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Social Media Survival Skills: Tips for Reaching U.S. Hispanics

Many companies are adapting to the United States’ shifting demographics by serving Hispanic customers with Spanish-language marketing content.

Brands have an opportunity to gain market share over their competitors, considering that about 75% of U.S. Hispanics speak Spanish at home, and  most of them are more loyal to companies that cater to them in Spanish.

But before forming a strategy to target this demographic, it’s critical to understand the unique ways U.S. Hispanics use social media.

Social media use among U.S. Hispanics is soaring

Rates of social media usage are increasing, especially among U.S. Spanish speakers. According to Viant research, 50% of Hispanic millennial shoppers report either discussing a brand online or using a brand’s hashtag — significantly more than the 17% of the general population that does the same.

That’s not an outlying statistic; it’s the norm. U.S. Hispanics use Instagram and Snapchat more frequently than other market segments, too, according to the 2016 Nielsen Social Media report.  

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The potential for engaging a Spanish-speaking audience with social media is significant and should not be ignored.

Understand where and how U.S. Hispanics connect online

Social media usage is clearly on the rise for Hispanics, but to market to this group successfully, prioritize their preferred channels. Here’s where and how you’ll find them on social:

Facebook. The “king” of social media channels, Facebook is used by 67% of adults overall. U.S. Hispanics use it at an even higher rate of 73%, according to Pew research.  Nearly half of Hispanic Americans view Facebook as a great place to share information about brands.

Instagram. Of Instagram’s 13.1 million Spanish-speaking users, 31% (4.1 million) prefer to use Spanish, and prefer Instagram accounts that offer Spanish-language content.

YouTube. Three-fourths of Hispanic consumers use YouTube to learn about products and services. One in every two Hispanic smartphone users favor mobile video ads that authentically depict Hispanic culture.

Best practices for engaging U.S. Hispanic consumers

As companies seek to drive engagement with U.S. Hispanics online, they should consider following these best practices:

Communicate in both English and Spanish. U.S. Hispanics are largely bilingual, and appreciate brands that communicate with them in both languages. Brands that offer bilingual content on social channels are more likely to be viewed as authentic, leading to stronger online brand engagement.

Set up a Spanish-language social media account. McDonald’s has used this strategy effectively to engage Hispanics on its Spanish-language Facebook page, as noted in a previous post. Brands can use social media platforms to serve up Spanish-language content and interact with Hispanic customers.

Leverage influencers to build trust. Hispanics are influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations. Brands can leverage this trend by connecting with Hispanic influencers who are genuine and appropriate brand representatives.

Maintain a consistent brand voice across all channels. Your company’s social posts, website and offline documents should communicate the same brand voice and tone.

Brands get the best results with localized social media when they use digital localization solutions optimized for omnichannel and consult with marketing experts fluent in the language and culture of U.S. Hispanic consumers.

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