Hispanic Consumers Are Increasingly Online, Major Users of Social Media

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The U.S. Hispanic population is young, ethnically diverse and growing  rapidly.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in the U.S. grew by 43% between 2000 and 2010, to 50.5 million, or 16.3% of the total population. 

Hispanics are also online in large numbers. eMarketer estimates that 63% of the U.S. Hispanic population accesses the internet at least monthly this year, rising to 73% by 2015. This group skews young and somewhat male.  As the number of Hispanics, and their spending power, continues to increase, so will the role of digital media in their daily lives.

Hispanic internet usage has grown significantly in recent years, as this population uses all types of technology to access the internet,” said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Hispanics: Demographic Profile and Marketing Approaches.” “Entertainment, communication and shopping are major activities conducted online, although ecommerce activity still lags the non-Hispanic population.”

HISPANICS LIKE SOCIAL MEDIA

Hispanics are major users of social networking sites.  In fact, two-thirds of online Hispanics use social networking sites, according to May 2011 data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.  That number is slightly above the average rate.

Social media has a strong appeal for Hispanics in the U.S., both as a means of communication and, even more significant for younger internet users, for self-expression,” said Phillips. “Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and smaller, more targeted networks like Badoo are all popular with this audience."

However, Hispanics’ motivation for interacting online shows a distinct cultural aspect, as some experts told eMarketer,” she continued. “Hispanic social media users tend to post more comments, reviews and recommendations online, while non-Hispanic users simply check ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ and move on.”

MARKETING TO HISPANICS

Marketers that want to reach Hispanics have a number of factors to consider. Language is only one of the issues to address. While English may be many Hispanics’ primary language, they often still rely on Spanish to get information they trust. Brands that focus on the question of Spanish vs. English may be missing chances to connect with this audience in both languages.

Technology and media usage are also key. Hispanics are early adopters of many of the latest devices, including smartphones and tablets. They are heavy consumers of digital media and participate in a wide range of content activities as they make the desktop and mobile internet an integral part of daily life.

Savvy marketers know they can reach Hispanics through these channels, and that how they are messaged is critical. Brands that are sincere about making themselves relevant to Hispanic consumers will demonstrate an understanding of the market, a respect for cultural attitudes and an eagerness to be a part of the community.

[Source:  Phillips, Lisa E.  “Hispanics: Demographic Profile and Marketing Approaches.”  eMarketer.  17 Oct. 2011.  Web.  20 Oct. 2011.]