link, read the article and watch the video (over here)

In my opinion, Andew Keen does have a good point (many actually), particularly when he says that we live in an era of digital narcissism, but also when he says that we all became the products of social platforms. He puts in those words: “Networks like Facebook have turned us into products in which their only economic value is our personal data.”

That’s undeniable. Facebook might be the big bad guy, the devil, blabla, and it’s your right to think that as many of the self-called experts as well as journalists like to think and like you to think. I have no real opinion on that. Facebook is a company and like all businesses it needs some kind of income, a product, other than investors injecting money in it. Since Facebook does not offer any paying membership, which could be a consequent revenue source, they have to “sell” something else. It makes sense in a way, a business has got to earn something to keep existing, right?

So, well, here’s my view on that, something I have in mind constanly when I hear people whining about what a devil facebook is selling our data (yet those are the same people who are all day long on it and sharing everything they do by the minute): you are responsible for what you put online. Nobody forces you to put pictures of you in a bikini on Facebook. Nobody forces you to give your home address and personal phone numbers to Facebook. Just because there’s some not mandatory field to fill, you don’t have to fill it. YOU put that data in there, so if you don’t want it to be used, then don’t put it in the first place.

But here’s the bad news for those who scream that Facebook has their home address (they gave it to facebook themselves, remember?) – you can erase it from your facebook profile, you can even dactivate your account, your data will not show anymore but Facebook does keep it in store. Everything you ever posted, wrote and deleted, remains.

So in my humble opinion, the issue here is not that Facebook sells our personal data to advertisers. Google does it. Many others do it. Did you ever book a flight online, let’s say to London, and noticed in the days afterwards that on any website with ads you’d visit (online dictionaries or whatever), you’d see ads about cheap flights to London? There you go. See, Facebook are not the only ones… and those are in my eyes somehow freakier, because that means The Internet God knows exactly what I do, what I search, when and where without me even knowing nor asking for it. I just booked a flight to London, damn! While on Facebook, again, YOU chose to enter your personal information on your own.

Nope, I think the issue is multiple. Facebook should inform its users about it, clearly and plainly, that’s a first point. Facebook should also inform us plainly and clearly that whet we think we erase from our profile remains stored in the Facebook attics for God knows how long. And the third issue is ourselves, and this is where I agree with Andrew Keen: digital narcissism. We don’t have to share everything we’re doing. We don’t have to post everything we think. We don’t have to. We don’t need to. Nobody forces us to share this and that and everything on Facebook or Twitter or whatever.

So don’t do it. There’s not much more to say to it. Use your common sense. Be a grown-up. We are all responsible for ourselves.

The Top 100 Language Lovers 2012 Competition

It’s on again! The bab.la language portal and the Lexiophiles blog announced the start of the Top 100 Language Lovers 2012 competition on May 2nd. The nominations phase is now over and the voting phase starts today and runs until May 28th.

Here are the four categories in the competition:

1. Language Learning Blogs: blogs about the language learning process, both from the learners and teachers perspective.
2. Language Professionals Blogs: blogs by people using languages in their profession, such as translators or interpreters.
3. Language Facebook Pages: Facebook Pages related to language topics, such as dictionaries, translation tools, language lovers’ communities and more.
4. Language Twitter accounts: Twitterers who share content about languages.

All information on the competition is available here
Time to vote ! This way…

Facebook versus… Facebook

Facebook marketing is a tricky one and my general position is that it makes little sense for  freelance translators to throw themselves actively into it. It is a powerful tool however and having a profile there to connect with those translation agencies that use it to post jobs and call for translators completely makes sense on the other hand. So yes, when it comes to your client acquisition strategy, you can perfectly integrate Facebook to it, in a “passive” way (in other words keeping an eye on potential clients and following what they post in case they post a job that’s in your area of expertise).

