Are Hispanics Really More Social?


When my friend Manny Ruiz asked me to speak about Hispanics and social media at the first annual Hispanic PR and Social media conference in Dallas on May 11th 2010 I thought I would address a question that is on the minds of many marketers today.

Are Hispanics really more social?

Getting to the bottom of this question is critical because there seems to be a disconnect among Hispanic marketers when it comes to social media. On one hand, there are countless studies indicating that Hispanics are extremely engaged with social media. On the other hand, few marketers are proactively leveraging social media to reach online Hispanics.

Hispanics Are More Social, Really

In the past year numerous studies have clearly demonstrated that Hispanics are actively using social media in large numbers. Here are three points to consider:

1. A critical mass of US Hispanics use social media websites

In January 2010, the most popular websites among Hispanics, in order, where Google, Yahoo! Microsoft and Facebook. comScore Media Metrics indicates that 10.55 million Hispanics, or 45% of online Hispanics now use Facebook.

2. US Hispanics are tech savvy and love the Internet

The 2010 AOL Hispanic Cyberstudy paints a clear picture of online Hispanics today. They are young, affluent, have large households and are “more enthusiastic about the benefits of the Internet than the General Market”. What’s more, the study shows that Hispanics are more sophisticated technology users.

3. Hispanics are extremely engaged social media users

A recent report from Tamara Barber at Forrester Research indicates that Hispanics over index the general market across all Social Technographic® segments especially “when it comes to high-order” social media “activities”.

Using social media to reach Hispanics is a no brainer, or is it?

Given the data, it is surprising that 78% of companies surveyed in a recent Orcí survey are not using social media to engage Hispanics. What’s more 74% of those surveyed do not know if social media is a viable way to engage Hispanics.

I understand. Social media marketing is a new marketing discipline with many challenges. It falls in an awkward space between digital marketing and public relations that few marketing agencies can fill. Social media marketing requires creative thinking and writing, human resources who understand the Hispanic culture and social Internet, budgets, and, yes, approval from legal.

Add that to the fact that Hispanic budgets and resources are scarce, it’s no surprise that Hispanic social media marketing lacks the priority it deserves.
That said, social media is here to stay, and marketers who fail to accept this reality will be left behind.

To me, using social media to reach Hispanics is a no-brainer for two simple reasons:

1. A critical mass of Hispanics are actively using social media
2. Today, your competitors are not using social media to reach them

So are Hispanics more social? ¡Claro que sí!

They’re just waiting for you to talk to them.

Are you using social media to engage with Hispanics? If so it would be great to hear what your experience has been. If not, why not?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Terrie Petree

    Thanks for this post. As a web analyst and content strategist for a large healthcare company in San Diego, I’m storing up articles like this one to keep in our arsenal; we’re preparing for the day when we have to justify our Spanish social media presence and prove why it is essential to our company’s marketing success. It seems like Hispanic marketing in a border town like San Diego would be a no-brainer, but for executives who haven’t yet delved into social media either on personal or professional levels, it can be tough to get them on board.

    However, we’re still missing the second element to our arsenal. On a team level, we understand why Spanish social media is important. There are endless amounts of statistics showing us that Hispanics are using social media. What we can’t find is information on how they’re using it. Or, how to engage them. Or, how to manage bilingual social media. Or, what Hispanics are looking for from social media. If anyone is talking about this, can you point me to where the conversation is taking place? And if we’re not talking about it, why aren’t we? We’re looking for real, specific strategies. Until we find them, we’ve been going it alone.

    Last month, we started making one Spanish post per day on our Facebook and Twitter pages. The response has been varied and rather surprising. So many people asked for English translations that we started including an English translation for each Spanish Facebook post in the comments. That approach has cut down on the “English please!” comments, but we’re still not engaging Spanish-speaking users at the level that we’d like to be.

    We would love to learn more about what is working for other Hispanic or bilingual marketers out there.

  2. Pingback: Hispanics are really more social | Hispanic Online Marketing

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