Monday, March 5, 2012

The impact of Social Media in Latin America and what this means to brands and businesses?

According to a 2011 report, Latin America sits as the fourth largest region of web users just after North America, Oceania and Europe and the second largest consumer of social media worldwide representing an enormous opportunity for brands.

Latin American’s engagement with brands through the internet is increasingly evolving and companies need to start establishing two way communications and taking advantage of this new and increasingly important ‘way of living’. At the same time, companies also need to take into account there are significant cultural and regional differences. The need to listen and identify the audience is essential for brands to be able to come up with sound ideas that catch people's attention.

On Facebook, nearly 14% of the members are Latin Americans, and among the top 5 countries are Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Argentina. On Twitter, 16% of the users are also from Latin American countries being political factors one of the most important reasons of engagement.

Despite the fast social and economic progress in Latin America, many countries such as Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua still face challenges in terms of democracy. Most Latin America governments have been slow to adopt Social Media and Technology being Colombia the only country providing an established budget for social media use and technological connectivity.

According to Edelman ‘Social networking is now as important to the online experience in Latin America as it is in North America or Europe’. Many professionals have taken advantage of this promising opportunity in this beautiful side of the world, Rosh Khan a medical school graduate for instance left his career to become a Social Media entrepreneur and have managed to make a fortune in a very short period of time. Its Social Media agency SocialRank, was founded in 2010 and it aims to help business and individuals to discover how to make use of the power of social media. He recently moved from New York down to South America to implement his broad knowledge there.

There are so many opportunities to develop in Latin American countries in terms of new technologies, especially social media and businesses are increasingly more aware about this. I believe that brands should be looking closer at this side of the world to further develop their social media strategies by listening and evaluating the audiences and opportunities they have.

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