Why Mashable Latino Makes Sense

It all started with a question (and a tweet) at the annual AHAA Hispanic marketing conference in Miami. Adam Ostrow, chief strategy officer at Mashable, had just finished his presentation. It was Q&A time and Lynn Ponder, social media expert and founder of Web City Girls, asked Ostrow if he would consider launching Mashable Latino. Put against the ropes, in front of a large audience of multicultural marketers, the executive couldn’t say anything but yes. When I tweeted about the idea of Mashable Latino, the reactions were so positive that I decided to share some long-form thoughts on why it might be a good idea for Mashable to extend its reach with Latinos in both the U.S. and Latin America.

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Leveraging Culture vs. Dividing Consumers

Before my friend Julio Ricardo Varela from Latino Rebels reacts, I want to make clear why I’m supporting this idea. While I absolutely agree that there is some sort of opportunistic craze for creating a Latino version of almost everything, it doesn’t mean it’s not a valid option, especially in the media space.

The idea is not to segregate the Latino audience by creating a replica of Mashable’s mainstream platforms, but rather develop a space that leverages Latino culture to attract both Hispanic and mainstream audiences. It’s about complementing the mainstream experience, similar to the brands that provide a comprehensive approach to Latino entertainment (Xfinity Latino) or Latino news (NBC Latino).

Having said all of this, there are a few solid reasons for creating Mashable Latino:

  • It can create a bridge between U.S. and Latin American technology and innovation industries.
  • It can incorporate a more global perspective: Latin America has specific behaviors that are not necessarily similar to the U.S. (think of the Orkut phenomenon in Brazil).
  • Considering that seven of the 25 most engaged countries are in Latin America, there are plenty of lessons that brands can learn.
  • Mashable may increase its overall audience by attracting those interested in Latino content, both in North and South America.
  • U.S. Latino social influencers continue to grow, but their presence is still too fragmented. Whoever can reach them first would definitely win.
  • It can provide a space to promote Latino innovations in areas like mobile and social media, allowing brands to test new ideas with this innovative audience.
  • It offers the opportunity to increase native advertising revenue: there are tons of electronics and/or entertainment brands looking to connect with Latino social influencers.

Mashable Latino: Ideas Worth Exploring

Ostrow added that it could take around three years to become a reality based on the challenge to find the right talent and content. Here are some ideas that can accelerate this process:

  • Start publishing some of its existing content in Spanish to attract executives (both in the U.S. and Latin America) who might not be as fluent in English.
  • Partner with influential Latinos in the technology space like Ariel Coro from Tu Tecnología.
  • Aggregate content from leading Latino bloggers and social media organizations (e.g., Latism).
  • Build a strategic alliance with Hispanicize on areas such as Latino technology and entertainment.
  • Create a Latino innovation category within the Mashable award recognizing the best Latino ideas (not segregating them but actually giving them more space).
  • Increase the presence of Latino social media experts at events like Mashable Media Summit.
  • Create a partnership with a leading Latino media outlet to leverage existing social media networks and content (e.g., Telemundo).

These are just some initial thoughts to start the conversation. Share yours via Twitter by using #mashablelatino.