The Joomla! Community Magazine™

US Latinos: Understanding their Importance Online and How to Reach Them

Written by | Tuesday, 01 November 2011 00:00 | Published in 2011 November
In the last two years, we have seen an explosion of Latina bloggers who are now considered “the” fastest growing population online. Not only is this because the web has become more accessible, but Latinos account for 56% of US growth in the past decade. The US census predicts that by 2020, 18% of the population, or 1 in 5 people will be Latino. Not surprisingly, this past spring, Google symbolically hired a team devoted specifically to Hispanic marketing.
US Latinos: Understanding their Importance Online and How to Reach Them http://www.flickr.com/photos/loop_oh/

Besides the population growth, Latinos, particularly Latinas, are highly engaged in social media networks. The Pew Research Center found the Latino index higher than any other group on Twitter. In this context, Latinas have a significant role. This is because they generally make many of the purchasing decisions in the family, and serve as the family liaisons. Eighty-two percent of Latinas are English-dominant and weby-savvy, and far index their general market counterparts in every form of social media. Almost 100% of Latinas are engaged in social networking with 84% being active Facebook users. Sixty percent access the Internet from their phones, and a smartphone is their primary online connectivity device.

What Does this Mean for Joomla Developers?

It goes without saying that the number of Latino-owned or Latino-focused websites will continue to increase. As a Joomla developer, undestanding this market will give you an edge in helping secure this type of business. This is particularly true, considering the recent surgence of interest in tapping into this market by mainstream brands. Most importantly, however, honing in on Latino marketing by default helps you hone in on your niche marketing experience, which is the essential in today's marketing place.The following are a few tips to help you along:

Reach them in English

For decades, companies have ignored these audiences. However, the internet's focus on niche marketing is causing many organizations to start paying attention. Here are some tips:

Most US Latinos were raised in the United States and speak English fluently. In fact, many a significant number do not speak Spanish fluently. A recent study published in American Political Research found that English-language print ads had greater impact mobilizing Latino voters than Spanish-language print ads. This means that anyone can reach this demographic.

Understand that Latinos are Not All the Same

The biggest misconception that exists in the US is that Latinos are all the same. Latinos may share similarities in the same way Europeans do. Each group has its own culture, cuisine, etc. In the US, you also have to add the equation of regional culture as well. A Puerto Rican who grew up in New York is going to culturally different than a Chicana that grew up in Arizona. In fact, some individuals that have a Latin heritage may not even identify as Latinos, and may prefer Chicano, or hyphenated American, such as Cuban American. The best way to learn the differences between groups is to read up on Latino history, and visit places like New York, Texas, California, etc.

Recognize that Latinos are Everywhere, Even Online

In the past, it is true that Latinos were mostly concentrated in Urban areas. However, the 2010 US Census showed that 18 states have more than half a million US Latino residents, with 47% living in California and Texas. Additionally, given the predicted growth patterns, it is fair to say that most states will have a significant Latino population in the future. While it is true that in the last two years we have seen the rise of sites such as Mamiverse, a Latina mom hub, Latinos are everywhere online. Their native fluency in English means they are surfing in English based on interest and not by ethnicity. They can be gamers, knitter, math geeks, etc.

Read 13873 times
Tagged under Feature Stories
Sandra Ordonez

Sandra Ordonez

Sandra Ordonez is a web astronaut specializing in digital strategy and website design. She also serves as External Communications Lead for Joomla. She is the founder of Bicultural and Multicultural People Rule and Virgins of NY. Her webiste, Collaborative Nation, focuses on web culture, community management, and collaboration. Previously, she was the Communications Manager for Wikipedia. She graduated from American University with a double degree in International Relations and Public Relations.