However, using Facebook passively for marketing purposes does not mean that you should lower your guard when it comes to what you share. Facebook remains a personal social network – i.e. its core purpose is to help you connect and keep in touch with people you know in real-life, people from your private sphere (family, school friends, university buddies, colleagues you became friendly with, etc.) – and its netiquette is quite clear on that: you should only invite as “Friends” those peope you know “outside of Facebook”. Point is, Facebook was never intended to be a business network. And it’s not – there’s LinkedIn for that, for example. Facebook just happens to have amazing business networking potential and marketing power – and we should use it. It’s okay. But keeping in mind the primary use and spirit of Facebook, it’s a bit tricky to behave there the way you do on LinkedIn, because you have those personal connections posting invites to play Games on your Wall, tagging photos of you, etc.

Because the business use of Facebook came later than the personal one and many people became so comfortable that they share anything and everything – if they feel comfortable doing so with private connections, hey, it’s okay and that’s their absolute right. But here’s the thing: how many of us have absolute zero business connections (or potential ones) among their Facebook Friends? Exactly. And here it is: on LinkedIn, we are “Contacts”or “Connections”. On Facebook, we’re “Friends”. The words are not innocent.

The minute we accepted the first business contact as a Facebook Friend (or invited them), we let the public sphere into the private one.

It became then clearer that something needed to be done in order to make sure that these photos from last night’s party remained visible only to the right people but completely invisible to business contacts. And here begin the headaches over Friends Lists. Truth is, Friends Lists are probably the most awesome thing ever. They enable you to separate all your Facebook contacts in groups (“Friends Lists” in the Facebook terminology) to which you can assign a certain visibility level – for example “Group A” contains your close personal friends and they can see everything on your profile and everything you share. In “Group C”, you put business contacts and you can select precisely what Group C sees and what they don’t see. And people don’t know which list they’re on – it is visible only to you.

Facebook privacy settings are very complete and exhaustive and allow you to choose exactly who sees what you share. And yet still many people are not using them! Yes, it can be a hassle if you already have many friends but those settings are the best thing since sliced bread, seriously.

The above obviously also applies to those using Facebook as a pure personal network – there must be some people in there you are not thaaaaat close with but can’t unfriend either,  so those lists enable you to make sure that they don’t see stuff you don’t want them to see on your Facebook – and even better, since the end of last year, you can even choose what you want to see from them. As a Facebook executive put it himself at the last f8 conference in September 2011, it’s a feature for “people you are not really friends with”.

Either way, keeping Facebook to a bare personal level is becoming difficult for many as business contacts add them asd Friends and they feel it may be rude to refuse, while some don’t even try and make their profiles “Open Bar” for the whole world to see. And as freelance translators, there is a real danger there if you also use your Facebook profile as a marketing tool – because there are PMs and agencies and colleagues out there who are among your Facebook Friends. Make sure they see what they should see, and not what belongs to the private sphere because this can backfire and you may never know it – you’ll simply never get any translation job from them. Always remember – your CV is not the most important thing in your reputation building with an agency. Your online behavior and etiquette is just as important – if not more.

And here’s the trickier part: there are hundreds of translation agencies that created profiles on Facebook and use these profiles to connect with any translator, anywhere in the world, and post jobs on their Walls. If you want to see those posts, you need to add those agencies as “Friends”. Make sure that they go straight in the right Friends List of yours – that is a list where you can see all updates from them but where they can’t see any and every update from you – only what you choose to make visible to them.

This problem is non existent when an agency has its Facebook Page that you simply need to “Like”. Pages and Profiles are 2 different things – when you “Like” a Page, you can see everything it posts but the person behind the Page only sees what you made “Public” on your profile (here is a very good and clear explanation of the difference between a Profile and a Page on Facebook).

