The Road Less Traveled: The Power of Hispanics & Social Media
Close your eyes and imagine. Think of a United States where 1 out of 6 people are Hispanic. Imagine that Hispanics account for one quarter of all babies born, and 95% of the teen population growth through 2020 (3). Consider a place where the word “minority” no longer defines the Latino population. Now open your eyes and look around. This is not a fantasy, it is a reality. As Univision states in their promotional video, Hispanics are the “New American Reality”, they are young, bicultural and heavy users of technology. So doesn’t it make sense to start funneling advertising dollars towards social media?
The obvious answer is YES! But that response has yet to reach through the ranks as only 22% of corporations that participated in the 2010 Hispanic Marketing Trends Survey initiated a social media campaign targeting Hispanics (4 p.9). As of now, there are currently over 13.5 million registered Hispanic users on Facebook. On MySpace, sometimes referred to as the “abandoned amusement park of the Internet,” over 20% of users are Hispanics, thanks to their revamped efforts to target Generation Y Latinos (1). Still not impressed? Here is another fact: Hispanics control 17% of the Twitter market (4 p.27). Basically, what all this means is that they are actively participating in social mediums and the numbers are only going to continue to grow.
Hispanics are predicted to account for over 15% of the entire online population by 2014 (4 p.12). That is not far down the road and it is time for corporations to start thinking twice about actively pursuing this market; a market that has over $1 trillion in spending power. So why tap into social media to do the job? Hispanics love peer-to-peer communications and “are more likely to forward opinions and information about a brand compared to their Caucasian counterparts” (2). Most Hispanics will spend their times on blogs and social media sites sharing their opinions and communicating with friends and family. Since they are already there, why not meet them halfway and help cater to their experience? They want engagement and they want it now. Reaching this new bilingual, bicultural population can also help cover both spectrums of the Hispanic market. Social media allows them to spread their influence to Spanish and English dominant speakers. It is like killing two birds with one stone, for lack of a better analogy.
Whether it is through mobile phones or computers, Hispanics are constantly engaged in online activities. In fact, 71% of Hispanics download and consume mobile content compared to only 48% for the overall marketplace, according to comScore data (4 p.35). There is substantial evidence to back up these claims and solidify reasons for targeting Hispanics in social media; enough to fill a 40 page research document.
If this article does not even spark interest in learning more about the Hispanic market in social media, then nothing will. Perhaps looking at competitors profits in the coming years will provide an incentive to go where the money is; but by then, it might be too late. It may seem like a risk at first, but so is any successful invention or enterprise start-up. Thirty years ago very few people could have predicted that the Hispanic market would be as big as it is today. The people who saw potential for a new market jumped in and went along for the prosperous ride down an unknown road. That road has a new lane, digital media.
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(1) Carrera, Jacquelynn. “Myspace Targeting Gen Y Hispanics in an Effort to Complement Facebook » Hispanic Market Info.” Hispanicmarketinfo.com. Hispanic Market Info, 27 Oct. 2010. Web. 05 July 2011. .
(2) Fox News Latino. “Young Latinos Want Bicultural Content, Says Bilingual Channel – Fox News Latino.” Latino.foxnews.com. Fox News Network, 23 June 2011. Web. 05 July 2011. .
(3) Garcia, Guy. “Guy Garcia: Are Hispanics the New American Reality? Claro Que Si! But Will They Get Their Own Museum? Quien Sabe.” Huffingtonpost.com. HuffPost News, 20 May 2011. Web. 05 July 2011. .
(4) Jacobson, Adam R. “The 2010 U.S. Hispanic Social Media & Marketing Overview. «.” Hispanicad.com. Hispanic Ad, Feb. 2010. Web. 05 July 2011. .