BY ERIC DIAZ
PRINCIPAL, DK WEB CONSULTING
It is important to stay on top of which social media sites can be used to engage Latinos as the landscape evolves. While we all know about the hugely popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter, there are also a variety of smaller sites that cater to Latinos in some way. Some of these social media forums are growing, some shrinking, and all appeal to more specialized markets. We compared a few of the ones popular with Hispanics and gave them a ranking, ‘A’ through ‘D’ based on their usefulness for marketers.
Below are the 5 sites we compared. We also included current users for each site as well as world site ranking assigned to them by Alexa.com (where a #1 ranking means you have the most web traffic) to get a general idea of how popular they are relative to each other.
Orkut – DK Rating = A
Registered Users = 100 million
Alexa Ranking = 65
We found Orkut to have the most robust capabilities for marketers. This Google-owned social media forum is similar to Facebook in many respects. There is a Facebook-like wall and there are a large variety of communities to join or create. You can create a presence for your business, much like a Facebook fan page as well as traditional advertising campaigns. Orkut may be a key forum to use when targeting Brazilians as 51% of Orkut users hail from Brazil.
Example: Burger King
Sonico – DK Rating = A
Registered Users = 43 million
Alexa Ranking = 798
Sonico is another site that seems very similar to Facebook. It is possible to create public pages for your company similar to Facebook fan pages. Sonico, with headquarters in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo is rapidly gaining popularity in many countries throughout South America.
HI5 – DK Rating = B
Registered Users = 80 million
Alexa Ranking = 89
We found this site to be of limited use for marketing. The layout is similar to the venerable MySpace. You can purchase advertising however, it is difficult to create a company profile. There are some existing company profiles but most seem to be unofficial.
Tuenti – DK Rating = C
Registered Users = 8 million
Alexa Ranking = 442
Tuenti is a social network originated in Spain where it also happens to be the most popular social media outlet. Interestingly, Tuenti does not support banner ads or the creation of pages but that could change in the near future. Also, contrary to the methodology of most social media networks, it is by invitation only so if you want to sign-up you will have to wait for a friend to ask you to join. It recently (Aug of 2010) sold to Spanish powerhouse Telefonica for $99 million.
Bebo – DK Rating = D
Registered Users = 117 million
Alexa Ranking – 873
In 2009 AOL (then owners of Bebo) launched a large campaign targeting US Latinos with Bebo. However, this site’s popularity is diminishing and overall Bebo is struggling. It was recently sold off in June of 2010 by AOL who in their infinite wisdom (read other great AOL acquisition story) reportedly lost $840 million on the site after owning it for only 2 years. This is another site we found to be of limited use to marketers. It looks and feels very similar to MySpace. One bright spot is that you can create group pages for your firm.
In addition to his firm, Mr. Diaz publishes the blog Social Media Spanish.
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