Spanish Social Media
A Look Into the Most Successful Practices


Over the past ten years, the amount of Spanish content that can be found on the Internet has escalated, along with the number of Spanish speakers who are searching for it.  According to “Look for Surge”, 75% of the searches performed online in 1996 were in English, however today this statistic has decreased to a much quieter 25%.  As U.S.-Hispanics continue to use and install high-speed Internet, they are looking not only for fast results, but for accurate ones as well.

Since many U.S.-Hispanics are fluent in two languages, companies should look at this as two opportunities to reach out to this audience.  One of the most overlooked ways for companies to appeal to this demographic is through Spanish Search Engine Optimization or Spanish SEO.  According to “SEO Learning”, SEO is a process that involves improving the volume and quality of a website’s traffic through organic (or unpaid) search results.  Companies that use SEO to generate traffic to their corporate websites almost always rank higher on search engine results than those that which do not.

Press releases (aka news releases) are a perfect way for public relations pros to use Spanish SEO in order to increase their messages’ visibility to their target audiences.  Social media forms such as blogs, podcasts, newsrooms, etc. are known for using SEO tactics as well to generate traffic.  According to “SEO Success”, in order to market toward a specific demographic, the company must first focus on specific locations where their potential customers reside.  For example, a business in southwestern United States should carefully examine which phrases would attract those U.S.-Hispanics who live in Texas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, and Colorado because these phrases could have a different meaning or relevance if used on the East Coast.

There are several elements press releases (and social media) should contain in order to be successful and receive as many views as possible.  According to CEO of Sensis, Jose Villa in the article “SEO en Español”, keywords are important to include in press releases, however public relations pros should make sure they use cultural relevance to understand their meaning instead of performing a straightforward word-for-word translation.  Also, the placement of these keywords is essential in making sure the search engines recognize them.  To illustrate, keywords should be included in headlines, sub-headlines, lead paragraphs, or be put in bold or italics style font.  Furthermore, press releases should include links to relevant sites for their viewers to further continue reading.

According to “English to Spanish”, if companies have appropriate keywords they can increase their effectiveness by translating them in both English and Spanish before placing them on their sites.  In doing so, companies will double their chances of reaching customers whether they solely speak English, Spanish, or perhaps both.

Spanish SEO is a helpful tactic for companies to gain recognition from their Hispanic audiences because it can easily be measured.  The amount of traffic their sites, blogs, newsrooms, press releases, etc. generate from Spanish SEO should continually be monitored for best results.  Spanish SEO is a new curveball thrown at social media that companies should incorporate before they strikeout in search engine results.


Music has always played an important role in the Hispanic culture.  Hispanic music is widely influenced by a variety of countries and other cultures and is celebrated globally, especially here in the U.S.

One way Hispanic-Americans choose to listen to their demographic’s favorite artists and songs is through is known as “The Best of Latin Music Online” and according to “Batanga Radio”; it is a free Latin music, videos, and Internet radio source that provides its users with over 100,000 songs.

According to “Advertisers” Batanga Inc, headquartered in Miami and New York, is the leading Hispanic-focused online media platform.  With over 15 million users, it reaches the most Hispanic-Americans per month.  The online Hispanic population is growing at a steady rate, meaning the amount of time Hispanics spend online and the amount of material they view is increasing as well.  Batanga Inc. expects nearly 29 million Hispanics to be online by next year.

Batanga Inc.’s success is propelled by their company’s ability to target and relate to this Hispanic population.  The company consists of advertisers who specialize in a variety of fields including retail, telecom, automotive industries, etc.  Since 77% of Hispanics go online to learn more about brands and research products and services, Batanga advertisers can optimize a company’s site by providing campaigns and tactics with the objective to reach out and involve Hispanics.  Companies who choose to advertise with Batanga can expect to establish longer engagement with Hispanics on their websites and repeated visits from spectators.

Once Batanga Inc. began using social media tools, the company experienced a new window of opportunities.  Since they already offered a variety of attractions such as online radio, on-demand music videos, and Latino lifestyle news and gossip, the only thing missing was consumer input.

