By Natalie Boden, Lauren Gongora and Daniela Morgenstern of Boden PR

Welcome to our first thought piece produced by Pink Tank, innovative thinking for Latinas. These small studies will take an inside look into Latinas and how we are influenced, how we consume media and what moves us. First on our list was an in depth look into Latinas and Social Media.

For this study we chose to look at a wide variety of media entities and platforms that group Latinas – from celebrity pages to special causes – whether the conversations took place on a microsite, Facebook page or Twitter account. It was of great interest to find what we thought intuitively would be there among the leading Latina-focused platforms, but even more interesting what we found was not there. Read on.

Below is a summary of some of the conversations we identified, per entity/group, followed by a few key findings:

1. Latina Magazine (www.latina.com)

* Stars (list of proud Latinos, body types-losing weight, how Latino celebrities are spending their time off)
* Beauty, food and entertainment (recipes for Latin drinks and typical foods)
* Immigration Issues (Arizona Law)

2. People en Español (www.peopleenespanol.com)

* Stars (Shakira’s outfit for world cup, Mariana Ochoa asks for national forgiveness for infidelity)
* Body (best abs, look of the day, tips to look like celebrities)
* Celebrity News (Cristiano Ronaldo has a baby by in vitro fertilization, Lindsay Lohan sentenced)

3. Blogs by Latinas (www.blogsbylatinas.com)

* General Latinos News (Festival 2010 Celebrating Hispanic Heritage, Nominations America’s Top Latina Teen Athletes, Hispanic events announced on Twitter)
* Celebrity Latina News (Eva Longoria producing reality show, Jessica Alba playing a Latina role, Latinas in the news)
* Movie and Book Reviews (Toy Story 3, Contraband by Charlie Vazquez, Sisters, Strangers and Starting Over by Belinda Acosta, Step Up 3D)

4. Shakira fan page (http://www.vivashakira.com/)

* Social Responsibility ( in collaboration with Calle 13 writing socially conscious lyrics, promotes education in Colombia)
* Personal Life (wants to have lots of babies, not getting married)
* Timely News (concerts, release of her perfume)

5. Juanes fan page (http://www.facebook.com/juanes)

* Videos (posted by artist, popular music videos)
* Most played songs and viewed pictures
* Recent News (tours, twitter updates, bloggers, new songs released)
* One on one conversations about day to day life

6. Vivir Latino (www.vivirlatino.com)

* Above all — Citizenship Issues (mockery: Criminal Wanted: Virgin Guadeloupe, Arizona Law)

7. Catalina Magazine (www.catalinamagazine.com)

* Latino Events (Ballet Hispanic’s 40th anniversary Spring Gala, Sesame Street’s Award/ Latina Movement)
* Helpful Tips (recipes, gardening and home)
* Social Responsibility/Stars (Dominican Actress charity endeavor)

8. Las Comadres Para las Américas (www.lascomadres.org)

* Latino Current News and Events (Latino Literacy Now Books Awards, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor confirmed)
* Social Responsibility (partnered with Downy to make quilts to distribute at Children’s Hospitals, home economic seminars)

After looking at the ins and outs of the conversations, we identified the following key findings:

(1)     Common Denominators: the responses which created most buzz and interaction had some common denominators, whether the group included older, younger, mothers and/or professionals. As we sifted through some of the conversations and analyzed them, regardless of whether the platform was a Juanes fan page or a site dedicated to discussing immigration, the common denominators included:

* Conversations about citizenship, immigration
* Conversations about stars (entertainment)
* Conversations about being Latino in the U.S. (events, news, professional networking)
* Conversations about sports (World Cup time)
* Conversations about fashion  and beauty
* Conversations about food and products (consumption habits, ways to save, product recommendations)
* Conversations about social responsibility movements
* Conversations about parenthood

(2)     Buzz builders: Latinas are readily recommending, or not recommending, a product or service according to her experience as a consumer. Blogs that specialize in topics such as fashion, beauty, motherhood, and recommendations by people who they trust or are similar to them (other Latinas) are of most value at the moment of purchase. Latinas speak openly on profiles or individual pages on what they do, what they like, and with whom they interact. If there is a cause that is inspiring and specifically related to helping other Latinas, they promote it and “Like” it with much fervor.

(3)     Our heritage reigns – It’s interesting that the call to our heritage is still extremely strong, regardless of the language we communicate in or how long we have been in the U.S. Targeting Latinas with a wide variety of compelling messaging that celebrates our Latina heritage in the right way – whether product oriented, or moving a Latina to follow a cause or celebrity, appeals to them.

(4)    Language is powerful — Latinas promote themselves in English, Spanish, and Spanglish, but the Spanish language is extremely important to us. We love brands and causes that talk to us in Spanish or use the Spanish language intermittently.

There is something that we would like to add, though. In terms of marketers and media platforms attempting to reach Latinas we feel there is such a superb opportunity to reach us in different and compelling ways, not only those mentioned above. We don’t see too much about being a business owner, head of a corporation, head of a household (and those that sometimes do all three). On that note, a few weeks ago People en Español unveiled the top-line results of its annual Hispanic Opinion Tracker (HOT) Study, a study on the changing role of Latina women in the U.S. Like a few other studies mentioned earlier, the HOT study confirmed the finding that Latinas are becoming more empowered and ambitious. When asked “In what way would you like to grow and change as a woman in the next 5 years?” the top three responses were: 1) To get a better career or advance at work; 2) Continue education; 3) Become successful/become a professional.

Very interesting – and why doesn’t our media – social or traditional – reflect that?

We feel that brands that address these insights will be highly successful. If we may add a bit of a personal anecdote: absolutely all the Latinas that we know, whether those working in Corporate America, those that are stay at home moms, those that are writers, teachers or other,  are extremely hard workers, entrepreneurial and ambitious. We give a yoga class while the children are at school, we freelance, we start blogs, we start companies. Where are the platforms that address that?

What we found extremely interesting is how the People en Español study states that we “modulate between two cultures depending on [our] role.” For example, the study showed that in the role as “daughters,” Latinas seem to be much more attached to their Hispanic culture (66%) than to the Anglo culture (11%). In the work environment, however, they are more attached to the Anglo culture (31%) than their Hispanic ethnicity (22%).

That is so very true and for the marketers that really want our attention, pay heed.

Story courtesy: TeleNoticias blog