By using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and other social media, organizations can engage prospects, promote deals, encourage brand loyalty, and feed traffic to their websites—increasing the likelihood of gaining conversions and boosting profits. Marketing professionals might therefore be hard-pressed to find the downside of social media interaction.

However, a marketer's social media play gets significantly more complicated when she engages on such platforms in multiple countries and in scores of languages.

That's not to say that internationally focused companies should neglect social media. Tweets, Facebook status updates, blogs, and YouTube videos can be valuable elements of strategic, integrated marketing campaigns.

Follow these six best-practices to ensure the greatest return on investment in localized social media.

1. Start with international search engine marketing (ISEM)

Keywords are everything. That is true domestically, and it is true internationally.

Before you build a blog for China, or produce YouTube videos in French, or start tweeting in Spanish, do your keyword homework. Assign adequate resources to researching target markets and building keyword lists that will resonate with customers and search engines in those regions.

That work requires an awareness not only of regional dialects and colloquial speech but also of the algorithms of locally preferred search engines.

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image of Liz Elting

Liz Elting is a co-founder and the CEO of TransPerfect/Translations, a family of companies providing global business services in over 100 languages.

LinkedIn: Liz Elting