Social Media Explodes Across Latin America

Remember the social media explosion of Facebook and Twitter here in the United States back in early 2009? When Facebook was growing at a rate of 600,000 users per day1 and Tweets were being tweeted at a rate of 100 million per quarter?2  It is happening again, but this time in Latin America (LatAm). Just last year alone the growth of social media usage in LatAm was staggering. ComScore, Inc., an Internet marketing research company, conducted a study in October 2011 study of social media activity around the world. The results found that Latin American countries surpassed the top 10 global markets when ranked by average social networking hours per visitor. Out of the 10 countries on the list, half of them were countries from LatAm3 making Facebook the top social media platform. A major contributing factor is in 2011, Latin America’s online population grew faster than any other global region. A 16% increase that totaled 129.3 million visitors. Eight out of 10 Latin Americans that access the Internet in LatAm use social media. The only region in the world that currently surpasses those numbers is the United States. In 2011, the Latin American countries that were most engaged with social media were Argentina, which averaged 10.7 hours per visitor in December 2011, followed by Chile with 9.5 hours, Peru with 8.7 hours, Colombia with 7.6 hours and Mexico with 7.1 hours.3 The four most popular social media platforms in the region are Facebook dominating in first place, Windows Live Profile in second, Orkut in third, whose audience comes mostly from Brazil and finally Twitter. Despite placing 4th place, like Facebook, Twitter has grown significantly with an impressive 60% increase in users last year, reaching 27 million visitors. There are many reasons for the quick growth. The most important reason is with the growing economy in Latin America, the governments of many countries are investing millions in expanding high-speed internet access, thus being able to provide quality internet service to a greater number of...

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Mobile Recall: Targeting Smartphone Users Part 1

It is becoming impossible to escape digital advertisements these days as smartphones and tablets continue to become more advanced. In the past few years, mobile devices with Internet connectivity have transitioned from luxury to necessity: Lost? Just use the GPS that comes with your phone; hungry? Here is a list of restaurants within a five mile radius. It is as if access to 3G or Wi-Fi networks has become a basic physiological need, fitting into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs bottom tier along with air, food and water. Because people are so dependent on their smartphones and digital media devices, they are inevitability exposed to a wide range of online advertisements. But, what types of advertisements are people actually remembering? For instance, when I download a free app on my iPhone, I know that I’m giving a way for advertisers to target me; however, I’m not too concerned because I’d rather save the $2.07 (the average cost of an app according to 148apps.biz). After I make a move on Words with Friends or in between every five or so songs on Pandora, I’m hit with an advertisement. What may alarm advertisers is I don’t tend to remember any of them, begging the question exactly how effective are the ads in the first place? What type of Internet ads are the most successful (as measured by sales/brand recall) such as: Are people more likely to respond to personalized ads like those found on Google and Facebook? Or are people more likely to notice and remember pop-up or banner ads found on any webpage? Although this blog is proposing more questions than it is answering, one thing is clear: we take online advertisements with us everywhere we go. According to George L. San Jose, President and Chief Operating Officer of The San Jose Group, “Advertising must connect emotionally with the audience it is targeting for the best chance of engagement and recall. Mobile is no different. Most companies buy ad placement, forgetting about the emotional connection.” Despite my...

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