According to “” in May of 2010, Batanga announced the release of its free Batanga Radio app for the iPhone and iTouch.  This app however was special because it was identical to the Batanga Radio website.  Everything consumers could do on the site, they could now do on their on-the-go portable phone app.  Batanga consumers were experiencing a new form of involvement and Batanga learned that consumer feedback can really take businesses to the next level.  Users of the app can bookmark their favorite artists or songs, skip through songs, and most importantly buy and share music directly from their iPhone or iTouch.  This free app put the user in the cockpit, giving them full control to create and personalize their own stations.  Then once their stations are made, users can share them with friends via Twitter, Facebook, or email.  In addition, Batanga virtually builds relationships with their users by remembering their recent history and activities once they log in.

In the article “Batanga Enhances” Vice President of Batanga Marketing, Shana M. Fitch, claimed that their use of social media tools is undoubtedly responsible for the increase of registrations (38%) and audience engagement (28%).  Batanga continued to present its users with new ways to participate such as uploading photos to public galleries and personal profiles, rating songs, becoming fans of artists or stations, and writing album reviews.  With this activity, Batanga advertisers could customize their messages and provide ads that would spark their users’ interests.

In conclusion, Batanga has streamed more than one billion songs to their users since 1999 and this number continues to grow.  Although some companies may think it is hard to attract such a dispersed audience, Batanga learned that hobbies are similar cross-culturally and as Madonna would say, “Music makes the people come together.”


Latino bloggers are rapidly growing in both size and strength these days and businesses are slowly beginning to recognize this phenomenon.  According to “Brands Seeking”, Blogs by Latinas (a directory of all registered Latina blogs online) had approximately 156 registered blogs in the fall of 2009.  Within less than a year, the directory swelled with the addition of 505 new users, totaling to over 660.

According to “New Study”, 16% of the U.S. population is Hispanic and this number continues to increase each year.  For those who do not find this statistic convincing enough, there are umpteen reasons why hiring a Latino blogger for your company would not only be a strategic move in the long run, but would also result in immediate benefits.  In the articles “Hispanics Social” and “Why Marketers”, online Hispanics facilitate word-of-mouth marketing for businesses.  The Hispanic culture values the group over the individual and looks to others for help and advice on important decisions.  According to “Hispanics Social” in a Forrester Research Inc. study, 69% of 3,000 online Hispanics are considered to be spectators, meaning they are very interested in browsing what others post online.

Furthermore, in the same study, Hispanics fall into the category of early adopters.  They catch on quick to the newest technological trends and use a variety of channels from audio to video to social media tools, such as blogging.  According to Elianne Ramos in “Why Marketers”, in the business world, Latino bloggers are the gateway between the merging American and Latina cultures. They have the ability to speak English, Spanish, and the ever-so-popular Spanglish.  Also, Latino blogging is a form of niche marketing and Latino bloggers can help businesses target specific audiences to enhance their reputation and promote their brand.

In order to convince CEOs or communications executives to invest in Spanish social media and hire a Latino blogger, there is a variety of evidence that proves how vital this position truly is.  According to “New Study”, in Newlink Research of 1,100 employed adult Hispanics, companies are rewarded for their dedication to Hispanic communities. 65% of those Hispanics said they would be more loyal to companies that made an effort to reach out to their demographic, and 66% said they would be more likely to buy their products or services.  Also, 43% of the Hispanics said they would be more committed if the company engaged in community causes and 41% would if the company hired Hispanics.

When it comes to Latino bloggers, one company in particular stands out significantly.  In “ Platform”,, co-headquartered in New York City and Miami, is a company focused on Hispanic social media marketers, but more importantly, Latino bloggers.  The company’s objective is to promote the development of Hispanic PR and social media by providing up-to-date news, online forums, webinar training, and a networking service recognizing Latino bloggers and corporate brands.

