Marketers looking to Latin America—especially outside Brazil—can bet web users will be on Facebook
Brazil may be an essential country for marketers in Latin America, but internet users throughout the continent are going online and logging on to social networks in record numbers.
As a whole, Latin America has 217 million internet users in 2011, eMarketer estimates, and will grow to 285 million by 2015. Brazil accounts for the largest share of that group in 2011, at 36%, but is still outnumbered by the rest of the region by almost two-to-one. The country’s share will decrease to 34% by 2015.
However, there is more than size to differentiate the online landscape in Brazil from the rest of Latin America. According to comScore, web users in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and Peru averaged more time on social networks than those in Brazil. In addition, most of these countries’ users are focused on one social network—Facebook.
comScore also counted five Latin American countries among the top 10 worldwide in terms of Facebook penetration in June 2011, ranging from 86.9% in Venezuela to as high as 90.9% in Chile.
According to comScore’s report, Facebook users in Argentina outnumber those of the next largest social network, Windows Live Profile, by more than 8 million. The gap in Mexico, at more than 11 million, is even wider.
orkut remains the No. 1 social network in Brazil, but Facebook is the runaway leader in the rest of Latin America. And while local customs throughout countries may vary, a common language could widen the geographic coverage of campaigns.
While the US and Western European economies stall or slow, high growth regions such as Latin America can boost bottom lines of multinational corporations. Four factors could ease the transition for digital marketers new to Latin America beyond Brazil: high growth of internet and social media users, a familiar platform that is popular throughout the region, a common language and lower startup costs.