Social Media seen as a key to Hispanic entrepreneurial successCindy • Sep 21, 2016
Mario Rodriguez and his fiancee, Elizabeth Salazar, started Wonky Power Records two years ago with a small studio and a commitment to helping local performers get better representation and gigs. Their client list has since grown to 15, mostly Latino artists.
As their business grew, so did the need to improve their social media game. The couple sought professional help to learn how best to spread their message around social media channels like Facebook and Instagram without giving it a copy-and-paste feel that can appear inauthentic and turn followers away.
Developing a strong social media strategy is critical for Houston's growing community of Hispanic entrepreneurs, even those who may not feel particularly tech savvy, said Laura Murillo, CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. On Wednesday, it will be the topic of the latest in the chamber's "Connecting Minds" series sponsored by Chase for Business.
"It has to be a part of your overall business strategy," she said.
According to a July report from the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Latino adults who report using the internet rose to 84 percent in 2015 from 64 percent in 2009. In the same time period, the gap in internet use between Latinos and Anglos declined to 5 percentage points from 16. The biggest gains were seen among immigrants and mainly Spanish-speaking Hispanics, although both groups remain less likely than other Hispanics to use the internet.
Between 2009 and 2015, the percentage of immigrant Hispanics using the internet rose to 78 percent from 51 percent. Among mainly Spanish-speaking Hispanics, the rate grew to 74 percent from 36 percent.
Much of the internet use is driven by mobile, something Jessica Bolaños has seen growing within the Hispanic community for a while.
Bolaños is the co-founder of Goodspero, a social and digital media consulting and training team based in Richmond. The 3-year-old company serves nonprofit groups and small businesses with workshops on topics from setting up social media profiles to understanding and creating strategies around analytics.
"It's pretty overwhelming for a lot of people," she said.
Rodriguez and Salazar turned to Goodspero for tips and tricks on how to better use their social accounts to promote their artists. There they learned how to curate content by being selective on how many words they use in posts, paying more attention to their use of photos and videos, and making sure content doesn't overlap too much across their social media accounts.
Those efforts helped bring in more followers and, in turn, increased attendance at concerts. Salazar now is expanding into SnapChat.
Bolaños, who will be a panelist at the Hispanic Chamber's seminar, said small businesses need to learn what tools fit best with their intended audience rather than going for everything at once. Among Hispanic entrepreneurs, she's seen a major preference for Facebook, given that business owners can use it both for work and personal connections. The translation tool helps make posts in both Spanish and English, and the chat room option helps avoid the cost of long-distance calls to families abroad.
Patricia Boral, CEO of Houston-based online marketing firm Boral Branding, said small and midsize Hispanic-owned businesses must use the technology to market to their own community.
"Hispanics are ahead of the digital curve," Boral said. "If (businesses) are targeting Hispanics, they need to have a good social media presence." Read Full Story Here