According to “Hispanicize 2011”, in this upcoming April, will be hosting its 2nd Annual Hispanic PR and social media conference in Los Angeles, CA.  The conference will be the largest gathering of Latino bloggers and Latino marketing professionals ever with 32 sessions and 80 speakers.  Companies are encouraged to send their corporate communicators, social marketers, and advertising and PR representatives who want to concentrate on Hispanic and/or multicultural communications.  However, those who are advised to attend this conference the most are Latino bloggers.  According to “7 Reasons”, attending this special event will be their most noteworthy investment in 2011 for several reasons.  To illustrate, Latino bloggers will have direct contact with over 150 brands such as Sprint, McDonald’s, and Wal-Mart who are in search of Latino bloggers to work with.  In addition, Latino bloggers will not only be able to meet with other Latino bloggers to network, but will also be able to attend workshops and training sessions to learn how to enhance their skills.

Here is a video on the Hispanicize 2011 Conference:

Overall, blogging can be more than a hobby, but rather a profession that can help companies surpass the current language barriers that exist today.  With the help of Latino bloggers, companies will learn to think outside the box, open their eyes, and Hispanicize!


A prized possession for most people these days is their cell phone—especially for Hispanics.  Within the past five years, this demographic’s interest in mobile phones has increased drastically.  By the end of 2010, 82% of Hispanics used cell phones, according to Scarborough Research in the article “Marketers”.

Hispanics have recently been cutting their landline phones and switching strictly to their cell phones.  Not only has this trend become apparent due to the recession, but also according to the article “The Mobile Latino”, Hispanics are one of the most mobile and on-the-go groups who crave technology that caters to their lifestyle.  When asked in a poll, 35% of Hispanics claimed that their favorite hobby consists of mobile browsing.

In “Marketing”, the Scarborough Research provides statistics of the top four cell phone uses for the Hispanic population:

  • 64% Texting
  • 22% Downloading Music
  • 19% Playing Games
  • 12% Social Networking

In “The Mobile Latino”, Gustavo Razzetti claims that since Hispanics are heavy gamers, they have become more receptive to marketers that are trying to reach out to their consumers through branding and product placement.  Cell phones are the perfect every day gadget for marketers to attract the young (ages 18-34) Hispanic demographic while they are participating in activities that they enjoy, such as the ones listed above.

Another way in which Hispanics tend to use their smartphone technology is for shopping.  According to “eMarketer”, in a Sterling Commerce survey, 29% of Hispanics who do not find what they are shopping for in the store will use their cell phones to locate the item elsewhere.  As most efficient shoppers may know, finding products in a quick and easy manner at a low cost is the number one goal.  Emarketer senior analyst Lisa E. Phillips states that although it may be rare for Hispanics to buy online, they will however check products and deals online through their phones while standing in store aisles.  Therefore in the article “Cell Phone Usage”, Raúl Colón believes that companies should always make sure their websites are mobile-friendly.  Websites that do not upload easily or are hard to gain access to on cell phones may miss out on potential customers who are trying to compare prices.

Moreover, one company that is starting to bloom in the Hispanic social media realm is Hipcricket.  According to “Hispanic Mobile”, Hipcricket is the first mobile marketing network to target the Hispanic population.  Hipcricket serves as a medium for marketers to deliver interactive, permission-based mobile marketing campaigns and messages to the virtually receptive Hispanic community.  Hipcricket was the first to acknowledge the high purchasing power of Hispanics and their consistent consumer loyalty, and initiate a service for other companies to connect to the demographic that is considered to be the earliest and fastest mobile technology adapters in the world.

According to “Hispanics and Mobile”, 32% of Hispanics are interested in receiving mobile offers and ads, and 74% have been known to respond to them.  Hipcricket realized that people might be interested in buying, what they are interested in playing.  In Carey Bridgett’s article “Mobile Marketing Network”, Hipcricket CEO, Ivan Braiker claims that if marketers use this one-stop shop that is paired with the ability to tap into their opted-in audience, marketers will benefit greatly.  In addition, Braiker stated that Hipcricket’s current opt-out rate is just over one percent.  Therefore, it seems as though both marketers and the Hispanic population are satisfied with Hipcricket’s service so far.

According to the article “Hipcricket Expands”, in 2009 Hipcricket expanded beyond the U.S. border and into Mexico.  There were nearly 78 million mobile subscribers in Mexico who found Hipcricket to be appealing.  By the end of the year the company had delivered over 33,000 mobile campaigns for big-brand companies such as NBC, Coca-Cola, Staples, etc.  They created opportunities to engage their constituents by providing coupons, offers, and text-to-win contests via cell phones.

