An interesting study from NM Incite took a look at what and who is influencing Latinos in the social media sphere. The study found that, in some cases, Latinos are over-represented on sites like MySpace, but Giovanni Rodriguez reported that Latinos are under-represented on LinkedIn. The NM study points out:
Hispanics tend to over-index in their consumptions of social networking websites like Myspace, YouTube, and Twitter. What’s more is that online Hispanics are generally “more active than non-Hispanics” and continue to “lead the market in online social behavior.” (Forrester 2010) Hispanics often discuss cultural values that reflect their family, friends, and social connections.
The study then notes that 78% of companies in the U.S. have not reached out to Latinos via social media. And, when they do, sometimes it’s a little off. For example, State Farm Insurance recently launched a Facebook Page, State Farm Latino, that has the text mostly in Spanish. This seems off, as I said, because only about 1.6 million people in the U.S. use Facebook in Spanish, and as the Pew Hispanic Center has reported, most Latinos in the U.S. are English dominant.
Which is, perhaps why the NM study goes on to give a few tips when marketing to Latinos: understand your audience (as in cultural nuances between different ethnic sub-groups), choose your language wisely, be culturally relevant and pay attention to influencers in these communities. Then, as I mentioned previously, there was an interesting perspective from Rodriguez:
–LinkedIn may be the next bellwether of Latino influence. More and more, I am finding myself in discussions about the under-representation of Latinos in the business world — the world that LinkedIn is trying to map. I often ask, are we merely under-represented or are we also invisible?
–Are Latinos on Linked-In identified? A large part of the online Latino experience is self-identification. Not sure how NM Incite got their LinkedIn numbers, but you’d have to somehow factor in all the folks who don’t carry Latino surnames.
We’ve written before about how Latinos are poised to be the perfect social media consumers, and how companies like Google are responding by zeroing-in on this group. Ultimately, groups like LATISM and companies themselves are each going to test, scrutinize, experiment, triumph and fail until a standard marketing method for Latinos comes to be. If you want to be successful marketing to Latinos with social media, you need to do a few essential things: you have to understand the tools (social media platforms), you have to understand your audience (listen to what Latinos are already saying), you have to know who you’re selling to (as the study points out, which ethnic group or language group) and then you have to monitor how you’re doing.
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD[Image By Ivanpw]