Is This Group 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 coming up on May 11, 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, many 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 U.S. Hispanics uses social media websites

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

2. U.S. 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 [is] 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 in a recent Orcí survey reported they 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 is 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?

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2 comments about "Is This Group Really More Social? ".
  1. Lazaro Fuentes from Hip Venture Company, Inc. , April 8, 2010 at 12:59 p.m.

    The problem is that "Hispanic" continues to be a footnote in general marketing budgets, if at all considered, let alone social media marketing budgets.

    Also, it is assumed that "Hispanic" marketing means that you have to be in Spanish. Not true.

    Finally, the hardest part to understand is that even though they read all of the studies mentioned above and know that these are relevant facts, marketers still have a psychological hurdle seeing Hispanics as 1. Early adopters of technologies and 2. more frequent users of technologies... i.e. Social Media.

    Necessity will bring those marketing budgets around eventually. You can only ignore 25% of the active retail spending market for so long.

    Lazaro Fuentes
    CEO
    www.hipchicas.com

  2. Gabriel Alvarez from LLOnline Blogera, LLC , May 7, 2010 at 12:10 p.m.

    Where's the fiesta at??