Before you finish reading the first paragraphs of this column, one Latino will be turning 18 years old. Yes, every 30 seconds one Hispanic will be celebrating his 18th birthday but also the path to adulthood, representing an important opportunity for a wide range of businesses and organizations.
Employers, universities, and politicians are all trying to seduce this fast-growing segment. And social media can be a very powerful tool for that. I'm not thinking about Facebook or Twitter, but of a more silent yet fast growing network: LinkedIn.
In Search of Latinos on LinkedIn
LinkedIn growth among Latinos is impressive: more than 100 percent in a year. According to comScore, by June 2011, 10 percent of Latinos online used LinkedIn. That is 3.1 million versus 1.4 in that same month in 2010.
Yet, finding Latinos online can be challenging, as Giovanni Rodriguez wrote in his article "Where are all Latinos on LinkedIn?"
I ran a search on LinkedIn and using both Latino and Hispanic terms, combined results showed only 112,000 people. That means that a mere 3.6 percent of the total Latinos on LinkedIn identified themselves as either Latinos or Hispanics. The same happened when I searched for active jobs. Only 82 jobs shown were related to either Latino or Hispanic terms, 0.18 percent of the total (45,501) jobs that were active. I also tried a search that included Spanish, and even though the results were higher (790), it still was less than 2 percent of all jobs on LinkedIn.
The Latino Nature of Groups
Latinos make up 14.3 percent of the workforce, a much higher presence than the one shown in my LinkedIn search mentioned above. It's pretty clear to me that there's a missed opportunity.
From a business perspective, LinkedIn Groups represent an excellent option to target Latinos. There are many Latino (and or Hispanic) identified groups totaling 1,370. From the National Society of MBA to Marketing Professional Associations, these groups have thousands of members and keep growing.
Reaching out to LinkedIn Groups means not only reaching the final audience, but, more importantly, reaching the influential Latinos.
For example, Doris Aguirre - a seasoned recruiter in the marketing industry - created a group that discusses Latino marketing issues. She has already reached almost 700 influential members in her group, and that can be very useful for potential job searches.
Also, you can use Groups to target Latino-related professionals. I say related because the notion of Latino shouldn't be limited to actual Latinos. When looking for a bilingual sales rep, any American that is fluent in Spanish might qualify. A Latin American arts professor doesn't necessarily have to be Latino but rather have the educational background to fill that position.
Latinos make up 23 percent of the 17 and under U.S. population (over 17 million). This is a 39 percent increase in 10 years. If you are either looking for a partner, recruiting, or want to spread an idea or have someone to vote for it, LinkedIn provides a unique opportunity to target Latinos.
Here are some initial thoughts on how:
As I covered in previous columns, Latinos are leading a social media explosion. And this also applies to LinkedIn, so don't wait till you see it in the headlines. Start leveraging this opportunity before your competition does.
Remember, every 30 seconds a Latino turns 18 years old. Think how many minutes it took you to read this column and do the math.
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Gustavo Razzetti is EVP, Managing Director of Lapiz, the Latino shop of Leo Burnett. He has 20+ years of experience in integrated marketing communications in U.S. and Latin American markets.
A change agent, with the expertise of transforming agencies into digital at the core shops, Razzetti has become one of the leading voices when it comes to understanding the new market dynamics of US Latinos.
Former Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer at Grupo Gallegos, president of GlobalHue NY and CEO of Euro RSCG Latino. Razzetti's career is marked by extensive experience working with top consumer brands such as Comcast, Walgreens, Verizon, NestlÃ©, Chivas Regal, General Motors, Coca-Cola, and BBVA, and 200 others. He also served as CEO of Euro RSCG both in Puerto Rico and in Argentina. Prior to that, Gustavo was CEO and founding partner of WhyNet - the no. 1 interactive agency in Argentina.
Strategist by conviction, digital pioneer by choice, leader by evolution; Razzetti has received recognitions that include Effie awards, Gran Prix AMBA, Euro RSCG's CBI Award, and Strategic Planning Director of the Year, McCann Erickson. Many of the campaigns he strategically led won Cannes, Clio, New York Festival, London, and FIAP awards, among others.
On a personal note, Gustavo loves scuba diving, bicycling, gourmet cooking, and fine wines.
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