A few of the most popular text-to-win contests took place in 2009.  In the article “Yahoo, HBO”, HBO PPV used Hipcricket to promote the Mayweather-Marquez fight and add members into their opt-in VIP club.  The targeted Hispanic population had to text the word “PELEA” (FIGHT) for a chance to win a signed boxing glove.  Another example was when Rite Aid used Hipcricket to have their audience text “MARCA” (BRAND) to win coupons to use at Rite Aid stores.

In conclusion, the importance of Hispanic cell phone use may be under-rated but it is no longer under-wraps.  Mobile marketing is just another way to build relationships with consumers, but whether companies choose to partake in this forum is their call, literally.


Today, “Qué pasa?” means more to the Hispanic population than just “What’s up?”  Hispanics may in fact be referring to, one of the fastest-growing tricultural and trilingual Hispanic social networks online.  According to the article “ Gains” in,, created and operated by Quepasa Corp, is headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL and has satellite offices in Mexico and several Latin American countries.  Its diverse audience of Spanish, English, and Portuguese speakers has the opportunity to connect and build relationships in this expanding online community.

Here is a brief video on

According to the article “Quepasa: The Only” by Ian Cassel, has been categorized as the best combination of social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Zynga for the Hispanic population.  It provides its users with online games, dating, campaigns, and contests.  In addition, it posts the latest news and opportunities for Hispanics in a variety of fields such as education, jobs, health, entertainment, etc.’s popularity skyrocketed in 2010.  According to the article “ Sees” in the Wall Street Newscast, this social network had a 255% increase in membership, reaching more than 27.2 million registered users worldwide.  The two highest contributing countries were Brazil and Mexico.  Furthermore, Quepasa Corp’s stock drastically rose from $3.00 per stock to $12.00.

There are a variety of factors that helped contribute to’s membership growth.  According to “ Gains”, CEO of Quepasa Corp, John C. Abbott, accredits word-of-mouth marketing as one of the key factors.  Word-of-mouth, also known as viral marketing, not only influences how companies operate, but also influences consumer behavior since consumers see each other as one of the most credible sources. In addition, a second key factor to’s success is due to their niche marketing to a specific target audience of the Hispanic population.  Quepasa Corp knew the audience it was trying to appeal to and molded its strategies around them. Thirdly, according to experts and authors Barry Libert and Jon Spector on the topic of social media, they claim that the more opportunities a company offers its users to participate, the more likely they are to do so.  As listed above, runs off an abundant number of applications to attract interest and promote interaction.

According to the book SocialCorp by Joel Postman, social media should be incorporated into an overall business strategy. is a social media network that is part of Quepasa Corp’s business plan to monetize.  One way Quepasa Corp can appeal to the Hispanic population and make a profit is by campaigns and contests that hosts.  In the article, “Quepasa DSM” on the company’s website, had record engagement results in its distributed social media advertising platform, reported on February 8, 2011.  A few months ago, the company launched a 30-day awareness campaign for the proposed Mexican Law: Ley de Fomento al Primer Empleo or Law of the First Employment.  The target audience was the Mexican youth and the goal of the campaign was to make them aware of this law by engaging them online and allowing them to vote and share their support.  Since this law was created to increase employment opportunities for this specific age group, it was crucial for it to get passed.  Fortunately, the campaign had around 8 million views, 180,000 supporting votes, and reached over 2,300 Mexican cities and municipalities.  This gave the Mexican government no other choice but to pass the law.

Quepasa Corp has a bright future ahead.  According to the articles “Quepasa to Present” and “Quepasa Corporation”, in the next few upcoming months, the company has been invited to two conferences, the Deutsche Bank 2011 Small & Mid Cap Conference and the Wedbush 2011 Technology, Media & Telecommunications Management Access Conference, to discuss its recent success.

Overall, Quepasa Corp is a Social Corp that continues to raise the bar in the Hispanic social media sphere.  Quepasa Corp is not asking other companies “What’s up?” it’s telling them!


