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Let me start off this post by telling you a little bit of relevant information about myself.  While I was born and raised in Northern New Jersey, I am a second generation Hispanic.  Both my parents and also my oldest brother were born in Colombia, South America.  Being Colombian is not only what my heritage is but it is who I am to the core.  I couldn’t imagine what life would be like if I could not proudly proclaim that I am a Hispanic American.

As a second generation Hispanic I speak both English and Spanish fluently.  I feel quite fortunate that I grew up with this added skill that until I became an adult, I took for granted.  I never realized the doors it would open for me.  Early in my professional career I was asked to become part of a Hispanic Affinity group for Newell Rubbermaid.  I was a member of this group (both corporate and regional committees) for nearly 7 years.   It was as a member of these groups that I discovered my fascination for Hispanic marketing and understanding that demographic.  Perhaps it’s the connection I feel with them or because they are such a sought after demographic.  Whatever the reason, I know that anytime I can focus my attention to understanding them better, I always jump at the opportunity.

npr

With that notion in mind, I was excited to find out that Latinos are embracing social media.  Infact, NPR’s Tell me More with Michel Martin recently hosted a Google+ Hangout on air where they focused on Emerging Latinos and Innovations and went on to discuss Hispanics and the important roll social media plays with this demographic.  One of their main topics of discussion was that Latinos have become an emerging force with Hispanic adults being 25 percent more likely to follow a brand and 18 percent more likely to follow a celebrity than the general online population.  With statistics like this, it really makes it a no brainer that businesses should be attempting to reach this powerful demographic through social media marketing.  The discussion went on to suggest that social media may be the most powerful form of media that Latinos have that allows them to harness their growing strength socially, economically and politically.  If brands want to win with this demographic, then including them in their social media marketing strategies is a must.

More importantly, this demographic doesn’t seem to be slowing down.  On the contrary, at 33.5 million individuals, the U.S. Hispanic online market is growing at explosive rates.  What was most surprising to me however was that this demographic still remains a relatively untapped segment.  Are you as surprised at that fact as I was? That means there is HUGE potential being left on the table just waiting for the right brand to tap into this powerful market.  Like many other demographics, the internet has become central in the lives of millions of Latinos.  It is a viable way for companies to be able to connect and interact with this demographic in a cost-effective, quantifiable, constant and direct manner.   In short, if you aren’t communicating to Hispanics online then you really should start.  I mean, unless you like leaving money on the table for other brands to jump in and communicate to and take away potential costumers.  Then by all means, ignore the buying potential of Latinos and the need of including them in your online marketing communication plans.

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this subject matter.  Were you as surprised as I was to find out that Hispanics are a relatively untapped online segment?

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