Brands Leveraging Reach of Social Media Latinas

by Melanie Edwards on July 9, 2010 · 79 comments

in Blogging,social media

Latina Bloggers at Que Rica Vida

This post was co-written with Ana Lilian Flores of SpanglishBaby.

When I began blogging in 2006, it was hard for me to find other Latino bloggers. There were some, but in the last year and a half there has been an explosion in how many Latino-owned blogs are now published. In fact, the Blogs By Latinas directory had only 156 registered blogs in October 2009 and, less than a year later, has added 505 new ones, with that number increasing by the day. I think it’s all very exciting and couldn’t be happier about it.

I’ve been able to meet some amazing bloggers – and particularly women – who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. They are inspiring, smart, and generous. This is something that is not unique to them because they are Latinas, but the fact that they are, provides for an almost-immediate connection amongst us. We are able to relate on various levels, principally on living a bi-cultural life.

But you see, Latina bloggers are outpacing the general market in our growth. According to Sophia Mind, Hispanic women in the U.S. are one of the fastest-growing online demographics, and more than 85 percent of Latinas visit social networks on a regular basis. It makes sense then, that Latina bloggers are now seeing much more interest and engagement from brands and companies. Why? For the same reasons we connect with each other; we are Americans who easily maneuver two cultures – often times two languages as well – and we love our social media, which is perfect for spreading the right message.

Brands sponsoring Latina bloggers is a win-win situation: the brands gain an alternate and possibly more effective message stream, and the bloggers gain support in doing what they love.” – Rory Lassanske

Let’s take a look at two companies in particular that have successfully engaged with Latina bloggers: General Mills and V-Me.

This past May, General Mills invited 32 Latina bloggers from around the country – flying most of us to Miami at company expense – to participate in the re-launch of Que Rica Vida, its Hispanic-focused family website. The event was unique in that it was the first time in the blogging world that a company focused so heavily on marketing to Latinas. Through attending, we were able to learn about the brand’s initiatives, connect with other Latinos (bloggers and journalists), and use our social media presence to share relevant information with our various online communities.

Latina Bloggers Networking at Que Rica Vida Event

It’s a win-win-win for bloggers, brands, and the larger Latino online community. Bloggers will grow, the exploding Latino online community will have more content designed specifically for it, and for brands, well, for brands they will be first in line in a culture which values loyalty, family and tradition, so for them, can you say fiesta?” – Silvia Martinez

In addition to the efforts of General Mills, there is a group of seven influential Latina bloggers who are being sponsored to attend the BlogHer 2010 conference by V-me, a Spanish-language TV network in partnership with public television. This is the first time any media company is sponsoring a group of bloggers at a major blog conference, let alone a group that is culture-specific. It’s a timely decision, as this year, there will be more Latina bloggers at BlogHer than ever before. We will also have a more active role in the conference with the inclusion of the first all-Latina panel session at BlogHer and the Social Fiesta, BlogHer’s first Latina-inspired community party in celebration of Latina and Hispanic culture.

By selecting these seven women, each with their own following and niche expertise, V-me is building a relationship in which the bloggers act as advocates and create awareness for a brand they already know and trust. “V-Me’s partnership with popular American Latina bloggers is a sign of what is to come — the massive recognition by corporations that Latina brand ambassadors are a smart investment in reaching a powerful market that speaks in two dominant languages and thrives in two cultures,’’ said Carrie Ferguson Weir, publisher of Tiki Tiki Blog, an award-winning site about growing up, and living, Latino in the United States.

