Published on March 4, 2014
OLFQ-friendly Facebook A step-by-step guide for Quebec’s social media community managers on Facebook www.michellesullivan.ca
Chelsey Quebec clothing store owner Eva Cooper received a letter from Quebec’s Office de la langue française informing her that her page on Facebook contravened Quebec’s language laws regarding the use of French in business. She was told she needed to provide French language content when engaging with the public through social networks like Facebook. What’s a Quebec small business owner who wants to engage with anglophones to do?
It’s very simple
Facebook has a feature, accessible to all Facebook page managers, which allows them to target linguistic groups when publishing content. It’s easy to use. And l’OLFQ has confirmed that Quebec businesses who use this feature appropriately are in compliance with Quebec’s language laws.
This a step-by-step guide to ensure compliance while maintaining your Facebook page as a dynamic destination for your target audiences.
Step 1: familiarize yourself with Facebook’s language settings.
Understand that Facebook users around the world can set Facebook parameters to their language of choice.
Step 2: Prepare content in French as well as in English
Step 3: Upload your content but select the Public option before you hit Post
Step 4: Select Location/Language
Step 5: Target by language Note: it is good practice to select all options when several present. This way, you reach francophones who have their parameters set to Français (Canada) as well as those who have set to Français (France).
Step 6: Check to ensure your post is set to Custom
Step 7: Publish by clicking on Post
Et voilà! OLFQ approved. Only francophones will see this content, either when they visit your page, or in their Facebook News Feed.
And what about your English language content? Rinse and repeat. Repeat Steps 3 – 7 that is, uploading English language content this time, and selecting to target anglophones. Again, this is OLFQ approved.
Why do I see both posts on my page? This is normal. As the administrator of a Facebook page, you have access to all content, which means you’ll see posts in both languages. Your users, however, will not. They will view your content based on how they’ve set their Facebook parameters.
What about comments? L'OLFQ does not hold businesses responsible for the conversations their Facebook fans may have on their page ... meaning they don't need to ensure that discussion is being held in French only ... they only need to ensure that the content they themselves publish is available in French. Which then allows a business to also provide that same content in English. Business can respond to anyone who comments on their posts in that person’s language.
The Fido brand is a good case study (full disclosure : I know this brand well because I was a social media specialist in the employ of Rogers from 2012 to 2014)
Depending on your Facebook settings, you will see Fido content in either French or English when you visit their page on Facebook. Fido is a national brand, with markets in both English and French Canada. Fido representatives engage with users in the language of their choice.
www.facebook.com/fidomobile What you see if your Facebook parameters are set to French What you see if your Facebook parameters are set to English
www.facebook.com/fidomobile Fido representatives in conversation with a francophone Fido representatives in conversation with an anglophone
And there you go. It’s easy to be OLFQ compliant when you understand how to navigate Facebook’s language tools. Any questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources • Bonnes pratiques linguistiques dans les entreprises. OLFQ, 2013. http://www.francaisautravail.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Bonnes-pratiques-19-3-2013-complet.pdf • French bulldog. Jurate Virkutiene. http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=29265&picture=french-bulldog-nora-white-background • English Cocker Spaniel. Pharoah Hound. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:English_Cocker_Spaniel_black_portrait.jpg?uselang=fr • Fido on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/fidomobile
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