hispanic-familyAdvocates are your most valuable customers — even more valuable than so-called “loyal” customers. Many loyalty club members don’t recommend the airline or restaurant they “belong” to. Advocates, on the other hand, boost your sales, help you keep customers, and defend your cherished brand reputation.

The growing Hispanic/Latino customer base in the U.S. is an invaluable segment brands cannot ignore when trying to identify and retain their brand advocates. Latinos are more engaged on social media than their non-Hispanic counterparts, and they are more likely to spread the word about your brand.

Hispanic culture is, by nature, social and group-oriented. Word-of-mouth marketing may be a worthwhile investment in order to reach the booming U.S. Hispanic/Latino consumer base. Hispanics tend to use social media and express their opinions online about brands more often than their non-Hispanic counterparts.

Many Hispanics are already brand advocates for the brands they care about, but there is opportunity to energize them. They are already knowledgeable and sharing online, so it would be smart for companies to identify and activate these advocates.

Hispanic WOM activity is migrating online thanks to the growing omnipresence of social networks in U.S. Hispanics daily lives. Hispanic consumers are more active users of social media than non-Hispanics. Compared with non-Hispanics, Hispanics have cultural values that are much more centered on family, friends and social connections, which make social media a natural fit for this segment. According to Forrester, Hispanics are more than twice as likely as non-Hispanics to be content creators (47 percent) or critics (41 percent). They rate and review products, post comments on blogs, participate in discussion forums and collaborate on wikis.

A majority of respondents across the U.S. and Latin America agreed that they trusted comments on social networks more than ads. Research from eMarketer on how Hispanic women trust online buzz more than ads shows the future of word-of-mouth marketing is with Hispanic advertising.

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Gustavo Razzetti, the managing director of Lapiz (the Latino shop of Leo Burnett),wrote in a Clickz article: “Latinos are masters of social shopping: they leverage mobile, social media, and friends and family to share their shopping experience before, during, and after. They influence and are influenced by what their social media connections are saying about a specific brand or product: 48 percent of Latino shoppers use social media during the shopping process.”

On average, about 50 percent of a company’s advocates become “energized advocates” within 12 months; they proactively recommend the brand or product by creating, sharing or publishing reviews, testimonials, answers, offers and more, while using advocacy tools.

With Hispanics owning brand advocacy by reading and writing reviews, have you asked your advocates the ultimate question: Would you recommend [insert product or service] to your friends and family?

Originally published Apr 19, 2013 1:00:30 AM, updated December 03 2014

Topics:

Social Media Word of Mouth Marketing