The activity of users on social media platforms has been growing year over year and continues to show impressive future annual growth.
In one year alone from January 2016 to 2017 global social media activity increased by 21%, according to a Hootsuite report, with more than 482 million new users. As of August 2017, the number of total worldwide users now accounts for 3.028 billion.
Global trends can guide your business to reach target audiences within Latin America.
As an ecommerce merchant, knowing where your prospective customers interact, research products and services and provide businesses with feedback is important.
For the last three years I have been using Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn intensively. As a researcher, I used different profiles, one as a professional and another as a personal account, to observe interactions between merchants targeting new clients and clients reaching out to businesses. I have noticed that each social media platform has its own specific way and advantages when connecting with followers.
Make Your Move on These Three Social Media Networks
Let’s take a look at three of the most popular social platforms in Latin America. These networks have the opportunity to connect you to new and returning customers on the other side of the word - from your office desk.
For example, with Facebook you can add videos, stream live, upload photos, and write posts with engaging content. The platform is strong in processing many different kinds of uploads. Your interactions with Latin American users will be very intensive and they will probably ask and discuss about many related issues. It is always good to be aware of the comments and discussions developing on your posts because on the Facebook social network they will be public. For better or worse.
Instagram is strategic for marketing your business. It is a platform that is common to use more for the purpose of posting photos and videos about products and sales promotions. With Instagram, the communication and interaction will follow your posts. Users usually make short comments under the posts, tag their friends and repost. Comments on Instagram are visible only if you press to see them. With the new feature of Instagram Stories you can provide very personal communication to your customers.
WhatsApp is an app that you must add to your business social media strategy. I'll talk more about it, but for now check out the largest regional markets based on the share of internet users.
You will have the largest advantage of reaching new customers if you can be active on all of the most popular social media networks, but, assuming that you don't have enough time and a huge budget to invest, let’s create an obtainable strategy for you to start with.
Discover What You Cannot Miss
My advice, choose at least two social platforms and use them intensively to not only reach your audience, but to also engage and create dialogue.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are very popular in Latin American countries. Make a concentrated effort to post strategic and meaningful content, high-quality photos and provide promotions via social media.
Your frequent appearance on social media timelines, feeds and streams increases your online presence and allures prospective customers which brings added opportunities to introduce your business and convert them into customers.
Latin Americans are Connected the Most
According to the Global Web Index, Latin American countries rank the highest in terms of the average number of hours that social media users spend on social platforms each day (survey based).
Brazil placed second where users spent around 3 hours and 43 minutes on social media per day. Argentinians placed third (3 hours and 32 minutes) and Mexicans came in fourth (3 hours and 32 minutes). This opportunity is yours for the taking. Your customers are on social media already. Lead them to your business by creating a strong strategy to reach these users as they access their social networks for over three hours each day.
Imagine the marketing potential when we think about this as an annual opportunity. Nearly every citizen in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina is giving you the opportunity to gain their attention and convince them as to why they need your product or service - for 1,277.5 minutes each year. Their online time, is your time.
The Social Network Access Strategy
Identifying your audience will help you to build a targeted strategy, which will transform your connection with users for the better. Once you do, be sure to focus on the following three areas:
- Speak the language (or at least produce content in the the local language) - Posts and other communication should be in the native language of your new audience. Build a more welcoming and familiar environment for your customers by embracing elements of their culture.
- Provide relevant education - Being a helpful resource and sharing your knowledge will support your business reputation on social networks. Producing amazing content about how your service or product can be used through first hand experiences and new upgrades and functionalities will create interest with customers who are on the fence as to if they need your product or not.
- Create a connection - Share the story behind the business and products. From where the ideas came from, to how they were made. Give more life, meaning and value to your company and products.
As I already shared, Latin American countries loooove WhatsApp. Communication is a priority in their cultures. The messaging app is made to chat, share audios, photos, videos, documents, connect with family, friends and business colleagues. Beyond these basic social capabilities, WhatsApp holds the opportunity to be used for business success. For instance, sellers can communicate with their clients through WhatsApp by sending photos of new products and gaining consumer feedback. Clients can order new products that they researched on a company website and get updates by communication through the app. It is amazing to see how internet social media can really touch our lives and our business in the same way!
Start Today Don’t Miss Another 210 Minutes
By committing time and a small investment of capital (for paid ads), you could be connecting with prospective customers in Latin America this evening. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are the moves you need to make to access 500 million Latin Americans. Throughout three years actively testing strategies on these social networks, I have realized that any company, no matter the size, has the opportunity and ability to convert followers into new customers via social media. Take the first step and trust in big moves.