To see what is public on your profile, go to your Profile settings and click on “View As”. You’ll see “Use this tool to see how your Timeline appears to a specific friend or the public” – just click on “Public” and you’ll see your Facebook profile as it appears to anyone who is not in your contacts – talk about “online reputation management”…

So, to summarize: the ideal is to refuse Friends requests from people that you would not count as “real life buddies/friends” and belong more to your professional world and connect with them on LinkedIn instead – that’s what LinkedIn is for. On the other hand it’s okay if you can’t avoid having business connections among your Facebook Friends, don’t loose sleep over it, and there are so many potential clients using it that you ought to follow them on this platform. If you do so, then create Friends Lists and put those contacts in one restrictive list where they will see little of what you have in your profile and exactly what you want them to see.

Bottom line: on Facebook, whether you want it or not, you can’t avoid having colleagues or clients wanting to connect with you. If you choose to accept them as Friends, then make that you drastically keep private separated from business.

Social Media – Profi-Marketingwerkzeug oder Dschungel-Camp?

Social Media – Profi-Marketingwerkzeug oder Dschungel-Camp?

Diamantidis, Anne (2012). Social Media – Profi-Marketingwerkzeug oder Dschungelcamp? In: BW polyglott, März 2012, Ausgabe 3, S. 32f

Selbständige Übersetzer sind Unternehmer -ohne Wenn und Aber. Um erfolgreich zu sein, müssen sie sich neben dem Übersetzen auch um ihre eigene Vermarktung kümmern. Dabei müs­sen sie nicht nur Kunden finden und halten, son­dern sich auch im Dschungel der Übersetzungs­industrie als eigene Marke etablieren. Welches Werkzeug sollte dafür im 21. Jahrhundert besser geeignet sein als das Internet?

Neben anderen In­ternet-Werkzeugen, die für Marketingzwecke ein­gesetzt werden können – wie zum Beispiel E-Mail, eigene Website, eigener Blog – bieten sich dafür Social-Media-Plattformen an. Welchen Nutzen kann man also aus einem Facebook-Profil oder Engagement auf Twitter zie­hen?

Einige Übersetzer haben es ausprobiert und waren vom Ergebnis enttäuscht. Andere dagegen sind extrem enthusiastisch und hören nicht auf zu betonen, welche Vorteile ihnen Xing oder Twitter gebracht haben. Was ist also dran an Social Me­dia? Handelt es sich um ein Profi-Marketingwerk­zeug, das von Übersetzern erfolgreich eingesetzt werden kann, oder ist es nur eine Spielwiese für spätpubertäre Teenager, die um jedes neue So-cial-Media-Tool den gleichen Hype vollführen wie um den Tagessieger im Dschungelcamp?
Bevor Sie sich überlegen, ob Sie Social-Media-Marketing in Ihre Marketingaktivitäten integrieren möchten, sollten Sie sich folgende Frage stellen: Muss oder möchte ich neue Kunden gewinnen?
Wenn Sie diese Frage mit Ja beantworten, soll­ten Sie sich Gedanken über Ihre Marketingaktivi­täten machen. Dazu können auch Aktivitäten im Social-Media-Bereich gehören, um:

  • Ihre Sichtbarkeit zu verbessern und die Wahr­scheinlichkeit zu erhöhen, dass potentielle Kunden Sie finden und kontaktieren,
  • sich als Marke zu präsentieren,
  • die Zahl der Zugriffe auf Ihre Website, Ihren Blog, Ihr Profil zu verbessern.

Social-Media-Plattformen bieten:

Netzwerke
Der Aufbau von weltweiten Netzwerken mit Kolle­gen, Gleichgesinnten, Geschäftspartnern aus der Industrie und potentiellen Kunden ist eine Marke­tingstrategie, die es schon lange vor dem Inter­net gab, die aber auch hier funktioniert.

Job Boards
Viele Agenturen und auch Endkunden verwenden auf der Suche nach qualifizierten Übersetzern nicht nur die Übersetzerportale im Internet, son­dern zunehmend auch Xing, Linkedln, Facebook und Twitter.

