Media experts agree that social media is the gateway to U.S. Hispanics, the fastest-growing audience to embrace social networks and to tap into web information resources.
Joe Kutchera -- author of the newly released book, Latino Link: Building Brands Online with Hispanic Communities and Content -- says that to target Hispanic customers, marketers should embrace marketing to Hispanic consumers on social platforms since they over-index for using social media.
"Many research companies and marketers say that social media is often the gateway to Hispanics and the media," Kutchera said. "Therefore, marketers need to address what content on their websites is helpful to their Hispanic consumers."
Kutchera started investigating the need for Spanish online media in the marketplace after finding many marketers didn't know how the growth of the Spanish network could merge with the growth of Spanish online media.
"The book is the first of its kind," Kutchera said. "Since I was able to interview numerous different marketing leaders like Ford, Best Buy, America Marketing insurance, and Lexington Marketing... Almost every chapter is a case study."
Kutchera also noted the Caucasian market is often individualistic whereas the Hispanic market tends to be collectivistic, according to Geert Hofstede, the Dutch organizational sociologist who studied cultural dimensions in international business. Therefore, social media platforms are a great way for not only the Hispanic community to participate in conversations with each other all over the world, but also for corporations to gain Hispanic consumers.
The Center for Hispanic Leadership Founder and former executive Glenn Llopis agreed with Kutchera: "Hispanics and Latinos are the fastest growing users of the Internet. By 2014, they will have a purchasing power of $1.3 trillion."
With much at stake for corporations as well as Hispanics in the plummeting economy, Llopis further noted multicultural groups should use their backgrounds to lead new digital innovations in the workplace. He said by doing this, Hispanics will gain more leadership credibility in corporations and in America.
"I believe that social media provides a tremendous opportunity for Hispanics," Llopis said. "I believe our entrepreneurial spirit can allow us to become more influential on social media, but it must be done respectfully to not hurt the community and our youth."
International Trainer and Consultant Anita Ferguson also agreed: "It is really nothing, but opportunities that lie ahead. It is the communities of color that really have the larger group of young people, and it is those younger people that are coming up with innovations like social marketing and social media that will drive businesses and communication for the future."