According to the results of the last US Census, over 45 million Hispanics now live in the United States, making that population one of the largest ethnic groupings in the US. Because this number of Hispanic consumers is so high, and growing higher each year, American businesses must be aware of the methods needed to sell products and services to this country’s Hispanic populations. And that process is not as easy as it sounds. Remember, English is not a Hispanic’s primary language. If a company’s ads are only written in English, and depend on a knowledge of English usage, then those ads may be incomprehensible to a Hispanic audience. And American humor, if written in English, may not come across as funny to Hispanic consumers.
A company that wants to sell products and services to a Hispanic population, or produce a successful social media campaign, must become familiar with Hispanic culture. Read the magazines and books of Hispanic culture to find out the interests, the needs, and the wants specific to Hispanics. Not only will this research help with the sales of services and products to Hispanics by pinpointing Hispanic cultural trends, it will also help the company figure out the next step, the use of social networking sites on the internet to reach out to, and communicate with, Hispanic customers.
* Which social networking sites are oriented toward Hispanics?
* Which sites cater to Hispanics who want to talk with each other?
* Of these sites, which ones are totally written in Spanish?
* Which of these sites are intended for Hispanics keeping in touch with their overseas relatives?
* Do some sites cater to Hispanics who may be resentful at being forced to speak English, or who prefer speaking Spanish at home or away from the job?
Ponder those strategies that make sense of what you’ve discovered about Hispanic culture, and how those answers might be translated into your company’s use of the social networking sites. Once you’ve developed that strategy into an action plan, follow through on the action items. Join in on the conversations at the social networking sites, and you’ll understand not only what the Hispanic mind is interested in, you’ll also discover what’s happening in Hispanic hearts. Engage the interest of the Hispanics you meet online — but, that’s not a plan you can accomplish overnight. You will have to learn a lot and work a lot to achieve success when engaging in a Hispanic strategy in the social media of the internet. But, the effort will be well worth it for your company, because this effort will require only one step more to translate that understanding of Hispanic culture into print ads and commercials that will appeal to Hispanics.
A small business owner does not have small dreams or small goals, even though he or she may have a small budget for outreach and marketing. Hispanics are part of a rich culture. How would you like to expand your business into your Hispanic community, and cultivate your Hispanic clientele organically, forming lasting relationships with your Hispanic customers?
At the risk of stating the obvious, the first step towards reaching out to Hispanic customers is to identify and familiarize yourself with this client base as it relates to your business. All of mankind is most comfortable in familiar surroundings. Do more than simply translate your English website into Spanish. Create a website that is as comfortable to Latinos as their own home, their own community. As a business owner, you would not conduct business with an organization that you do not trust. Appreciate that the same holds true for your customers, and create an atmosphere of warmth and trust throughout your corporate culture.
Second, ensure that your website is relevant and accessible to your market. No one founds his own business with short-term goals. Growing your business requires that you take the time to cultivate a long-term relationship with your Hispanic customers. This slow, organic growth of your loyal client base is far more profitable for you and for your business than the one-time impulse shopper. Learn about your customers’ needs, preferences, and purchasing trends so that you can strategically situate your company’s information where they are most likely to find it, and find it often.
And finally, as important as your web presence is to the success of your business, never forget that your customers are people. You cannot hide behind a computer screen if you want to organically cultivate long-term relationships with your Hispanic customers. It is human nature to want to put a face with a name. Politicians know this, sales people know this, and successful small and medium sized business owners know this. Time invested in building off-line bridges within the Hispanic community is time well spent. Not only will it give you a greater understanding of your customers; it will ensure that your business is the first thing that comes to mind when they want to research a product, purchase a service, or simply ask a question. Invite your customers and potential customers to make your website their home where they can chat with you or other customers, seek and offer advice, and find promotions on the products they need from a business they trust.