Hispanic marketing ain’t what it used to be. Spanish language media is no longer the exclusive territory of a consumer that now straddles across media and language. Long gone are the days where Latino consumers could be put into a box. And social media is the most vivid example of how Latinos put content preferences first and language second.

What Clients Want

When it comes to how to target Latinos via social media, there’s not a clear approach. And many times, brands fall into the temptation to put Latinos into a box.

These temptations normally come in one of these forms:

  1. Draw a language barrier: target Latinos only in Spanish (i.e., “put your brand here” in EspaƱol).
  2. Create a Latino sub-component within their mainstream platform (i.e., a Spanish/Hispanic tab on their mainstream Facebook page).
  3. Add some postings in Spanish, from time to time, on the mainstream wall .

Unfortunately, this is not aligned with consumers’ expectations. Latinos want to be part of the overall conversation and not isolated. No one wants to go to a big party (your brand’s main Facebook page) and have to be segregated (the Hispanic tab).

Also, these approaches can create negative reactions from your non-Latino visitors as you can see in the example below.

facebook-sears-latino

In the Beginning It Was the Strategy

Here are some thoughts for brands that want to leverage social media to target Latinos.

  1. Don’t approach it as an “extension” of what you are doing in the general market. It’s about building a specific/relevant Hispanic effort, not a Spanish one.
  2. The Latino social media strategy should be aligned with your overall Hispanic strategy. Initial planning should be based on what the Hispanic opportunity for your business is and how social media can contribute to it.
  3. Your Latino social media platform should complement and supplement your general market one. Most Latinos might stop interacting with both.
  4. Use a bilingual approach: plan to generate conversations in both English and Spanish, within your Hispanic social media platform, in order to not alienate consumers.

An interesting example is “Madres y Comadres,” a miniseries developed by Kmart that focuses on the challenges that Latino moms face raising a family in America. The webisodes are styled to resemble a mock telenovela and are in Spanish. Yet the interaction on Twitter happens in both languages. Kmart also has a Hispanic presence on Facebook with the Smart Latina fan page. In this case, the conversation is basically in English.

More: ClickZ