In order for some Spanish-speaking countries to integrate social media into their everyday lifestyles, they need some guidance first!  SrBurns: a firm based out of Spain’s capital, Madrid, is focused on helping both Spanish-speaking countries and businesses use social media to increase their revenue (aka make the big bucks).

According to Jennifer Schenker’s article “Teaching” in the Bloomberg Businessweek, there was a conference held in Madrid this past summer to ignite the social media regime in Spanish-speaking countries.  Entrepreneurs, bloggers, investors, etc. from Latin America and Spain were greeted by both American and European social media representatives in order to learn the basic 411 on society’s new trends and how their countries could drastically benefit from them.  CEO of SrBurns, Gaby Castellanos, claims that customers and friends should ultimately be two interchangeable terms.  Likewise, according to author Joel Postman of SocialCorp, Postman acknowledges that the most effective social media strategies have the ability to reach the public where they live, work, and play.

In “Teaching”, Schenker mentions that Spain’s government had initiated its social media use by trying to attract tourists to visit its beautiful country.  For example, Spain’s Facebook users could suggest the best sites for tourists to see and the winner whose suggestion had the most hits won a vacation to Spain with a foreign friend or family member.  After integrating Twitter into this campaign as well, Spain had accumulated 22,000 Facebook users and 16,000 Twitter accounts.

The question for some Spanish-speaking countries may be “Where do we get the money for these social media campaigns?”  As most probably know, to sign up and use social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, is free of charge.  However, to provide the proper staff to monitor and maintain these mediums requires a pretty penny.  According to Neil Glassman’s article “Report” in Social Times, about 27% of businesses worldwide are designating a portion of their marketing budgets to be used toward social media campaigns.  Regus, a workplace solutions provider, performed a study on the percentage of companies that are successfully using social networking to acquire customers.  Impressively, out of the top four countries with the highest percentages, two of them are Spanish-speaking countries: Mexico and Spain.

Furthermore, in the American Express Open Forum article “5 Trends”, John Jantsch predicts that the top trend that will shape small businesses in 2011 is, yes, you guessed it, the integration of social media.  Jantsch claims that social media will no longer be a new asset for companies, but rather a requirement.  In conclusion, Spanish-speaking countries and businesses should indeed hop on board the social media train before it moves on to the next big thing!


Within this past year, Twitter has actively been trying to expand and relate to the Hispanic population. According to the article “Twitter Experienced” from the Vision Latina blog, there has been a 60% increase in the number of registered Twitter accounts, 50% of which is from citizens of Spanish-speaking countries.

Back in 2009, Twitter devised an international plan that consisted of translating its network into more languages in order to reach a universal audience. According to Adam Ostrow’s article “Twitter Launching” on Mashable, Twitter invited some of its users to volunteer translations in other languages. Once enough input was acquired, Twitter would make these translation options available to all accounts through their settings menu.

Following Facebook’s lead of providing over 70 different language translations, Twitter currently offers seven: English, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Korean, and Italian. Spanish was Twitter’s third language offered, following English and Japanese.

According to “Twitter Experienced”, Twitter has become an invaluable communication tool that aids Latinos who are currently living in the United States (or other parts of the World) in keeping in touch with friends and family back home. It is a speedy, reliable way to send a quick shout out to loved ones without international phone call fees.

Not only has Twitter become a social liaison, its presence in the political field is beginning to blossom as well. Hispanic political leaders have started microblogging in order to keep their countries’ citizens in the loop with their latest events, decisions, and whereabouts. According to Leila Ergo’s article “How Latin” from the Altamirano blog, Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez opened a Twitter account in April of 2010 with the name: @Chavezcandanga. By the next morning, Chávez had over 25,000 followers and by the end of the day, his account had reached a whopping 64,000. Venezuela’s active Twitter accounts continued to grow at a 4.8% rate and had reached over 200,000 by the end of April 2010.

Likewise, according to “How Latin”, Argentina’s current President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner started a Twitter account under the name: @CFKArgentina. Within three days she had over 40,000 followers.

According to “Twitter Trends”, last year Latin America was the fastest growing “tweeting” region in the world, followed by Asia. It’s safe to say Twitter’s “little blue bird” was indeed the early bird that got the worm and will continue to prosper in the Hispanic social media realm.