I remember as a kid telling my parents that they needed to fasten their seat belts before we started driving somewhere.  I made sure that “buckling up for safety” was not a choice, but a rule, as long as I was in the car.  I had to keep reminding them, but eventually, they started to do it without my pestering.

What is most interesting about this memory is that I was driving a behavioral change in my parents.  My classmates and I were learning in school how the simple precaution of fastening a seat belt could save lives.  And we, in turn, passed this knowledge along to an older generation.  Whoever was behind the “Buckle Up For Safety” campaign was clever enough to recognize that a younger generation would drive change throughout the population.  Today, marketers are starting to realize that similar change can be pushed forward with social media in general and Hispanic Social Media in particular. 

Companies and organizations are starting to identify social media as a touch-point with a digital generation that can drive changes in among its older and less connected network family and friends.  And Marketers are also starting to understand how social media lends itself very conveniently to certain inherent cultural characteristics of Hispanics, most notably the tight-knit support group of the family.

Households are larger, they have more children, and they depend more on each other than they do on institutions.  I wouldn’t argue that Hispanics love their families more than non-Hispanics, but I would argue that the family plays a larger and more central role in their lives.  If organizations are interested in building trust and confidence among Hispanics, they should recognize that messaging should appeal to the welfare of the family unit.     

Similar to how schools offered a touch-point for my generation to drive change in our parents’ generation, organizations will better their chances of successful social engagement with Hispanics by appealing authentically and emotionally to the welfare of their families. 

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AuthorZach Fishbain

Social media enables the marketer to identify microsegments in the population, yet marketers still struggle to effectively engage a segment that would more accurately be described as a macrosegment – I’m talking about the 50+ million Hispanics living in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, 13% of Hispanics in this country suffer from Diabetes and 70% are overweight. The Office of Minority Health will also make it known that Hispanics suffer disproportionate rates of incidence of other treatable conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer.  Addressing risk factors, especially for preventable diseases, has to become a primary focus for the community-health agencies, non-profits and HCPs that service this constituency.  So how can marketers reach this macrosegment?  Well, it just so happens that Hispanics over index in social media use.

Before elaborating on the challenges and opportunities of engaging Hispanics online, I’d like to digress for a moment and touch upon the guidelines put in place by the FDA that limit the social activity of pharmaceutical companies.  Eli Lilly has been able to avoid wrist slapping by focusing its English-language content development on public policy, advocacy, corporate responsibility, and “Life at Lilly.” Developing content within these four categories enables the company to build confidence and credibility among its followers by branding itself as a patient-focused enterprise. I highly recommend checking out Lilly’s YouTube channel and blog to learn more about what this company is doing right.

Now that we’ve examined how one pharmaceutical company has ventured into the social media space, let’s return to the issue of engaging Hispanics. Connecting with Hispanics is often easier said than done.  It’s not as simple as using Google Translate and making all of your English-language content magically reappear in Spanish.  It ultimately comes down to delivering culturally relevant content (most Hispanics prefer their content in English.

Let’s look at the subject of Diabetes.  In order to create substantive dialogue with Hispanic followers about this disease, it needs to be framed within a cultural context.  An example of doing so would be by publishing content about the Olympics.  By tapping into the national pride and the heritage of those Hispanics following their countries’ Olympians, you can now broach the topic of healthy eating and fitness.  Another idea would be to collaborate with key online influencers in the community (artists, athletes, politicians, bloggers) who share the same concerns for the general state of health among Hispanics.

There is no limit to the ways of making content relevant.  But it must be done tactfully by appealing to the culture, lifestyle and language preferences of Hispanics while being mindful of the national, socio-economic, and ethnic diversity within this market segment.  The benefits of successful Hispanic Social Media engagement will far outweigh the risks and obstacles you encounter along the way.  Because if done right, those you connect with will benefit the most.

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AuthorZach Fishbain

A familiar saying that I’ve heard a lot is “If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense.”  After all, it’s only responsible and prudent for a company to justify any marketing investment.   But what about for non-profit organizations?  Perhaps fundraising is reason enough to take social media seriously.  But how else might a nonprofit benefit from social media marketing?

Nonprofits are not created by accident.  They are built by entrepreneurs and dedicated supporters who are committed to solving a problem.  And what better way is there to take on any challenge with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people behind you?  Disseminating knowledge, mobilizing volunteer task forces and targeting new beneficiaries is just the beginning.  I invite you to check out this blog that I recently stumbled upon that showcases two nonprofits that have successfully employed social media to further their causes. 

Social media is a tool that when used deftly, will serve its purpose.  And if you are a proud nonprofiteer, think long and hard about if you’re optimizing the potential of social media.  Your beneficiaries certainly hope you are.  

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AuthorZach Fishbain

This part of the site is where you will be able to keep abreast of company developments and trending topics in the world of Hispanic Social Media.

If you don’t know already, “Chispa” means “spark” in Spanish.  We created Chispa Digital to enable brands to spark the conversation with Hispanics online.  A company doesn't have to be overly perceptive to recognize that we live in a bilingual country and that the growing and ever-influential Hispanic population presents all kinds of business opportunities.  However, smarter companies will understand that they must be proactive and tactful in engaging Hispanics because mindshare and market share within this population will depend on it.   

Sure, we see the commercials and the banner ads in Spanish.  We hear the radio ads.  But too often, the follow up doesn't exist.  Too often, companies fail to seize the opportunity to interact with the same people these impressions are made on.  And that’s why we’re here - to work with companies that are ready to create a dialogue in a cultural and linguistic context that Hispanics understand and are comfortable with. 

We’re lucky to live in such a diverse and multicultural country with so many opportunities that abound.  It’s time to take advantage of them. 

Thank you for paying our page a visit.  We do appreciate it and we look forward to sharing more in the weeks, months and years to come.  Please contact us with any questions or comments.  Saludos.  

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AuthorZach Fishbain