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How Top Companies are Using Social Media in Latam

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.

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The Hottest Growth Markets in Latin America

As Latin America’s economies continue to grow and more and more consumers emerge—particularly those from the middle class—the region has produced a number of growth markets. After reviewing dozens of studies, we’ve identified 8 different product categories that have posted impressive growth in recent years and seem to poised to grow even further in the near future. For marketing and media professionals, these growth trends may offer some hints as to where advertising dollars may be headed.

Appliances
While there aren’t figures available for the entire region, many of Latin America’s markets are seeing spiking sales of appliances. For example, in 2011 appliance sales went up by 25% in Argentina, by 20% in Colombia, by 16.6% in Brazil and by 16% in Peru. While sales figures for Mexico have not been published, research firm Global Insight has projected that appliance consumption in Mexico should increase by 11.6% through 2015.

Coffee Shops
Over the past few years Latin America has been growing as a market for specialty coffee shops. According to research firm Euromonitor International, by 2016 Latin America will contribute 13% of the world’s total value of specialty coffee shops. In Mexico, the specialty coffee shop segment has more than doubled since 2006 and Colombia is expected to contribute US$212 million in new value to this market. Given the growth, it’s not surprising that Starbucks has announced plans to open hundreds of shops in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina over the next few years. The strategy for brands like Starbucks seems to be to focus on the premium quality of its products and the ambience of its stores.

Cosmetics
According to Euromonitor, the Latin American cosmetics market grew by 20% in 2010 to reach US$64 billion—it’s the fourth-largest cosmetics market in the world. This regional growth is fueled by key individual markets, starting with Brazil. In 2011, Brazil’s cosmetics market posted US$43 billion in sales, an increase of 18.9% compared to 2010. Also in 2011, cosmetics consumption in Peru grew by 13% to reach US$290 per person. In fact, Peru now ranks #5 in cosmetics consumption per person in Latin America, behind Venezuela (US$390), Brazil (US$380), Mexico (US$330) y Colombia (US$320). It’s estimated that Peru’s cosmetics consumption per capita will grow by 9% in 2012 to reach US$318 per person.
In Mexico, the country’s US$9.1 billion-dollar cosmetics market grew by 7.6% in 2010 and by 8% in 2011. It’s projected to grow by another 5% in 2012, a greater rate than the country’s GDP.  In Chile, the cosmetics market grew by 11% between April 2011 and April 2012, with overall growth for 2012 projected to be 7%. Argentina’s cosmetics market posted 40% growth in value and 12% in volume in 2011 to reach US$200 million.

Pet Care
According to research firm Euromonitor International, spending on pet care products in Latin America has risen by 44% during the past 5 years to reach $11 billion. Brazil is the largest pet care market in Latin America, registering sales of US$5.2 billion in 2010, followed by Mexico (US$1 billion in sales) and Argentina (US$645 million). Despite being a smaller market in terms of pet care, Chile has the highest rates of both dog ownership (60% of households owned a dog in 2011) and cat ownership (31% of households). As such, it’s not surprising that that the pet care market in Chile has grown by 20% over the past 5 years. Peru is another growing market in pet care, posting 25% growth in 2011.

Pharmaceuticals
According to the market research report Emerging Pharmaceutical Markets in Latin America, Argentina, Chile, Colombia Peru and Venezuela should see their pharmaceutical markets grow significantly between 2012 and 2016. The report projects 8% annual growth for Colombia’s pharmaceuticals market until 2016 and 20.8% annual growth in this sector for Venezuela.
Overall, the Latin American pharmaceutical market is worth more than US$60 billion per year, equivalent to 7% of global pharmaceutical sales.
Brazil, not surprisingly, has the largest pharmaceutical market in Latin America and in fact its market ranks 7th in the world. Mexico’s pharmaceutical market ranks #14 in the world but is #2 in Latin America—it was worth US$11.4 billion in 2010, up significantly from its US$7 billion worth in 2004. IMS predicts that Mexico’s pharmaceutical market will grow by 6% per year to reach US$13 billion by 2014. For its part, Argentina’s pharmaceutical market grew by 26% in 2011 to reach 17 billion pesos (US$3.6 billion).

Soft Drinks
Between 2004 and 2010, Latin America was the region that grew the most in the consumption of energy drinks: 31%. In addition, by 2016 the per capita volume of soft drink consumption in Latin America will equal that of Western Europe. Households in Latin America spend a greater proportion of their income on soft drinks than on any other region: 4%. A study from Yale University’s Rudd Center indicates that Mexico is the world’s biggest consumer of soft drinks, with a per capita consumption that’s 40% higher than that of the United States.

Sun Care Products
In 2011 Latin America posted US$1.7 billion in sales of sun care products, up significantly from the US$1.4 billion in sales in 2010. Global sales of sun care products was US$9.3 billion, which means that Latin America accounted for 18% of sales, just behind North America. In addition, Euromonitor projects that Brazil’s growth could propel Latin America into the #2 spot in sun care product sales by 2016.

Toys
In 2011 Latin America accounted for about 9.2% of the worldwide toy market. While the region’s share isn’t as large as that of Europe or Asia, it’s important to note that Latin America is the world’s fastest-growing toy region in the world: its annual retail sales growth is between 6-8%. The combination of the region’s growth in both per capita income and population of children are helping drive Latin America’s toy market. Top categories in terms of sales include dolls, building sets and infant/preschool products. Latin America was responsible for 14.4% of Mattel’s worldwide sales in 2011 and for 7.8% of Hasbro’s worldwide sales.

To explore how we can help you reach Latin America’s growth markets through a campaign in any type of media, please contact us.

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