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Translators-Interpreters & Social Media: go for it!
Thread poster: Jean-Marie Le Ray

Jean-Marie Le Ray  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:47
Member
Italian to French
+ ...
Dec 20, 2014

Hi all,

I've asked to Catherine Christaki, very active on social networks, about the reasons why translators/interpreters should be present on social networks. You can read the interview.



Generally speaking, the main objections that critics of social networks are doing is that it's useless, a waste of time, and so on. Balancing the pros and cons, what would you answer to these critics after five years of presence on Twitter about the results you’ve obtained both personally and professionally?

- Creating and maintaining account on a social network always takes some time at the beginning and it can be a bit overwhelming until you learn the ropes. But after that initial bump, it always becomes a pleasure afterward. I’ve heard many people say “I tried Twitter but I didn’t understand how it works so I just stopped using it”. You have to give each network you join some time, read a few articles online about do’s and don’ts. And don’t wait for it to lead to work right away. Your main purpose should be to meet colleagues and clients and get to know them better.




Let me know what's your take on Translators-Interpreters & Social Media.

Jean-Marie

[Modifié le 2014-12-20 10:49 GMT]


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Jane Phillips  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:47
Member (2013)
French to English
Shame she didn't reply to the question ... Dec 20, 2014

Unfortunately she didn't answer the question and I'm still no wiser as to why - we - should use Twitter and Co. What results did she obtain - I've a feeling she has no idea either.

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Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:47
German to Swedish
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The question that needs to be asked is Dec 20, 2014

Would you really hire a plumber who's not on Twitter?

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Jean-Marie Le Ray  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:47
Member
Italian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You should read better Dec 20, 2014

Jane Phillips wrote:

Unfortunately she didn't answer the question and I'm still no wiser as to why - we - should use Twitter and Co. What results did she obtain - I've a feeling she has no idea either.


Jane,

Did you read the interview? On the contrary, I rather think she answered very well to the question!


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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:47
Portuguese to English
+ ...
No, she did not answer the question Dec 20, 2014

Jean-Marie Le Ray wrote:

...what would you answer to these critics after five years of presence on Twitter about the results you’ve obtained both personally and professionally?



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Jean-Marie Le Ray  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:47
Member
Italian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's only your point of view Dec 20, 2014

Diana Coada, PGDip DPSI NRPSI wrote:

Jean-Marie Le Ray wrote:

...what would you answer to these critics after five years of presence on Twitter about the results you’ve obtained both personally and professionally?




But you should motivate your answer! Till now three persons post on this thread without saying nothing! I guess if your position about social media is this one, indeed social networks is not the right place for you...


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:47
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I think all Catherine's points are theoretically true Dec 20, 2014

but not necessary practically speaking. She used a lot of "... is a must" but not using those "must" has never impacted my business in a negative way; and using some of them never helped my business in a positive way.

You have to spend time using these social media but if you compare the the results of such use could bring about (if any) with the time you spend in it, you may not find it worthwhile to use them.

You may just read the interview for fun and there no need to be serious about it.



[Edited at 2014-12-20 14:51 GMT]


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Jean-Marie Le Ray  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:47
Member
Italian to French
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We are serious about it Dec 20, 2014

jyuan_us wrote:

I think all Catherine's points are theoretically true but not necessary practically speaking. She used a lot of "... is a must" but not using those "must" has never impacted my business in a negative way; and using some of them never helped my business in a positive way.

You have to spend time using these social media but if you compare the the results of such use could bring about (if any) with the time you spend in it, you may not find it worthwhile to use them.

You may just read the interview for fun and there no need to be serious about it.

[Edited at 2014-12-20 14:51 GMT]


Hi Jyuan,

Thanks for your answer, I appreciate it.
I think anyone has some kind of different experience with social media.
Anyway I was serious when I wrote my questions, and I guess Catherine was serious too when she answered. If I felt she wasn't I wouldn't have published it.
Because the main goal of this interview is to say to translators and interpreters that social media could help them to market their service and to grow their business. Catherine is an example of this statement.
There are two ways to deal with social media, one can take it seriously, or not.
But the fact that she obtained some good results using Twitter or LinkedIn means that her way is not only theoretical, but also practical.

In my first post I asked to Proz' members "what's your take on Translators-Interpreters & Social Media", you said:

jyuan_us wrote:

...but not using those "must" has never impacted my business in a negative way; and using some of them never helped my business in a positive way.



but I hope that if it does work for Catherine (and for me too), why not for other of our colleagues?

[Modifié le 2014-12-20 18:06 GMT]


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Adrien Esparron
Local time: 12:47
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Be careful, indeed... Dec 20, 2014

Ciao Jean Marie,

As you maybe know, I'm not professionally active on social networks, I don't know why I shhould, but I follow some "professional" groups (french, english and german), just to have an idea about what's happening. I read with amusement what Catherine says in the interview:


Be very careful about what you are sharing about yourself, your family and friends and most importantly (since we are talking about professional profiles) your clients.


