Latina strong

At last month’s LATISM conference, I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of attendees and presenters were Latina. I realize this observation should not be a surprise, as Latina bloggers continue to influence the online world. But this being my first social media conference, I found it a refreshing divergence from the typically male dominated worlds of computers and technology. Every day, these social media mavens provide highly valued content to their peers throughout the nation and internationally. Many brands have jumped on board with their advertising dollars. Those who haven’t would be wise to take notice.

A short time after the LATISM conference, a new white paper from Advertising Age arrived in the mail entitled, “Always On Women”. The publication featured surveys and insights about how women use technology in today’s society. Although the profiles showcased in the publication spanned across age and levels of usage, there were also a few commonalities. One is buying power. It is reported that women spend roughly $5 trillion annually and control about 80% of purchasing decisions within their hoseholds. Additionally, women online also share in engagement, especially with mobile devices. According to Nielsen data, women converse 28% more and use text messages 14% more than their male counterparts. These statistics indicate that women are a very lucrative market for advertisers of online and mobile media.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares in the idea of female ascendancy. Another publication that arrived in the mail a few days later, Fast Company magazine revealed in a 2011 Gallup poll that 54% of men between the ages of 18 and 49 prefer to father a boy. Additionally, the preference of “no preference” beat that of fathering a girl by 26% to 19%. This data inspired the magazine to consult a handful of ad agencies to “rebrand” baby girls for a mock campaign against gender bias. One particular entry from LatinWorks targets U.S. Hispanic Women and promotes superior female traits such as longer life spans and the embodiments of loyalty and compassion. Who knows, maybe this creative work will expand beyond the expectations and give birth to a greater sense of gender preference.

In particular, Latina bloggers and their work have already excelled beyond expectations, especially with brands savvy in multi-cultural markets. In a recent interview on the New Latina website, public relations expert Midy Aponte explains how the recent rise in Latina bloggers quickly caught the attention of marketers within a few short years.

“What started out as good-natured conversations between Latina bloggers, soon caught the attention of large brands, like General Mills’ Que Rica Vida and Kmart’s Latina Smart campaigns. Online collectives and groups started forming like Latina Bloggers Connect, Latina Mom Bloggers and Latina Lifestyle Bloggers. Bloggers started expanding their own platforms by writing for each other and are now being identified for their writing by online forces like AOL Latino’s Tu Voz En Tu Vida. It is no wonder brands and companies have been paying attention and engaging with these powerful voices.”

Turning back to the LATISM conference, it should be noted that the whole phenomenon began with one simple tweet – one strong Latina’s call to arms for others to join her in a social media conversation. A catchy hashtag and a few years later, the LATISM conference came to attract over 500 attendees at Chicago’s Navy Pier. In one particular session, social media expert Ted Rubin made the statement that women are better suited as leaders because they connect, engage, and empathize much better than men. Considering these are also the qualities that have made Latinas successful in social media, I am very apt to believe him. Here are some considerations for marketers and brands on why they should follow Latinas in the blogosphere and social media:

  • Like the “general” Hispanic community, Latinas are not all a monolithic group. Behavior patterns of technology use can vary depending on age, levels of acculturation, and social groupings.
  • Popular Latina bloggers are often highly regarded peers within their social spheres. Their opinions and recommendations are valued and have the potential to propel brand credibility.
  • Be aware of cross-cultural pollination. Latina influence can also grow across cultural boundaries and into the mainstream online world. Consider the insights of non-Latinas too.

I believe we can expect the influence of Latinas online to grow. Look for Latina bloggers and social media mavens to continue to innovate as they find new ways to support their peers and engage with brands.

19 Comments

  1. Great post. I’ve had the great privilege of attending both the #Latism11 conference and Blogalicious 20011 in the past few months and have first hand experience of the phenomenal group of women you highlight in this piece. I am in awe of what they accomplish on a daily basis and have added a whole new group of role models to my sphere. It will be interesting to see how long it will take for more brands to realize they need to be putting resources into building genuine relationships with these powerful mujeres.

  2. I could not agree with your insights more! Those with the vision to see the “forest for the trees” will no doubt experience the significant and dimensional power of potential this wonderful and growing group has.

    Excellent article. Thank you for posting. =)

  3. This is such a great post Jon! Absolutely empowering and I love that you give credit where it is deserved…Latina bloggers are amazing! This page really needs a “Like” button! 😉 Thanks again for pointing out such great observations…I’m always interested in the analysis you do over here. 🙂

  4. This latest post has given you the most comments, including mine. Great job and I liked your ending.

  5. Thanks for the great post and link back to Latina Bloggers Connect.
    I´ve been fortunate enough to have arrived in this space (with SpanglishBaby.com) when Latina bloggers and the whole Latinos in Social Media movement was still in diapers.
    It´s been amazing to see how we´ve all grown as a community and how much we have supported each other along the way.
    Nothing makes me happier than to see articles like this one that recognizes the value of Latina bloggers and the hard work (often with zero financial or otherwise resources) it has take to get where we are.

  6. Great post! When I created Blogs by Latinas in 2008, it was so hard to find any Latina bloggers online. Today, it’s insane how many there are of us and the numbers are only growing!

  7. Loved the article. Informative and inspirational. Great job.

  8. Right on! and if you notice your commenters are also Latinas, because we DO care!

    Reina
    @soylamar

  9. Wonderful post thank you for sharing and recognizing the influence and power of Latina bloggers. Hugs!

  10. After more than 10 years blogging and 20 plus years in the social media/public relations world, I continue to appreciate articles like yours that highlight the importance and power of Latina Bloggers…Like you, I share in the sentiment that this is just the beginning of the growth of communities, such as ours.

    Thanks again for writing such an insightful article about the power of Latina Bloggers. But more importantly, for highlighting the more than 250 members of the “Latina Lifestyle Blogger community.”

    From our beauty bloggers, to our fashionistas; from our foodies, to our tech goddesses; from the travel queens, to the artistic mavens, our unified “lifestyle” community appreciates your support!

    Ana Lydia
    @LatinaPRpro

  11. It makes me so happy to read this article. Where we once had no voice or representation in media or history books Latinas now have a platform to express themselves and be heard.

    The future looks bright.

  12. Hola Jonathan! This is a great post and I totally agree that the Latina blog world is growing leaps and bounds. So wonderful to see new faces everyday it seems across the social media channels and also great to see the stronger collaboration across the many channels. Felicidades a todas- como decia mi abuelito- palante y palante!

    Cristy
    @latinomarketing
    @lostweens

  13. Jonathan Mikulich (Author)

    Thank you to everyone for the kind comments. When your own mother writes a positive comment, you know you have been raised well.

  14. Thank you so much for featuring Latina Mom Bloggers. Latinas are a powerful force in Social Media. The voices of our diverse Latino cultures are being heard. I agree with Ted Rubin 110%. Women tend to connect better with each other, trust each other’s advice and are naturally more social. I agree that’s why we are so successful in this space. I’m looking forward to future trends and expect the power & influence of Latinas to reach out beyond blogging and into the board rooms, entrepreneurship & organization for Social change – – the possibilities are endless. Juntos podemos hacer más.

    @Eva_Smith
    @LatinaMomBlogs

  15. Exciting to find your site. I am thinking of starting a blog to reach the Latino community and you have provided me with an excellent starting point
    We have been in business for over 60 years serving the hispanic community selling all natural products for the mind body & Espiritu. We have recently launched a business opportunity at http://www.tmcherbs.com, a money making program promoting products that have been a part of the latino culture for centuries. My grandmother started this business in 1944 and we want to keep her legacy alive. THANKS again and look forward to networking

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