Aufbau einer Online-Reputation
Alles, was Sie im Internet schreiben, kann von an­deren Personen gefunden werden (wenn Sie den Zugriff nicht eingeschränkt haben). Dies ist ein sehr mächtiges Werkzeug, mit dem Sie Kollegen und potentiellen Kunden Ihr Wissen, Ihre Erfah­rung und Vertrauenswürdigkeit vermitteln kön­nen. Sie können damit weltweit eine Reputation aufbauen und sich als Experte zu einem Thema oder in einem Fachgebiet positionieren. Richtig eingesetzt wird man Sie früher oder später als die Person wahrnehmen, an die man sich mit einer Übersetzung zu einem bestimmten Thema wen­den sollte. Allerdings können Sie diese Reputation auch sehr schnell zerstören – verwenden Sie also Ihren gesunden Menschenverstand:

  • Trennen Sie Privates und Berufliches
  • Überlegen Sie sich, was Sie in Ihren öffent­lich zugänglichen Foreneinträgen, Tweets und Posts schreiben und wie Sie schreiben
  • Stellen Sie nichts online, was Sie nicht auch im realen Leben zu einem Geschäftspartner sa­gen würden.

Sammeln von Informationen
Unterschätzen Sie nicht den Wert der Informatio­nen wie interessante Veranstaltungen, neue Vor­schriften und Jobangebote, die Sie in Foren oder im Austausch mit anderen Übersetzern zum Bei­spiel auf Facebook erhalten können. Sie alleine können schon eine Teilnahme an den entspre­chenden Social-Media-Plattformen rechtfertigen.

Visibilität & SEO
Dies ist der eigentliche Kern, um den es beim In­ternetmarketing geht. Der potentielle Kunde soll­te Sie finden, bevor er Ihre Mitbewerber findet. SEO steht für Suchmaschinenoptimierung (Search Engine Optimization), und bedeutet, Ihre Online-Präsenz in Form Ihrer Website oder Ihres Profils (auf Xing, Linkedln, ProZ usw.) so zu optimieren/ unterstützen, dass sie von Suchmaschinen wie Google, Bing und Yahoo auf einem höheren Rang, also weiter oben angezeigt wird als die Ihrer Mit­bewerber. Die Suchmaschinen verwenden kom­plexe Algorithmen, um die Reihenfolge zu erstel­len, in der die Ergebnisse angezeigt werden, aber diese Algorithmen basieren im Wesentlichen auf drei Aspekten: Suchbegriffe, Traffic und Aktivität.

Suchbegriffe
Verwenden Sie in Ihren Profilen, Blogs, Forenbei­trägen, Tweets usw. Begriffe und Wortfolgen, die ein potentieller Kunde verwenden würde, um Ihre Dienstleistung zu suchen. Es gibt viele Überset­zer, die in ihren Profilüberschriften oder in den Suchbegriffen zum Beispiel „Freelance Transla­tor” schreiben. Danach sucht niemand. Sie ha­ben doch viel mehr zu bieten – führen Sie also auf, was Sie von anderen unterscheidet wie Ihre Sprachpaare, Ihre Fachgebiete oder zusätzliche berufliche Hintergrundinformationen. Denken Sie daran: Sie möchten gefunden werden, und ein potentieller Kunde könnte in Google zum Beispiel „medizinischer Fachübersetzer Deutsch Englisch mit Erfahrung in klinischer Informatik” eingeben. Ihr Ziel muss es sein, bei einer entsprechenden Suche in Google auf Seite eins aufgeführt zu wer­den (wer interessiert sich schon dafür, was auf Seite drei und danach steht).

Traffic
Je mehr Zugriffe Ihre Website oder Ihre Profilseite hat, desto höher wird sie von Google eingestuft.

Aktivität
Google erkennt, wenn eine Seite längere Zeit in­aktiv ist, und stuft sie automatisch in den Sucher­gebnissen zurück. Eine Webseite, eine Profilseite oder ein Blog, der regelmäßig aktualisiert wird, hält seinen Google-Rang.

