Interview: A. Rodriguez Andrade: “Brand sites will play an increasingly informative role”
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UM recently published the results of its survey on Wave 6 social networks. The study polled more than 40,000 Internet users who use this tool daily in 62 countries. In Latin America, users were polled in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico.
According to UM, social network penetration in the region reached 73% this year. While penetration has stabilized in recent years, what has increased is the use of various tools, including tools for uploading videos to the internet, watching movies online, and opening and maintaining social network profiles, etc.
Portada interviewed Andrés Rodriguez Andrade, Lead Digital Communication Strategist for UM Colombia, on new digital media trends in the region.
Portada: What social network trends do you expect in the coming years? Will social networks take the place of company websites in terms of building relationships with users? Will interaction grow as a result of social networks?
Andrés Rodríguez Andrade: We believe, based on the results of our study, that all social networks are gaining important relevance today among consumers. Thus, the trends we have identified are focused on how to exploit the different platforms that are being used to access networks and make them user-friendly. Although we think that the spaces within brand websites are becoming less visited, we do not believe that they will disappear in the future. They will simply play an informative role that will be complemented by the user interaction generated by the brand. Social networks have definitely helped us interact more frequently with people and entities that we did not interact with before, and that is where their success lies.
Portada: Some experts say that social networks like Facebook will suffer a slowdown in user growth and interaction. How do you think Latin America will be affected?
Andrés Rodríguez Andrade: In Latin America, social networks have not yet reached their full peak growth. We are undoubtedly close, given the number of platforms we can connect on today. Although we know we will reach maximum peak growth, we still do not expect interaction to decrease, because ultimately that is one of the main principles on which social networks are based.
Portada: What is your view of the relationship between mobiles and social networks in Latin America? What are your expectations for mobile advertising in the coming years?
Andrés Rodríguez Andrade: For us, mobile phones have been the means by which social networks have achieved their maximum growth. We know that in Latin America, penetration rates for mobiles reach 90%, which is why the ratio is directly proportional to the usage of each device today. As for mobile advertising, we know it will have to evolve in the region to the level of segmentation seen in other markets, where we might be able to identify what kind of user owns the device.
Portada: What were your study’s main findings regarding the analysis of advertising effectiveness on social networks?
Andrés Rodríguez Andrade: There really is no one way to advertise on social networks, therefore effectiveness will always vary. Success lies in understanding the social network environment, the environment of the community being targeted, and lastly, developing a real value strategy that impacts and positively moves consumers to action.
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