So, who are these women that have partnered with V-Me? The seven Latina bloggers chosen by V-me to represent the network are:

You’ve already heard from some of these bloggers above, but what do the rest of these Latina bloggers have to say about the recent surge in marketing to Latinas? In their own words:

Marketers and PR agencies are turning their attention to the Latina blogosphere in a big way because they have noticed what a diverse, opinionated and influential group we are. As the Hispanic population continues its upward trend, brands will continue to reach out to bloggers who capture the true spirit of this diverse group and that know how to talk to us in a way that reflects who we are. Such is the case with V-me’s decision to choose seven of the most influential Latina bloggers, each with a voice of our own, to represent them as Ambassadors during BlogHer 10. This is a huge opportunity for us to show how professionally we approach blogging as a career and how far our reach can go.” – Ana Lilian Flores

I think the time has come for brands to start realizing that we are a real, growing force within the online community, just like V-Me has done by sponsoring a group of 7 diverse Latina bloggers to BlogHer. I believe we’ve been overlooked for too long and as we continue to grow – not only in terms of the population in general, but also in the world of bloggers – we need to continue working for recognition.” – Roxana Soto

I believe that the support of bloggers by major brands and corporations legitimizes and recognizes the work, dedication, passion, and enthusiasm that goes into so many of the blogs out there. Blogs are the products of many creative people, people who inspire, people who support, and people who have something of value to share. When brands support blogs – good, well written blogs- they also help the entrepreneurs and creative writers behind them.

When those bloggers are Latinas, or women of color, they support something more. A voice not often well-represented or heard. I am excited to be a member of the V-Me group not because it gave me a way to get to a conference, but because it gave me an opportunity to stand side-by-side other Latinas who, despite our common culture, represent a variety of interests, lifestyles, and voices different from my own. A difference that was specifically sought out and is enthusiastically supported. Together we represent the differences in our culture on many levels, just as V-Me does. This type of blog-brand relationship is one I hope to see more of in the near future.” – Carol Cain

Are you a Latina blogger? What has been your experience with brands so far? If you’re on the brand or marketing side, what appeals to you about engaging with Latina bloggers?

Disclosure: I attended the Que Rica Vida launch event in Miami, FL as a guest of General Mills. All opinions and thoughts are my own and I was not required to post about the event. In addition, V-Me TV is a sponsor of mine for the BlogHer 2010 conference.

Photos by Dariela Cruz and used with permission.

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Janis July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Great post Melanie! I haven't had the good fortune to be hand picked by any brands to represent them YET! Perhaps it is because I am more widely know as a Special Needs mom blogger, who just so happens to be Latina. Although as far as I know I am the only Latina blogger in the Special Needs community — that's my niche. It is only a matter of time before more brands realize that SN parents are consumers too. ;)

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2 modernmami July 14, 2010 at 7:07 am

That's a very defined niche! I've heard that complain before, that brands don't seem to market to the special needs community often. I'm sure it's only a matter of time, like you said!

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3 Dariela July 9, 2010 at 6:43 pm

All this is really really interesting. To think that before this boom we weren't represented as much is kind of weird because we have always been here!! That';s why it feels good and very natural that brands start taking notice.
For me when I get contacted because I am latina means I feel so comfortable and easy, it feels natural to work with a latino market, I love it!
I participated in Que Rica Vida and it was the first time a company acknowledged me and so many others in that way, I realized it is very smart because we latinas love to be amongst more latinas, and their audience WILL grow.

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4 modernmami July 14, 2010 at 7:08 am

Yes, we've been around for a while. But, I think because of the recent growth, and recent studies on “how to market to us”, perhaps that's why we're seeing more opportunities to partner with brands now.

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5 Jai July 10, 2010 at 9:15 am

Very well written article! I do agree that brands are starting to focus more on Latina bloggers. I think it's great that they are becoming more aware of diversity and how it impacts consumers. :) I enjoyed meeting you and the other mamas at the General Mills event and sad I won't be joining you ladies for BlogHer! Have a great time!