All dies können Sie mit relativ geringem finanzi­ellem Aufwand erreichen. Sie brauchen dafür kei­ne bezahlten Mitgliedschaften auf Plattformen wie Linkedln und Xing. Sie müssen
jedoch be­denken: Nur weil Sie ein Profil auf Linkedln oder Xing haben, werden Sie darüber noch lange keine Kunden bekommen. Sie müssen investieren, und zwar Zeit. Social-Media-Marketing funktioniert nur, wenn Sie aktiv sind. Wenn Sie eine bestimm­te Reputation und Visibilität erreicht haben, müs­sen Sie kontinuierlich daran arbeiten, diese zu er­halten. Diese Zeit müssen Sie neben Ihrer Arbeit als Übersetzer aufbringen können, sonst macht es keinen Sinn. Deshalb müssen Sie sich gut überlegen, in welche Social-Media-Plattform Sie Ihre Arbeitszeit investieren möchten. Es folgt eine Auswahl an Social-Media-Platt-formen, die meiner Meinung nach für Übersetzer sinnvoll sein können.

Übersetzungsportale und Verzeichnisse

Natürlich die Datenbank des BDÜ, aber auch Portale   wie  TranslatorsCafe   oder   ProZ   bieten interessan­te  Möglichkeiten und   wir­ken   sich durch ihr  sehr gu­tes Goog­le-Ranking positiv auf das Ranking (SEO) Ihrer eige­nen  Website/Ihres Profils aus.

Business-Plattformen wie Xing oder Linkedln

Hervorragende Optionen und Werkzeuge zum Netzwerken, gute Präsentation der eigenen Fä­higkeiten und hervorragender SEO-Einfluss. Bei­de Plattformen erfordern ein gewisses Maß an Aktivität, um Ergebnisse zu bringen. Linkedln ist internationaler orientiert (nicht so US-lastig wie viele denken) und Xing wird mehr im deutsch­sprachigen Raum verwendet (in Frankreich ist Viadeo eine Option).

Twitter

Wahrscheinlich eine der am meisten unter­schätzten Social-Media-Plattformen für den pro­fessionellen Einsatz. Sie können damit eine hohe Zahl von Zugriffen auf Ihre Website/Ihr Profil er­zeugen. Es eignet sich sehr gut zum Aufbau Ihrer professionellen Reputation, bietet relevante In­formationen wie Links zu angebotenen Jobs und erlaubt es, in einer ungezwungenen Umgebung zu netzwerken. Ist allerdings arbeitsaufwendig.

Google+

Eigentlich ein absolutes Muss, allein schon um Ihr Google-Ranking zu verbessern.

Facebook

Ein sehr mächtiges SEO-Werkzeug, aber auch die schwierigste Plattform. Facebook-Marketing folgt einem komplexen Codex mit vielen Fallstri­cken. Ich empfehle ein reguläres Profil (mit kla­rer Trennung zwischen privaten und geschäftli­chen Aktivitäten) zu verwenden, um einigen der Agenturen zu folgen, die es zur Anwerbung von Übersetzern verwenden.

Zusammenfassend lässt sich sagen – wenn Sie sich auf einer Social-Media-Plattform anmelden, müssen Sie bereit sein, sich längerfristig zu en­gagieren. Es ist besser, kein Profil zu haben, als ein Profil zu haben, auf dem sich sechs Monate lang nichts getan hat.

Letzte Tipps: Vertrauen Sie immer Ihrem gesunden Menschenverstand und haben Sie auch Spaß daran, das gehört dazu! Um ein Gefühl für Social Media zu bekommen, könnten Sie mit der Xing-Gruppe des BDÜ begin­nen, bei weiterem Interesse können Sie mich ger­ne auch für Kurse kontaktieren.

Diamantidis, Anne (2012). Social Media – Profi-Marketingwerkzeug oder Dschungelcamp? In: BW polyglott, März 2012, Ausgabe 3, S. 32f

Social Media Marketing for translators – Part 4: Power Networking

This article is chapter 4 of the series “Social Media Marketing for translators, back to the basics”.

