Social Networking:
How to Get Right Up in Your Hispanic
Customer's Facebook

Social networking is making inroads and establishing important connections in today’s Hispanic world. Hispanics are passionate about staying connected and are actively using social networking as a way to stay in tune with their culture, friends and families here and abroad.

In fact, Hispanics are more likely to have an online profile than either the white or African-American Internet user. Because Hispanics generally have larger families and circles of friends than other groups, they are apt to be active on more than one social network.

So, where can you get to know what your customers are really thinking and talking about?

MySpace and Facebook are the two most popular social networks among Hispanics, with both sites hosting Spanish-language networks catering to this segment. In April 2009, comScore data showed MySpace topped the list of sites, reaching 47% of online Hispanics, who spent an average of more than four hours on the properties that month. Facebook reached nearly 31% of the audience, ranking second in the social networking realm, with visitors spending an average of two hours on the site in April.

English-dominant Hispanics are more likely than any other group to visit social networks frequently, according to a survey done by the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communications in March 2008 (the data was published in March 2009). African-Americans and Spanish-dominant Hispanics were virtually tied, at 27% of respondents in each group.

There is no doubt that the Hispanic audience online is growing steadily and rapidly. eMarketer estimates the Hispanic Internet population will increase 7.5% in 2009 to 22.9 million regular monthly users, while a total U.S. Internet population will only grow 3.3%.

With this explosive growth, should you focus more on English or Spanish? The answer is, balance. Marketers that are online have learned that simply translating their websites from English to Spanish does not make up for cultural differences among Hispanics. Colors, styles, music and content should reflect the cultural differences. MySpace allows users to customize their user profile pages, expressing their individuality. This may be the reason they are the number one social networking site for Hispanics. Subtle culture cues can go a long way in making a Hispanic user feel drawn to your online creative.

Lopez Negrete recognizes the importance and power of this channel, and the knowledge it requires to leverage it effectively. Activating this channel will require clients to develop smart social networking processes with their agency partners. These processes should include:

  • Understanding the target audience and their behaviors as they relate to social networking
  • Developing measurable goals and objectives
  • Identifying social networking stewards within their organization and agencies
  • Developing communication tactics for positive and negative content
  • Creating, posting and updating content
  • Evaluating and optimizing social networking campaigns against marketing objectives

Lopez Negrete runs banners and mini movie trailers for Los Angeles based client, NBC Universal on MySpace Latino where delivery of impressions over-indexes compared to the general market MySpace. For Squirt, we created a page on Facebook to get the buzz going about a Squirt promotion featuring Girl Talk, the hottest mashup master.

All in all, social networking has left its mark and will continue to do so in the future. Hispanics are reaching their connection potential and marketers are just beginning to recognize the various opportunities opening up to them within the segment. Those marketers who effectively engage in this channel will be able to build active, lasting relationships with online Hispanic social networkers.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter to discover the latest about our agency, our work, our people and how LNC has embraced this connection opportunity.

Sources:

Korzenny, Felipe & Vann, Lee. "Social Media Marketing Is A Multicultural World," MediaPost, 19 February 2009
eMarketer, February 2009
comScore Media Metrix, April 2009

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