In the heyday of social media, spreading information by word of mouth is old news. If you went to a restaurant and wanted to tell the world about your fantastic experience, or conversely, complain about your dining debacle, you could do so easily on websites like Yelp and UrbanSpoon. In fact, Yelp.com, since its inception in 2004, has collected more than 67 MILLION reviews. In addition, the website attracts on average 139 million visitors a month.
Your opinion matters. This main point is what websites reliant on user generated content are portraying to their users. And for the most part, reviews on these sites are pretty impactful. A report by Neilson titled “Global Trust and Brand Messages”, states that nearly 70% of global customers trust online reviews and use them when making buying decisions.
Why are these reviews so influential? According to Business Insider, people are more honest on the internet than they are in person. One reason for this is that is much easier to be critical from within the confines of your home, than stating your opinion to someone directly. Once those opinions are given in the form of a review, whether it be on Yelp for a restaurant, TripAdvisor for a hotel, or your favorite department store for a recent purchase, the reviews will influence the amount of traffic that said restaurant or hotel will generate when being searched online.
Let’s take Boston hotels for example. When searching for a hotel in Boston on TripAdvisor.com, the first three hotels that appear all have about one thousand reviews or more, a majority being positive reviews to have received a rating of 4/5 or greater. In addition, the site can link into your Facebook account to bring up reviews that your friends, or friends of friends, wrote to further influence your decision to stay at said hotel.
However, there is one drawback to user generated content. More times than not, there is no ability to translate the content into other languages. When browsing through Yelp and TripAdvisor, there is the option to filter for reviews in certain languages; however in a time where having multiple perspectives is highly valued, not being able to understand some of the reviews is quite a loss.
Take France for example. France is the world’s leading tourist destination, attracting 84.7 million foreign tourists in 2013 alone. Of those tourists, 83% are European. This can result in many reviews being written in foreign languages, leaving potentially valuable information unintelligible to other viewers.
Luckily, we have a solution for this problem. Lionbridge OnDemand offers several types of language translation and localization solutions. Within our Document Translation sector, we offer a service specifically for user generated content. We understand that content types such as customer reviews, product descriptions, social media, forums, short form, and customer surveys often require a tailored approach that maintains human authenticity and tone, while forgoing literal translation mistakes. We are able to provide these services AND cut the cost of professional translation by 50%. Most importantly, all translations are done 100% by native speakers who specialize in this type of work.
Check out our website at OnDemand.lionbridge.com.