Building Multicultural Communities
Building a Hispanic community takes more than just a language toggle. To do it right, marketers must recognize and do the following:
1. Recognize the Hispanic community is diverse. While language preferences vary based on background and life stage, Hispanics are first and foremost seeking the most relevant experiences. Therefore Spanish community efforts should go beyond straight translation and include targeted visual and cultural references that take into account ties to their home country. Take the time to understand who your customers and prospects are, then build the team and resources needed to be authentic and believable to that community — or they'll go elsewhere.
2. Review and audit existing efforts and market intelligence. If you have a Spanish website, spend some time reviewing metrics and traffic patterns to help you understand the needs and interests of your audience. A recent review of a client’s website in Spanish uncovered critical learnings and served as the catalyst for launching a dedicated Facebook and Twitter effort.
Not only did the review uncover key engagement differences (e.g., visitation and usage of the client’s website in Spanish far outpaced its English counterpart — visitors stayed four times longer and viewed three times more pages), but it also discovered navigation to a feature and service not yet available in English. This prompted the company to provide this service.
3. Research and create unique content that meets your audience's needs. Building a Hispanic community isn't about translating existing communities into Spanish; it's about taking the time to understand the interests and shared passion your brand may have with that audience. My firm did customer research for another client that uncovered an opportunity for a sports sponsorship. This sponsorship now serves as the company's foundation for community engagement and discussions.
4. Hire a Spanish community manager. Google Translate is helpful, but in order to be taken seriously you need to be real. Hire a community manager who's Hispanic and can relate to the Hispanic culture and community. This is critical in keeping the conversation authentic, real and respectful.
Related story: Building Your Facebook Community