10 Practical Tips For Social Media Engagement

Crowdsourcing is a community effort. It should be a win-win process that leaves everybody satisfied: you with the results and the other participants with the experience they’ve had. Here are a few tips on what you can do to make your crowdsourced project a success with the help of social media.

  1. Define your crowd, know who and what you are looking for. If you are looking for people in some specific geographic or language area, or demographic, make sure those people notice you.
  2. Get publicity! Share information about the project on your Facebook page, in your user forum and tweet about it. Tell about it to your friends and colleagues, anybody who is affiliated with you or your software. And also do encourage your users and translators to do the same. Have them share their translation progress and invite their friends to work with them.
  3. But: don’t push too much promotion into the same channels. If you flood everybody’s Twitter timeline by looking for translators 40 times a day, you’ll probably just end up unfollowed or blocked – or both. Do remember common social media courtesy!
  4. Give your project an appealing flair in the working environment of the contributors. Make sure it has nice descriptions and graphics. That will make it even nicer to start working on it, and will be an advertisement for your project.
  5. Could you reward your translators in some way? That is not something you must do, but will be a nice bonus for the people. (And you have to motivate them somehow.) It can be a free license, maybe a giveaway of some sort or a mention in the credits or promotion in your community. Only your imagination is the limit. Think about what you would think as rewarding for participation, and you have a good indicator of what might do the trick for others too. Of course, already sheer participation might be rewarding.
  6. Check-up on your project regularly so that you can reply to any questions from the crowd. Don’t let the work of your community be stuck anywhere.
  7. Respond to feedback. Remember not only to be there when someone loves your project, but also when someone is critical. If you handle the situation well, you might even turn critics into promoters.
  8. Remember communication at all times! Tell the community how the work is progressing, thank them for their efforts, do pep talks, whatever feels natural for you. Through your own engagement you show that your project is important!
  9. Allow enough time when working with a bit more unusual languages or other groups.  For example, it might not be a wise bet to expect that you gather a crowd for Hausa translations over night and have your task ready instantly, unless you know your crowd very well and have engaged them already before the start of project.
  10. Add descriptions to your translatable texts, or at least to the difficult ones. Some texts are self-evident, for example ‘Save’ mostly doesn’t need much explanation to it. But then again there are a lot of strings that might not open up to translators that easily, even if it’s the clearest thing in the world to yourself. (Ok, the last tip doesn’t have anything to do with social media, but it’s a useful point to remember when crowdsourcing localization.)