Facebook Pages have a feature that help multilingual churches publish one post in multiple languages, removing the need for “double posting” or creating multiple business pages.
What language displays on your post depends on who’s viewing the post. For example, if a viewer’s default language on Facebook is English, then that’s the post they will see, no matter what other translated versions you made available. This applies even when the post is shared and is being viewed from another page / timeline.
Step One: Turn the Feature On
The feature to have your post in multiple languages isn’t available automatically. Page administrators have to manually to their settings and turn it on. [Note: you can turn this feature on for your personal profile as well.]
- Go to your Page’s Settings.
- Under “General”, scroll down until you reach “Post in Multiple Languages.” (See below.)
- Click “Edit” and check the box in order to turn the feature on.
- Save your changes
Step Two, Pt. 1: Create your Post
When you click the blank space at the top of your page, you’ll notice that you’re now given the option to write your post in another language.
If you don’t see this, go back to your Page’s setting and check to see if you turned on the feature. Be sure to save your changes before leaving the page!
Begin typing in your languages of choice!
Not sure yet if there’s a limit to the number of languages you can add. (I added more than 15 at one time and was never prompted to stop.)
COOL FEATURE: If you type your message in the default section first, then add a second language, Facebook will automatically translate your text in the language you chose. Now, this translation usually isn’t great, so don’t rely on this. I personally like using it as a reference for different verb conjugations, but then will immediately replace it with my own custom translation.
PRO TIP: If your post includes an image that contains copy in only one language, use the additional versions of the post to translate that as well. Include it either at the top of the post (short text) or incorporate it into the overall message that include dates and times, for example.
Note that this feature can only used on the desktop computer, not the Facebook mobile app or the Facebook Pages app. You also cannot add additional languages while a post is still unpublished (meaning it’s only been scheduled or saved as a draft.)
You can, however, add translations to a published post made via mobile, so there’s that!
Emojis can only be added using Facebook’s emoji button for the first / default language, but you can copy and paste the icons on to the other translations. They may look like squares and basic symbols sometimes, but will look perfectly fine once you publish.
Setting Your “Default” Language
If someone visits your page and has their Facebook set to a language you didn’t provide a translation for, they will automatically see whatever language is set as “default.” An ideal practice would be to make sure this is set to English or whatever your country’s audience’s primary language is.
Step Three: Publish
Once you’re message is ready to go, you can publish!
Double-check your translations by switching languages on the original post. You can also include a new language at any time if you need to. This can also be done by clicking the top-right arrow and choosing the “Edit Post” option.
(Only page admins and editors can see the different language options on the post.)
Special Guest Raquel Serrano
Check out the Facebook Live interview with Raquel.
Be sure to like the Social Church Facebook Page for future tips.