By the Numbers: Hispanics and Latinos in Social Media

Angelo Fernandez | @abfsra Many companies, especially the smaller ones, don't target the Hispanic and Latino audience. Some businesses choose not to because they don't have research on the Hispanic/Latino base or aren't sure how to specifically market to them. But probably the biggest reason is the language barrier which many companies don't have the staff for. You have to have bilingual staff that can produce premium content in Spanish and interact with consumers in the language as well. But even those reasons shouldn't be enough to deter companies from this potential goldmine.

Over the last decade the Hispanic population in the U.S.  grew by 15.2 million. To put that in perspective the total population of the United States has increased 27.3 million over the last decade, meaning Hispanics have accounted for over half the total increase. As of 2010 Hispanics/Latinos accounted for roughly 16% of the entire population of the United States.

The growth is identical online, Hispanics are connecting twice as fast (14% to 7%) as the general market. Over the years and after various studies it has also become evident that Hispanics spend more time on their social media channels than many other demographic groups do.

And as you see from the numbers above, social media is a wonderfully easy and cost-effective way to reach out to the Hispanic/Latino audience. There are over 8 million on Twitter and over 13 million on Facebook. What is really interesting is that the language preferences for both platforms were nearly identical. Nearly half of online users preferred English, about 1/4 had no preference and roughly 1/3 would rather have their content in Spanish.

The organization #LATISM (Latinos in social media) has been formed as a place for people who use any social media channels to get together and interact among themselves. And as you can see from their 2011 Award Winners there is an incredibly wide array of Latinos/Hispanics using social media across different channels.

Although I haven't given any solutions on how to better market to Latinos/Hispanics, I hope that I have provided enough information for you and your business to begin going after that new audience. Every company, person and business will have their own solution and method but you can't simply ignore the growing presence of Latinos and Hispanics on social media.