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What:  Hispanic Local Search Provider Ya Sabe is partnering with Atlanta’s Hispanic newspaper Mundo Hispanico to create Mundo Local. Mundo Local  will offer unique bilingual and culturally-relevant content for more than half a million Hispanics living in Atlanta.
Why it matters: Hispanic newspapers often have a strong local presence both in terms of the end-audience as regarding strong connections with local advertisers. They can sell into new local search technologies with specialized location-based information companies like YaSabe.

Mundo Hispanico, the Spanish-language publisher in Atlanta owned by Cox Media Group, a division of Cox Enterprises, announced a partnership with YaSabe.com, the leading provider of location-based information for U.S. Hispanics, Portada has heard. After a successful pilot program, Mundo has partnered with YaSabe to launch Mundo Local, which offers unique bilingual and culturally-relevant content for more than half a million Hispanics living in Atlanta.

“The deal is an exclusive partnership between Mundo Hispanico and YaSabe for the Atlanta metropolitan region,” Digital Marketing Manager at YaSabe tells Portada.

YaSabe will provide its content and technology platform to power Mundo Local, and Mundo Hispanico will sell measurable digital advertising to SMBs in Atlanta looking to reach Hispanics consumers.

Ya Sabe. Búsqueda Local.“YaSabe enables Mundo to differentiate from other digital products available in the marketplace by offering businesses in Atlanta a Spanish-language presence online and a great ROI.” said Julio Saenz, General Manager of Mundo Hispanico. “The partnership with YaSabe brings high-quality traffic for local advertisers and enables Mundo to capture the market potential in Atlanta without having to make large investments.”

Suite of Sales Tools

As part of the agreement, YaSabe will provide a suite of sales tools to help prospect and sell specialized digital advertising, and YaSabe’s sales specialists will be based in Atlanta to support Mundo’s sales and marketing efforts on-the-ground.

YaSabe has built a technology platform to crawl, aggregate, translate and curate culturally relevant local information and makes the content available online, optimized for access from mobile devices. In 2013, this proprietary content attracted more than 7M users to YaSabe, made up of Hispanic consumers searching for products and services online. The company sells measurable digital marketing products and services to local businesses, auto dealerships and National brands that want to reach Hispanic consumers.

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What: A YaSabe study reveals  that Spanish-Speaking U.S. Small Businesses are 25% more likely to have a Facebook page. But only 12% of these businesses have active Facebook pages.
Why it matters: Despite all the talk about social networks like Facebook being critical for small businesses, the study shows that few Hispanic businesses see heightened interaction with their customers through Facebook and fewer still are successful using social media to attract new customers.

As consumers spend an increasingly large amount of time engaging on social media, there is a consensus in the local advertising industry that social networks -like Facebook- are a critical tool for small businesses. However, a new study by YaSabe reveals that relatively few small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) see heightened interaction with their customers through Facebook and fewer still are successful using social media to attract new customers.

YaSabe undertook a study to understand how SMBs leverage social media to reach and engage their consumers, and especially how Spanish-speaking SMB’s compared to others. The study analyzed over 500 SMBs in five major US markets. Fifty percent of SMB’s selected have Spanish-speaking owners/staff.

Facebook Presence

YaSabe’s study revealed that only 27% of all small businesses sampled had a Facebook page; when analyzing Spanish-speaking businesses and merchants, these SMBs were 25% more likely to have a Facebook page compared with non- Spanish-speaking businesses (34% vs. an overall average of 27%).

Engagement, Activity, and Likes

The study also focused on the level of engagement the SMBs had on their Facebook pages. YaSabe analyzed activity, such as comments and updates, and Facebook ‘likes’ to measure social following. The study revealed that less than 1 in 4 businesses had ever made a post to their Facebook page, and fewer than half had shown any activity whatsoever within the last 30 days. Only 12% of all businesses sampled had actively used their Facebook pages to engage with customers within the last month. Spanish-speaking businesses were even less likely to have shown activity within 30 days (only 40% vs. an overall average of 46%) despite US Latinos over indexing in their use of social media .

Even though engagement with the social media site continues to grow, especially among Hispanic consumers, fewer than half of SMBs with Facebook pages had accumulated more than 100 “likes”, the token by which Facebook decides whom it will notify when a business uses its page to broadcast a post. For businesses with small followings, these pages are of little value.

While Facebook claims that 16 million businesses have a Facebook page, the reality at present is that few SMBs are active on Facebook.

This is not to say that small businesses aren’t using Facebook. Rather, the study shows that the small numbers of SMBs that do utilize social media do so with little success. In order for social networking to become a major channel for small businesses to engage with existing customers and acquire new ones, SMBs must commit to actively increasing likes and posting information and special offers continuously. