There are about 2.7 million Facebook users in the U.S. who have listed Spanish as one of their languages, this according to the company’s own add tool. About a year ago, Inside Facebook reported that there were 1.6 million U.S. users who used Facebook in Spanish. All told, Facebook’s ad tool shows there are about 140 million U.S. users.
Earlier this year, or late last year, I remember beginning to see my friends add “Spanglish” to the list of languages they spoke, and while they were at it, they also added Spanish. Of course Facebook is prompting users to add this information for advertising purposes, as you can now see, if you are a business hoping to reach Facebook users in Spanish, there are 2.7 million people available to you. Another reason this figure may have grown by more than 1 million in the past year is that Facebook continues to register more and more users everyday, both inside and outside of the U.S. (obviously).
As I wrote last week, marketing to Latinos via social media is something that should be done strategically and with much thoughtfulness. After all, while Latinos are over-represented on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, they are under-represented on LinkedIn. While most Latinos in the U.S. speak English, there are many who primarily speak Spanish. And, while many Latinos using social media platforms like Facebook are likely bilingual, you have to consider that only a small slice of Facebook users are actually Spanish dominant with no English whatsoever.
This may help explain why, though I have Spanish listed on my languages, I can’t recall having seen an ad in Spanish on my feed. In any case, Facebook is probably not the first place a Spanish language advertiser would go, since the platform in this country is primarily in English. What’s more, if one wanted to reach Latinos in particular, that would be tricky given that Facebook’s ad tool currently does not provide matching based on Spanish surnames or ethnicity.
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD