Why Facebook Should Worry About Latina Moms

This has been a very intense week for social media marketing. First, Google announces its second attempt in social media by launching Google+ in a direct effort to take on Facebook. Then, MySpace is sold and will be relaunched with Justin Timberlake as creative consultant. It’s clear that everyone wants a piece of the pie of this fast-growing social networking market.

With a Little Help From My Friends

In their attempts to compete versus Facebook, both Google+ and MySpace could also use some help. And Latina moms can be very helpful.

Consider the following facts:

  • Hispanic moms are one of the fastest growing demographics online.
  • Eighty-two percent of mid- and high-acculturated Latino moms are online.
  • Virtually 100 percent of Hispanic moms online are engaged in social networking.
  • Eighty-four percent of Hispanic moms are on Facebook.
  • Their presence in MySpace is 40 percent higher than white moms (29 percent reach).

These moms rely on family and peer advice, and social networks let them extend their circle of trust. Sixty-eight percent trust word-of-mouth conversations related to brands and marketing activities.

And that’s exactly one of the key components that Google can leverage to benefit from this specific segment. Google+ offers Circles, which helps compartmentalize all the people in your life. Google argues that putting everyone under the “friends” label can hurt the ability to share (it can be sloppy and insensitive, according to the search giant).

Latinas On-the-Go

It’s not surprising, given the success of Android, that Google+ includes a strong mobile component. From adding location to every post to Instant Upload to add camera phone snaps to a private album in the cloud.

Busy Latina moms are taking advantage of mobile connectivity. And they are also heavy users of social media on-the-go (40 percent more than total women in the U.S.).

Sixty percent of them access Internet from their phones and for one out of four, their smartphone is their primary online connectivity device. Back to Google, in recently acquired smartphones among Latinos, Android is far surpassing other platforms.

Latina moms over-index in accessing social networking sites almost every day versus white women. Not surprisingly then, they access Facebook more frequently than their general market counterparts. Latinas also heavily over-index in other social media tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, as you can see in the comScore Hispanic Online Report graphic below.

Source: comScore March 2011 Hispanic Online Report

The Latina Power

Latino households’ buying power will be $1.4 trillion by 2013, and Hispanic moms are the key decision-makers and influencers of 80 percent of all purchases made in their households. There’s no doubt of how attractive this segment can be for many marketers. But Latina moms’ influence doesn’t stay within the limits of their home. Social media is a way of influencing and being influenced in terms of their purchase decisions:

  • Ninety-plus percent of Hispanic moms consider the recommendation of a family member or a friend as a primary influence in their purchasing decisions.
  • Sixty-plus percent versus the total public qualify as word-of-mouth influencers based on their recommending behavior and size of social network.

Talking about influence power, Latina “mami” bloggers are also exploding, becoming one of the fastest-growing blogging demographics (five times increase in 2010 versus 2009).

What Facebook Should Worry About

The social nature of Latinas finds a true space in social media, where sense of belonging and sharing everyday issues and ideas come to life.

Online Latinas’ growing influence goes beyond the U.S.: their networks include friends and family members both in North America and in Latin America. And it also goes beyond friends and family members: 20 percent of them are blogging.

Will Google and MySpace consider the critical role that Latina moms could play in their future success? Will they be able to convince Hispanic moms to abandon Facebook? Time will tell.

In the meantime, considering the latest news in social media, should Facebook be worried?

According to this interesting article, there are five things about Google+ Facebook should worry about. I would like to add one more thing: the growing influence of the Latina mom.

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