Intern Blog: Hispanic Social Media Trends

by CarolynChinchilla on June 29, 2009 · 0 comments

in Blog

Social media is ubiquitous in American culture, but how is this trend reflected in the Hispanic market? Research has shown that Internet access, personal behavior, and culture all determine the likelihood of individual participation in social media. The first two categories can be studied with clear demographics, technographics, and data. When it comes to rich and diverse Hispanic culture, however, there are nuances that need to be taken into account for each initiative.

Can I bum a straw?
If you are reaching out to a Hispanic audience, the first factor to consider is language. Every dialect (some countries have many) has unique slang and colloquialisms. In Colombia, pitillo is “straw”, but translates to “cigarette” in Spain. When marketing to the general Hispanic market, Business Spanish is the standard used by multi-national corporations and translators because it is void of slang and regional nuances to reach the broadest audience.

Niche markets within the Hispanic market.
In contrast to the general Hispanic market, social media allows marketers to target specific nationalities withing the Hispanic community when appropriate. Let’s say there is a soccer game between Mexico and the U.S. teams and you want to promote your services while the city’s enormous Mexican population is energized about the game. In this case, you can safely approach them with a nationalized marketing message that is more colloquial. Such niche messaging would give you more credibility, helping better connect with the fans.

The bilingual generation gap.
Communispace, a company that specializes in private, online communities, recently released research about Hispanic engagement in social networks. The study reports that they are very active in online forums, contributing almost six posts a week, more than similar English-language communities. Second-generation Hispanics are less likely to participate in Spanish-only forums, perhaps feeling more comfortable in bilingual or English environments. These Hispanic-Americans typically are better at speaking Spanish than writing it therefore your communication strategy should be tuned to such cultural insights.