Part 1: Back to the basics & Introduction
Part 2:  Online Reputation & credibility
Part 3: Online visibility & SEO


Welcome back – and sorry for the delayed posting of this chapter 4, long overdue!
Today we’ll be talking about the basics of Social Networks as a Networking tool for the marketing of a freelance translator.

The best and ideal scenario remains in-person networking – there’s no denying that.  The vast majority of marketing successes (acquiring new clients) comes from real life meeting and sharing a cup of coffee at a given event – be it a trade show, a conference or a networking business breakfast.

But we can’t spend our time and our money attending events every week – as translators, we have to, well, translate to keep the ball rolling. Bills won’t pay themselves!

Here’s the good news: Web 2.0 offers an impressive array of tools allowing to network in a powerful way, right from behind your screen.

Here’s the bad news: it takes not only A LOT of time and energy – and patience – to get clients from online networking, but it’s a real jungle out there: there are so many tools, so many platforms : which one(s) to use?

In this article you’ll find some tips and starting ideas based on my own opinion and experience. It is by no means exhaustive nor exclusive. I keep repeating in my seminars and presentations that each translator is different, each business is unique and what works for a translator may not work for another. If you’re really serious about online networking, you’re going to have to take the time to experiment, try out and see what works for you and what does not – whatever your criteria for “what works for you” are, you’re going to have to define those and no online markting consultant can help you do that, it’s your decision, your choice, based on your culture, experience, goals, personal life, etc… Again, you are unique.

Differentiate business platforms from personal platforms

LinkedIn and Facebook have actually nothing in common, so whenever I read translators saying “Facebook and LinkedIn are so stupid, it does not work”, I consider – sorry – that it’s a stupid thing to say. I’m more than willing to believe that Facebook is not a very efficient marketing tool for a freelance translator, but LinkedIn is a WHOLE other story.

Let’s say there are 3 kinds of social platforms on the Web:

- Personal platforms: Facebook, former schoolmates platforms, photo sharing services (Instagram, Flickr…), location platforms (Foursquare…)

- Professional ones: LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo and translation platforms obviously like ProZ.com, Langmates, TranslatorsCafé, etc…

- Blurry ones: those are platforms that can allow for both personal or/and business, like Twitter, Google +, Facebook (here as well), etc.

I’m categorizing those based on the translation industry, of course, I’m being simplistic – some platforms listed as personal above can be used for business in other industries – a  Flickr has a clear professional dimension for professional photographers for example, Foursquare is a very interesting local marketing tool for shops, restaurants and other B2C industries).

The particular case of Facebook

I’ve already written about the Facebook dilemna in this article, though there is a lot more to say as it is not a black and white issue. But bottom line is, for a freelance translator, Facebook has yet to prove its marketing value. It does however have a certain networking interest as there are many – many! – groups of translators there, some of which are extremely active and where every sorts of discussions take place: terminology help, CAT-Tools help, jobs, general discussions, fun ones, etc. Those are like “mini-ProZ.com forums” actually, very similar in contents. There’s even a group called “Networking translators” and its member are doing just that.

So in a pure networking perspective, yes, Facebook Groups are an interesting tool, provided you protect your profile and make sure your personal stuff in there is not visible to members of the group that you are not “Friends” with. Again, see my Facebook article from April and I suggest to take a look at Part 2 of this series of articles: Online reputation and credibility.

Twitter: a very powerful networking tool

Twitter is a very interesting case. It can be used for both professional purposes and personal ones without hardly any conflict if done well – most professionals there have 2 accounts: a professional account with their full name and a personal one, either locked (that is your tweets can’t be seen unless you accept someone as a follower) or under a pseudonym (or both for paranoids like me ;)), of course if you feel no need for a personal Twitter account (to talk about stuff like politics, for example), you don’t need one. But I’m a big fan of separating personal from business in my online activities, while keeping the professional account a minimum personal. It’s about finding the right balance between too much and not enough.

