Three new Translation hashtags on Twitter

twitter-birdWe launched three new hashtags in February – if you are on Twitter and interested in one of these three topics, feel free to search them and use them!

#medxl8: hashtag for medical translation
#xl8cpd: hashtag for CPD (continuous professional development) in the translation industry
#xl8events: pretty clear – translation industry events (conferences, congresses, seminars, netwroking days…)


Connect with us on Twitter:

GxP Language Services@GxP_Services
Tweeting medical and pharma industry news, resources for medical translators (in English), calls for translators, occasional jobs. Accounts in German, French and Spanish also available.

Alexandria Project@Alexandria_xl8
Tweeting events, training (webinars, seminars, conferences, etc. and various resources (dictionaries, glossaries…)  from/for the language industry.

Translation News@Translate_News
Tweeting language industry news.

Translation Jobs@Translate_Jobs
Tweeting language jobs (translation, interpreting, proofreading, editing) from various online platforms (via RSS – we do not have anything to do with the jobs posted).

Translation Blogs@Translate_Blogs
Tweeting updates from our own selection of favourites language & translation blogs, in real time.

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!

@Translate_News in the Top 100 Twitter Translation People

We had a nice surprise the other day: one of our Twitter accounts has been listed in Neil Payne’s list of Top 100 Translation people to follow on Twitter: our @Translate_News Twitter feed! You can find the entire list here.

The GxP team is happy and grateful to be in the same list as many amazing people who rock the translation industry on Twitter!

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

Translators: 5 ways to get more followers on Twitter

Some basic but always efficient tricks!

1. Follow people

While you don’t have to follow everyone who follows you, it’s still important to follow those accounts that are of interest to you – the criteria are up to you. Quite simply, it just looks bad if you have 800 followers and you are not following anyone yourself. Ditto the other way round: the more people you follow, the more you increase your chances of being followed. I’ve observed that approximately 30 to 40% of the people you follow will ‘return the favour’ and start following you.

2. Tweet interesting stuff

This should be obvious! Whether it is your own content you are sharing, or interesting content from all over the Web (regardless of the subject matter), aim to be interesting. If your followers like what you’re giving them, they’ll let you know with retweets, favourites, etc.,and they’ll say so to their own followers, who will, in turn, follow you and so forth and so on. Snowball effect!
You need to figure out your content strategy first – more in an upcoming article!

3. Be a giver 

The key word in the term ‘social networks’ is the word ‘social’, and Twitter is probably the most social of all. This means that you should not just be a receiver, you have to be a giver as well if you want it to work out in your favour. A giver shares content from other people, colleagues, even competitors. A giver makes recommendations of other people to follow, engages in discussions (serious ones as well as exchanges about airline food), reports on news (upcoming industry events, news from colleagues, industry news, etc.), shares experiences and expertise, retweets and always tries to meet new people and network. Give and you shall receive – it’s the core spirit of social networking, and sometimes we tend to forget that.

4. Use hashtags

Increase your visibility on Twitter by using hashtags. Find those that influencers use, or simply browse through your timeline and see which hashtags are used by the people you follow and which ones are hot right now – and use those relevant to your content! This way, your tweets will appear in searches for a certain hashtag and this increases your chances of gaining followers interested in that particular topic or who follow that hashtag. Here is a list of some popular translation industry hashtags.

5. Include your Twitter info everywhere

An effective, quick and simple trick is to include your Twitter username in your business contact details – e-mail signature, Skype, CV, LinkedIn profile, ProZ.com profile, business cards, website… Use either the URL or just your @Username.

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!

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…

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