As a business in Wales, you have a great opportunity to use the Welsh language on social media. Far from being a waste of time or fear that the content will be lost amidst the torrent of Tweets, it can be a great way to expose yourself, connect with a wider audience and develop your scope throughout Wales.
Research by the Welsh Language Commissioner looked at customer attitudes to Welsh language use by supermarkets.
83% agreed that using the Welsh language showed respect for Welsh culture and 68% said they would like to see the Welsh language used in Welsh supermarkets.
The research highlighted that 78% of people thought the Welsh language on Welsh product packaging helped show support for local producers and 74% thought it showed support for the local community.
While this particularly draws attention to supermarket customers, it's fair to say that house shopping and food is a regular activity for most people – and using the Welsh language in daily life is proving positive for brands. This could easily be translated into another regular activity – looking through social media!
While sharing content in the Welsh language requires a little extra work, it is also valuable to recognise the additional benefits and opportunities it can also bring.
Jones Crisps said that "The Welsh language provides us with an additional tool when creating content on a social platform – when people view their website, very often, content in the Welsh language gets more hits than content in the English language".
It certainly works well for the business too because Jones Crisps uses social media to save costs, develop their customer base and compete in a very competitive crisp market!
In short, using the Welsh language on your own social media platforms can bring a number of benefits for various types of businesses and organisations.
Here are just a few of them:
1. Standing out in a crowded crowd or market
2. Show pride and respect for Welsh culture and communities
3. Gather more respect from customers and stakeholders in doing so
4. Increase public support – particularly for charities
5. Target new audiences and markets to develop their scope
6. Strengthen relationships with customers and communities throughout Wales
7. Boost customer loyalty to your brand
8. Enhance your brand reputation and values
9. Strengthen online marketing campaigns
10. Provide opportunities to develop employees' Welsh language skills
If you are interested in taking the steps to become bilingual online, you may still have concerns about how to start and how best to handle your new Welsh language social content.
The Welsh Language Commissioner's Report offers some excellent practical guidance on some of the problems that can arise when planning to use Welsh on social media.
Their convenience support section offers advice about:
- update your marketing plan
- should you have one account or two
- easiest way to create bilingual messages
- what to do if you don't have Welsh speaking staff
- what to do if you are part of a large business with many branches