Back to the topic at hand: Twitter as a networking tool is one of your best friends. Its Netiquette allows to connect with complete strangers, jump into discussions between strangers and therefore showing your expertise, making yourself known, etc. Most people on Twitter are open to discussions and exchange and keen on making new contacts. Twitter is a very informal way of communicating and this applies to business communication – in other words, on Twitter you can break the ice very easily and quickly, there are thousands of potential business contacts and you can have business exchanges in a very informal context. Isn’t that an ideal networking environment?

LinkedIn: the ultimate networking tool

Business networking is the core of LinkedIn. Every single feature on the site is designed and meant to help you network. I seriously made excellent client contacts via LinkedIn. But if you want to make it work, it is extremely time-consuming and you need to be very proactive. LinkedIn has a strict and particular netiquette and you have to mind how you communicate – and what. Last but not least, a rock-solid and mouth-watering profile is an absolute must. Believe me, LinkedIn is a great networking and marketing tool for the translation industry but you have to  use it to your full advantage – how often do I repeat that just having a profile here is not enough and that clients won’t start falling from the sky? You have to make your opportunities on business networks like LinkedIn (but that also works for sites like Xing or Viadeo, for example) because even though sometimes – but rarely – they come to you, the truth is, 99% of the time they are yours to create.

Google + : the elegant combo of Facebook+Twitter+LinkedIn

I love Google +. Yes, this is not being objective but seriously, I love it. It allows you to do whatever you want and share it with wohever you want in a very user-friendly and elegant way: circles. Yes, Facebook lists enable to the same separation and to choose exactly who sees what, but let’s face it: these privacy settings on FB are not as simple and user-friendly as G+ circles. No need to have a personal account and a business one. You can do all your communications from just one profile while keeping a clear private/public separation. Unlike Facebook, the risk of awkward pictures from last night’s party or pictures of you in your swimming suit at the last family barbecue is almost zero. Besides, the Netiquette and spirit of Google + is a really sweet combo of the facebook netiquette (allowing for personal stuff), the Twitter one (informal exchanges with complete strangers) and the LinkedIn one (loads of business people using G+ to network). Last but certainly not least, Google + is an extremely powerful SEO help. But then again, like all the rest, you need to be proactive and to work on your G+ presence – and that takes time.

In short…

Using Social platforms is an excellent way to network, meet suspects, potentially turn them into prospects and ultimately, hopefully, into clients. The same works for partners, and of course for translators – it’s a great pool for agencies and companies to find service providers. Furthermore, these platforms allow you to bypass the hierarchy: if you send an e-mail offering your services to a large translation agency, your CV may not make it to the hands of a PM. Same goes for telephone marketing efforts: you often find yourself talking to a secretary who will “block” your way to the decision-maker. Thanks to social networks, this is not a problem anymore, you can directly contact and connect with these decision-makers. But the coin does have another side: social networking is complicated, there are many unwritten codes and rules, netiquettes strongly vary from one network to another and there’s such a big crowd out there already that you have to make yourself visible in order to be found. Avoiding faux-pas, having a great profile and actively seeking and creating opportunities, those are some winning-strategies  winning, but time-consuming. Be aware of it before going into social networking.


Stay tuned for Part 5 of “Social Media Marketing for Translators, back to the basics” on the power of information!
All your comments, suggestions, thoughts are more than welcome, so go for it!

Next #xl8SMM chat on March 7th, 2012

The next open chat for translators on Social media Marketing in the translation industry will take place tomorrow, Wednesday March 7th, 5pm to 6pm Central European Time (see here what time it will be in your part of the world).

This chat will be the 4th one ad we’re moving it this time to the community SocialMedia4Translators for a better clarity and organisation of questions and easier archiving of discussions.

Everybody is welcome! Join us and bring your questions, experiences, knowledge…
Feel free to check out the transcript of a previous #xl8SMM chat here.

See you tomorrow!
SocialMedia4Translators