Best Practices “Linked In Forum Discussion: Social Media in English or Spanish?”

An interesting discussion about whether social media sites targeting Hispanics should be in English or Spanish is taking place on Portada’s Linked in Forum  

Discussion Started by Maribel Viteri, International Marketing Manager at Flor de Cana, Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area

“Should a brand reaching the U.S. Hispanic consumer through social media talk to its fans in English or Spanish? What’s your opinion?”

Marcos Baer
, Publisher, Portada
“Hola Maribel 🙂 I think that it depends on whether you are targeting first or second/third generation Hispanics. In any case , the language you use, whether it is English or Spanish should be culturally relevant….”

Maribel Viteri, replies
So does that mean that within your Facebook or twitter strategy you should use both? Or have one page in English and one in Spanish? Furthermore besides the language factor I think that unfortunately companies are not really defining their strategy in that sense and making many mistakes as they don't properly use correct grammar, especially in Spanish.”

Carl Kravetz , Publisher at, comments:
If you're going to do it right, the best practice is to have one page/feed in Spanish and one in English. But your posts should not be mere translations. As Marcos points out, they must be relevant to the users of your page or tweets. So, for each, hire someone who can carry on the conversation in the appropriate language and tone…

Tim Harper, Experienced Media and Hospitality Senior Manager: Operations, Marketing and Sales Management, Des Moines, Iowa Area, comments:
“I am not sure why companies wouldn't already have English social media sites. So the only two questions are: If you don't already have a Facebook page in English what are you waiting for? The second question is where do we find someone who can converse in appropriate Spanish for our new Spanish language social media sites. Be careful with the choice it could back fire if their idea of knowing Spanish is three courses in high school or college.”

Marcelo Salup, Principal at MS Group LLC

“First, What would distinguish the "Hispanic" Facebook page from the "General Market" social page? I think that would certainly have some bearing into it. Second. I would address people in the language that they used in the same place. Spanish for Spanish; English for English. If you go to the Facebook page of ATM (A Toda Musica) you can see all the options, from English to Spanish to all degrees of Spanglish


Marcelo Salup 
" @ Carl – which companies currently have one Facebook page in Spanish and one in English? "

Angelica Balderas, National Sales Manager at Adelante Media Group
“ I can tell you on our station Latino 97.9FM in Sacramento most of our dj's interface with the listeners in Spanish and English and responses are mainly in Spanish with some English. Understanding the culture is key regardless of the language”

Carl Kravetz
"Marcelo, One good example is General Mills. They have FB pages in English brand by brand (look at Betty Crocker, for example) and the Qué Rica Vida page en español… "

Marcelo Salup
" Carl, thanks! Any others? I'd like to check them out."

Christopher Stanley, Managing Partner at Alcance Media Group
“ I have seen this done many different ways and it usually depends on the situation. In many cases you can run a bilingual page and base the language for responses to that of the original comment. In the case of a brand that is very strong in Mexico but wants to reach an English dominant business traveler from the U.S. then associating a specific conversation/account in that language and promoting it will be a worthwhile strategy.”

Marcelo Salup
"That's precisely what I said. That's why I'm so curious about companies like General Mills that Carl mentioned, I'm going to check them out to see the differences."

Carl Kravetz
"Marcelo, Here are few more: Pampers/Pampers Latino, Budweiser/Budweiser Latino, Body by Milk/La Campaña del Bigote de Leche… "

Beatriz Perez-Gomez,Hispanic Media Specialist and Strategist – Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations Consulting
"Experience has taught me that both languages are important but the preferred language for Hispanics or Latinos is Spanish. The majority of consumers speak only Spanish and they use social media as much as others. As as a matter of fact, social media reaches Latin America and that is quite an incentive for "new" users to communicate with friends and family. I agree that the language should be "standard" Spanish and if possible, tailored to specific populations, such as Mexicans and Central American, which is the fastest growing group in the United States. You must be aware of your target audience and know "Argentinian versus Venezuelan, etc." Is a fascinating subject and quite a challenge."

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