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It’s clear that social media are hugely popular in Latin America and reach more than 90% of the region’s 232 million Internet users. Given this, how are companies in Latin America using social media to further their marketing efforts? A new study from Burson-Marstellar analyzed these efforts by looking at the social media strategies of the top 25 companies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.
We’ve grouped together some of the key takeaways of the study for marketing, media and advertising professionals.
65% ARE USING AT LEAST ONE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
This is an improvement from 2010, when only 49% of the Latin American companies were using social media. However, Latam firms are clearly behind the rest of the world in this regard: globally, 87% of companies are using at least one social media platform.
BRAZILIAN AND VENEZUELAN COMPANIES LEAD THE REGION IN SOCIAL MEDIA USE
In 2012, 88% of the Brazilian companies and 84% of the Venezuelan companies analyzed by the Burson-Marstellar study were using social media platforms. Other countries in which a large percentage of top firms report using social media include Colombia (76%), Mexico (76%), Chile (76%) and Argentina (64%). The lowest percentage was found in companies in Puerto Rico, where only 28% of top firms use social media. However, only 5% of companies in Puerto Rico were using social media in 2010, so the rate quintupled in just two years, obviously indicating growth in this area.
FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ARE THE PLATFORMS OF CHOICE
In 2012, 50% of the firms studied were using Facebook and 53% were using Twitter. In third place was YouTube (31%), with Google+ in fourth place (20%). This data is interesting when you consider that comScore results indicate that Google+ is not among the top social media sites in Latin America’s largest markets. For example, in November 2012, the top social media sites in Brazil in descending order were Facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn, Twitter, Ask.fm, Tumblr, Scribd, Badoo, Deviantart and Vostu. With the exceptions of Orkut and Vostu, these are the top social sites in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia.
Of course, the issue could be about fit. LinkedIn is for professional contacts, Badoo doesn’t accept advertising and is focused on meeting people, Deviantart is about posting artwork, Scribd is a document sharing site and Ask.fm is a Q&A site.
That said, Latin American firms may want to consider Pinterest, a site that many American firms are including in their social media mix. Pinterest is gaining ground in all of these markets and has cracked the list of the top 20 social media sites in Latin America, though not the top 10—yet.
COMPANIES IN BRAZIL AND MEXICO HAVE THE MOST TWITTER FOLLOWERS
Compared to 2010, companies in Brazil and Mexico have skyrocketed in followers. For example, Brazilian firms had an average of 4,206 social media followers per account in 2010 and in 2012 this figure reached 66,958; in Mexico, the average went from 2,240 social media followers to 43,107. That said, companies in other countries have also seen huge increases in the amount of followers per account:
- Argentina: from 777 in 2010 to 19,023 in 2012
- Chile: from 1,624 in 2010 to 13,000 in 2012
- Colombia: from 525 in 2010 to 8,496 in 2012
- Peru: from 85 in 2010 to 4,814 in 2012
In all of Latin America, the average amount of social media followers of these top 25 firms went from 2,626 to 33,077.
THE PERCENTAGE OF COMPANIES WITH FACEBOOK PAGES SPIKES IN ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, PERU AND PUERTO RICO
In these countries, the percentage either doubled or nearly doubled: up by 48% in Argentina, by 52% in Brazil, by 60% in Chile and by 52% in Peru. However, the firms in Colombia showed the most impressive growth. The amount of firms in Colombia with Facebook pages went up by 76% between 2010 and 2012.
BRAZILIANS TALK THE MOST ABOUT COMPANY FACEBOOK PAGES
An average of nearly 45,000 Brazilians are talking about company Facebook pages, much more than in any other country. No other country in Latin America even comes close to this massive level of engagement. The country that occupies second place in the amount of people discussing company Facebook pages is Peru, with just 7,781 doing so.
30% OF LATIN AMERICA’S TOP FIRMS ARE SHARING CONTENT ON YOUTUBE
Mexico has the highest percentage of firms that share content on YouTube at 52%, followed by firms in Chile and Brazil (each with 48%) and Argentina (32%). These figures are somewhat surprising given that Latin Americans are watching online videos more than ever.
THE MAJORITY OF LARGE COMPANIES IN LATIN AMERICA ARE NOT USING GOOGLE+
Currently 20% have a Google Plus page, compared to the global average of 48%.
To explore how we can help you reach Latin Americans via social media or any other type of media, please contact us.