A lot of networkers seems having forgotten it ?

Felice anno nuovo !


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Jean-Marie Le Ray  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:47
Member
Italian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Privacy is not the issue. Control is. Dec 20, 2014

Adrien Esparron wrote:

As you maybe know, I'm not professionally active on social networks, I don't know why I should, but I follow some "professional" groups (french, english and german), just to have an idea about what's happening.



Adrien,

I know quite well your thoughts on the matter
Mine are well summarized in these words of Jeff Jarvis: "Privacy is not the issue. Control is."
http://buzzmachine.com/2009/03/14/sxsw-privacy-and-publicness/

Heureuse année 2015


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:47
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Even if she got a couple of clients from social media, Dec 21, 2014

it doesn't mean the use of social media is a cost-effective method of business promotion. She might have got even more clients if she has placed a free ad on Craig's list, and the latter would have costed her a lot less time.

To remain prominent in social media one has to write something everyday. Can we the translators afford the time?

I got my best and huge client by visiting a health fair held in the roadside in a community in New York and talking to someone manning a booth. This doesn't mean visiting street fairs in New York is a good method of marketing. It may happen that I would never find my second client from these fairs, and it will cost a lot of time travelling there and talking to people.



[Edited at 2014-12-21 23:57 GMT]


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Jean-Marie Le Ray  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:47
Member
Italian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Social media is a personal choice Dec 21, 2014

jyuan_us wrote:

Even if she got a couple of clients from social media, it doesn't mean the use of social media is a cost-effective method of business promotion.



Jyuan,

A lot of translators-intepreters can deal very well to grow their business without social media, because, as you said, experience of other colleagues "doesn't mean the use of social media is a cost-effective method of business promotion" for everyone.
But it could mean also the contrary...
Sometimes I provide training in marketing & branding for translators-interpreters, and once I've got 33 professionals, of which 24 had a profile page on LinkedIn (72,7%) vs. only 16 on Proz (48,5%). It was a real surprise to discover this result, but to me it means that there is a shift in the way for colleagues to stand on the Web, and now social networks are an important part of the equation.
Not for all, obviously, but as for everything, it remains a personal choice.

[Modifié le 2014-12-21 10:37 GMT]


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xxxnrichy
France
Local time: 12:47
French to Dutch
+ ...
This is not a shift! Dec 21, 2014

Jean-Marie Le Ray wrote:

Sometimes I provide training in marketing & branding for translators-interpreters, and once I've got 33 professionals, of which 24 had a profile page on LinkedIn (72,7%) vs. only 16 on Proz (48,5%). It was a real surprise to discover this result, but to me it means that there is a shift in the way for colleagues to stand on the Web, and now social networks are an important part of the equation.


Proz is by definition a place to bring together translators and agencies. Moreover, in my opinion, for translators who are able to market themselves towards direct clients, proz will certainly not be the first choice, and it has never been (compared to IRL marketing and membership of professional translators' associations). Besides, nowadays it lacks some essential social media functions, especially extended visibility and virality.

As for Twitter, I know at least one translator who uses this media for discussing vocabulary with her "club of followers".


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Catherine Christaki  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:47
English to Greek
+ ...
Social media is definitely a choice Dec 21, 2014

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for your feedback regarding my answers in the Jean-Marie's interview about social media. I have written extensively about the benefits of Twitter and social media in general on our blog, I couldn't repeat the same things in the interview in the same length that's why I included some links there.
On Twitter's benefits specifically: http://linguagreca.com/blog/2011/11/why-i-use-twitter/
And on social media, you can check out the slides of two presentations I gave at the annual ATA conference last year: http://linguagreca.com/blog/2013/11/ata-54-presentations/

A few things I want to make clear:

1. Of course, there is no negative impact on your business if you are not on social media. I know many highly successful colleagues who don't even have a website, let alone social media profiles. They have plenty of clients and lucrative rates. It's not something you have to do, it's a choice that has numerous benefits in my experience, that's why I said "it's a must" multiple times in the interview.

2. Yes, social media takes time, especially at the beginning when you try to familiarise yourself with each network. But after a while, if you stick with it and (very important) you like spending time on a specific network, the experience is amazing, mostly because of the people you meet.

3. In the 4 years I've been using social media, I'd say about 20% of my existing clients found me that way. But, most importantly, I think that in the future this number will go way higher because of all the connections I've made on social media (mostly LinkedIn and Twitter).


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's about forming a relationship Dec 21, 2014

My marketing professors keep saying the same thing: it's ask about forming a relationship with a current or potential client. I have had success in marketing my skills to my desired clients and have picked up a lot of work in my favorite field. One client has 125 games they want me to translate and they find me through Facebook. I think social media makes that interaction a little more fluid and it's easier to focus on those that I want to work with. I don't think it should be the only tool, but it certainly can be a valuable one.

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