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Five insights into the hearts and minds of Hispanic consumers on social media

Angela Ruiz

With a fast-growing population of 56 million and a buying power that is expected to top $1.7 trillion by 2020, the U.S. Hispanic community represents a unique emerging demographic that is now as big as India, but fully domestic.

And while brands have sharpened their understanding about how to target U.S. Latino audiences through traditional TV and radio, the same is not always true about how they engage Hispanics online, especially through social media. Here are five insights that will bolster your efforts…


1. Start by understanding online tendencies.

The first step to effectively engage Latinos through social media is to understand their online behaviors.

A recent Nielsen study, Descubrimiento Digital: The Online Lives of Latinx Consumers, for example, reveals that:

  • Hispanics over-index for the amount of time they spend on social media with 52% spending at least one hour per day on these sites, compared with 38% of non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Hispanics share social-media content five times more often than non-Hispanic Whites.


2. “In-culture” matters more than “in-language”

While it is always ideal to create targeted programs for Latinos that are in Spanish, English, and/or bilingual, in many cases it’s just as effective – if not more so – to create ideas that showcase elements of Latino culture, such as Latino foods, sports, and/or traditions.


3. Education, empowerment, and social cause resonate

Latinos have always been very vocal and active in social and political causes that appeal to them via educational and community-empowerment themes. For example, a recent Nielsen study reveals that “57% of Hispanics agree they are more likely to purchase brands that support a cause they care about (over-indexing non-Hispanic Whites by 9%), [while] 43% agree they expect the brands they buy to support social causes (over-indexing by 26%).”

To get a sense of the brands that do this best with the Hispanic community look no further than Toyota (#SomosImparables), Prudential (#PruParate), and Wells Fargo (#LatinoPerfectPitch). These companies, and others such as Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, and MillerCoors, are behind many of the best Hispanic social-media programs that leverage themes of social good, entrepreneurship, education, and empowerment.

4. The Latino influencer space is strong and mature

Digital influencers are an important component of any digital strategy – and that is absolutely true for brands targeting the U.S. Latino community. U.S. Hispanic content creators can deliver your message to niche audiences via authentic content that can be in English, Spanish, and/or bilingual.

While many of the nation’s top Millennial creators include superstars such as LeJuan James, Lele Pons, and Rudy Mancuso – and if you are not familiar with them, you should be – it’s important to note that there are thousands of other influencers that might be smaller, but are in many ways more targeted and affordable.

The nice thing about the Hispanic influencer space is that over the last several years it has become very mature, is easy to work with, and adheres to the stringent FTC disclosure standards that brands have become accustomed to.

5. Comedy sells

Speaking of content creators, don’t overlook the fact that many of the nation’s best digital video creators are Hispanic – and a key reason is because comedy is a big part of Latino culture. Comedy heavyweights such Jenny Lorenzo (Abuela) and MexicanGueys regularly develop content that resonates with Latino audiences.

Here are a couple of culturally relevant videos that Lorenzo did for Amazon and the MexicanGueys did for Turbo Tax.

Influencers such as these are perfect ambassadors for consumer, food, automotive, and electronic brands that want to incorporate a comedic approach to their campaigns. With the U.S. Hispanic market, brands can use comedy to make some serious traction.

Angela Sustaita-Ruiz is a founding partner of Hispanicize Media Group, the parent company of the annual Hispanicize Event and a multi-platform media organization that specializes in programming for multicultural Millennials and Generation Z consumers.


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