Social Media in the Hispanic Market

Angelo Fernandez | @angelobfs

There are more Hispanics involved online today than there have ever been. Social media is a key source of news, communication, and entertainment for the online Hispanic crowd. Many of the popular social media websites, blogs, personal music sites and video sharing sites are now being visited by an increasing amount of Spanish-speaking users. Hispanics in the U.S. are flocking to networking sites to connect with others who share the same ideals, thoughts and philosophies. More and more cellular phones are coming with internet capabilities allowing those Hispanics who are without computers to join in online social media activities. Almost all of the large social networking sites are creating Spanish versions of their websites to allow for the portion of non-English speaking users to have access to their websites and smaller sites are following suit; the sites are being met with great enthusiasm. This plays into Hispanic Marketing 2.0 and companies hoping to offer social media platforms for their Spanish-speaking users. Hispanics in the social media age are redefining the standards for marketers and advertisers in the new internet-enabled world. Over the past few years there has been a large decrease in traditional word-of-mouth influence from friends and family in the Hispanic communities. Just like the rest of the population, Hispanics have been empowered by the transition to digital and are highly engaged with digital and social content. And according to e-Marketer, “Online video either offers a greater range of Spanish-language content, or is able to overcome language barriers altogether due to the visual nature of the medium.” A report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that, “While online non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks use Twitter at 5 percent and 13 percent respectively, 18 percent of Hispanics online are Twitter users, and difference that is statistically significant.” Now tie that with the fact that Hispanic population growth from 2001 to 2011 accounted for 52% of total U.S. population growth and you've got a new booming market that is ripe for the taking. Companies and marketers must embrace social media and online activities that are designed to be inclusive and reach a larger audience, including the Hispanic audiences, via a “total market” approach. There is always the traditional method of translating the exact same advertisement or commercial that you would normally run in the original language. But one of the latest techniques actually appeals to the bilingual audience by having a situation that is highly relavent to the Hispanic audience while keeping the advertisements in English to appeal to a much broader audience.