As marketing agencies learned how to market to women, teenagers and techies, soon enough the Hispanic community will be recognized for its purchasing power.
But why hasn’t it begun already? Let’s begin with some numbers.
According to the 2007 US Census, at least 34 million in the US speak Spanish and another 16 million of these speak English “less than very well”.
So where are all the tweets in Español? Dell may have made an unbelievable amount of money tweeting its deals in English but what company wouldn’t want to earn even more money with a 140-character advertisement in Spanish? (Dell Says It Has Earned $3 Million From Twitter) With the rising purchasing power of Hispanics in America, who would opt to ignore this potential client base?
Here are a few tired arguments that may give some insight to why an entire demographic is being ignored in the social media scene.
• Hispanics are not online.
This is an argument of circular logic error. If a Spanish speaking Hispanic has nothing to read or view in their language, why would they be online? Think about it personally. If tomorrow you awoke to find that many popular Internet sites were in Tagalog, everything from tweets to Youtube videos to product websites, how often would you go online?
Another part of this argument is the “getting online.” Gone are they days when you needed an expensive computer to get online, which was a barrier for many low-earning Hispanics.
Today there are many options for getting online, from eMachines costing under $300 to using a cell phone.
Hispanics have the tools to be online, but aren’t been drawn by anything, which leads us to argument two.
• Marketing to Hispanics is complicated.
While there are many dialects and regional differences among Hispanics, there is a common thread of basic life values, appreciation of life, family and friends that unites the Hispanic community. Many advertising companies understand this and have created commercials that feature family happiness instead of the products great price or incredible features.
Watch about an hour of Unvisión, one of the top Spanish TV networks, and you’ll get a general sense of the life values that tie most Hispanics together, whether they speak Spanish or English. Thus, when you’re thinking of creating online videos featuring your product or services, think of creating one targeting the Hispanic community.
• My business (non-profit or organization) does not offer services in Spanish so I don’t need to advertise in Spanish.
First, are you sure that you don’t have an employee or two that can aid customers who speak Spanish? I don’t mean a full conversation about the embargo or immigration policy, but basic communication. Secondly, Spanish speaking individuals need services just like everyone else, from tire changes to coffee and clothing, whether you advertise your services in Spanish or not, you may already have customers who don’t speak much English – because “two coffees to go” may be all that you hear from them (as well as 50% of your clients).
How does this apply? When you post events on Facebook and Twitter about your bakery offering discounts on blueberry pies, post it in Spanish too.
• My competition isn’t doing anything in Spanish.
This is actually one of the greatest mistaken ideas and the rationale behind this argument can apply to the three aforementioned arguments. That is to say, one thinks they don’t need to take action because nobody is out there to receive the action. Well, even if you don’t believe Hispanics are online (even Spanish speaking Hispanics) someone is going to figure out how to draw them there.
Someone, perhaps your competition, is going to start tweeting away in Español, keeping their website functioning in Spanish, and having marketing that speaks to the Hispanic community, both in language and values. Hopefully you are there when they arrive.
Online Media Consultant