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6 modernmami July 14, 2010 at 7:09 am

I wish you could join us! It would be fun to have a reunion. ;)

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7 Angelica @ Modern Familia July 10, 2010 at 11:33 am

The power of advertising with latina bloggers lies in one word: TRUST. Latinas trust one another. When one of us shares an opinion about a product or service, we trust in that sacred sharing. Latina bloggers are uniquely positioned to review and endorse products they believe in because they have a connection with their readers. This connection, layered upon trust, is key. This post is an excellent account of how Latinas, especially bloggers, are marking and changing the branding and advertising panorama.

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8 modernmami July 14, 2010 at 7:17 am

I think we have another layer still – we can connect with a diverse audience. We connect with more than just Latinas, as many of us navigate a bilingual/bicultural life each day and associate with many different groups of people, particularly other women/moms.

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9 mom2miahaudrey July 10, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Definitely a great read!
It is interesting how many more Latinas are blogging now than just a couple of years ago.

What is the reason so many of us are online now more than ever?

I hope that as fast as our beautiful Latina online population has increased we soon see the brand-Latina relationships/opportunities increasing.

Again…great post!!!

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10 modernmami July 14, 2010 at 7:19 am

That's a great question! That would make for an interesting study. WHY are more of us online each day? Perhaps it's because as we grow as women and our families grow (for many of us), we seek to connect with others of similar interests?

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11 Jessie Nuez July 12, 2010 at 9:13 pm

This is a great article Ana and Melanie! It is fantastic to know that brands doing their social media due diligence and are actually listening. Many brands are realizing that the mold of being Latina doesn't exist be it our nationalities, skin color, point of views, etc. In this new media space, we are a growing influential powerful force in which brands can learn a great deal from.

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12 modernmami July 14, 2010 at 7:20 am

Thanks, Jessie! I agree that the diversity of our community is being realized more each day. By continuing to do what we're doing as bloggers, we'll continue to break those stereotypes.

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13 Josh July 13, 2010 at 2:07 am

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14 Young And Fabulous July 14, 2010 at 10:12 am

Congratulations in being able to participate in this wonderful opportunity, Melanie. I'm happy for you and the rest of the Latina Bloggers Community. Rock on!

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15 modernmami July 14, 2010 at 11:43 am

Thanks so much! We're all very excited and hope to keep growing as a
community.

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16 Monica July 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Maybe there are more of us on-line now because more of us are moving away from family and the internet provides us with the opportunity to connect with our families and friends on a regular basis. And blogs are only an extension of that and a way to keep our relationships personal through such an impersonal media?

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17 modernmami July 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I think that definitely plays a role in it. I know that personally, I never
connected with so many Latinas before I started my blog. So, perhaps, that
is one reason: it's a way to find new people you normally wouldn't meet in
real life. :)

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18 Silvia July 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

Love your post! I'm so happy to be part of such an amazing group of latin a blogueras!

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19 modernmami July 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

Silvia, I'm so happy to share this experience with you and the other amazing
Latinas. Great things are coming our way. ;)

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20 mommasof98 July 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Great post Melanie!

Oh to be in the same room with you chicas again!!! (:

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21 Liz Cerezo July 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Oh to be in the same room with you chicas again!!! (:

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22 modernmami July 15, 2010 at 9:04 pm

ha! No problem. It would be great to have one big reunion, wouldn't it? :)

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23 Eren Mckay July 22, 2010 at 9:56 am

I would love to go to one of these conferences. I don't think they have them in Brazil though. It's wonderful to see latina bloggers uniting :-)
x ? x?,
Eren

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24 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

Well, then we need to get you to the US! ;)

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25 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

Well, then we need to get you to the US! ;)

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26 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

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Reply

27 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

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Reply

28 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

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29 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

Well, then we need to get you to the US! ;)

Reply

30 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

Well, then we need to get you to the US! ;)

Reply

31 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

Well, then we need to get you to the US! ;)

Reply

32 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

Well, then we need to get you to the US! ;)

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33 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

Well, then we need to get you to the US! ;)

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34 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

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35 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

Well, then we need to get you to the US! ;)

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36 modernmami July 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

Well, then we need to get you to the US! ;)

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