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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why Social Media Marketing to Reach Hispanics?

There is a lot of talk about social media, user generated content, and Web 2.0. Marketing and outreach via social media to Hispanics is a very promising touchpoint. First let me clarify that we are not talking about the traditional field of social marketing in which the product is usually a social service, or a product that will improve the life of users with relatively little or no benefit to the one generating the message, like a health promotion campaign. Well, that is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about Social Media Marketing, like using LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Plaxo Pulse, or any other social media now visited online, to create brand awareness, product/service purchases, and perhaps brand loyalty and a continued brand relationship.

Social Media Marketing is particularly interesting in the case of Hispanics. After conducting several studies with different cultural groups online ( http://hmc.comm.fsu.edu/ ) we have discovered that Hispanics are particularly interested in new technology, having their own personal blogs and websites. This is likely due to the social nature of Hispanics who see Social Media as a way to keep in touch and maintain relationships. As these new technologies are important to Hispanics, Marketers and other entities who want to reach out to Hispanics online can set up their interactive sites in the multiple Social Media outlets available, and create buzz about something. Clearly, this has to be an attractive and useful site, but once a take-off point of interactivity has been reached, the site feeds itself and creates further enthusiasm about the brand, topic, product, etc.

Social Media Marketing is not expected to be solely attractive to Hispanics. Hispanics, nevertheless, have a strong propensity to affiliate and create networks. Now that interpersonal communication is moving from face-to-fact to virtual, Social Media marketing has great potential for creating legitimate emotional links, particularly among Hispanics.

A strategy for Social Media Marketing has to be carefully formulated, managed, and orchestrated to be effective. Companies like Captura Group ( http://www.capturagroup.com/ ) are examining the conceptual underpinning on the use of Social Media Marketing to create loyal following among Hispanic consumers.

On the Web everything is transparent. A company or entity cannot succeed with a Social Media Strategy by misleading consumers. Legitimacy and truthfulness are crucial for establishing long term relationships. That is the virtue of this new medium, that it is a legitimate way of creating long term, honest, relationships.

Interactivity on the Web is now making Social Media Marketing more power than television, radio, newspapers, and magazines ( http://hmc.comm.fsu.edu/ ). The future in marketing to Hispanics is here.

2 comments:

Jed said...

A brand's ability to open itself up to the transparency and interactivity offered by social media will be essential to its survival in the coming years.

Current modes of company/consumer interaction are borne of systems that are rapidly becoming obsolete (e.g. traditional telephone customer service, static online content, snail mail). Social media services create channels of communication and, as you say, relationship building never before seen. Brands can only ignore them at their peril.

I'm certain that the online Hispanic audience will react enthusiastically to social marketing initiatives, given the importance they place on social ties. The future is here, and it's going to be awesome.

Lee said...

I came across this article that shows the countries where Facebook is growing the fastest and the top four are in Latin America. Seems to support your hypothesis.

http://www.insidefacebook.com/2008/07/29/tracking-facebooks-2008-international-growth-by-country/