Bilingual Social Media Management: Is It Really Necessary?

As a Canadian-based business, how much should you worry about having a bilingual social media management strategy in place? The very idea is enough to put fear into the hearts of many good Canadian business owners. After all, consider the expense, the time and the resources you’d need. And isn’t it true that most francophones understand English anyway?

Difficult decision, and one that you would probably rather sweep under the carpet. But not so fast…there are a few things you need to know!

Bilingual Social Media Management is the Law in Quebec

It’s true. Provincial law states that any business operating in Quebec must offer a French-language version of its online property. OQLF representative Jean-Pierre Le Blanc puts it this way:

“If it’s a commercial site – everything that is commercial must be in French. It can also be in another language, but it must be in French.”

And the rules do apply to social media, even though the word “social media” doesn’t actually show up in the law. So this means that you need to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ in both languages. Facebook can actually be quite helpful with this, and will show the appropriate post to the appropriate audience.

But before you uproot your business and move to Alberta in disgust, let’s look at some of the advantages.

A Multilingual Social Media Strategy Can Be Well Worth the Effort

It appears that many francophone Canadians are feeling left out of the conversation when it comes to social media. A study conducted by Headspace Marketing, a consulting firm that specializes in marketing to Quebec, reported that many businesses are missing out on the opportunity to market to Quebeckers because of the language barrier.

The research showed that in the rest of Canada, almost 80% of people skim or skip Facebook ads altogether because they feel saturated with them, but less than one-third of French speakers in Quebec said they did so.

Experts also say that communicating in multiple languages can boost a company’s page rankings. Since the web is saturated with English language content, the competition for key search words is intense. This means that you could potentially reach a high position in the Google rankings just by using the French language.

A Few Dos and Don’ts for Bilingual Social Media Management

And don’t even think of using Google translate! But remember, effective bilingual social media management can really pay off in the end.

We at Ape Thinker would be delighted to assist with your social media headaches, in French or English!

Contact us today!

Published on 2018-05-02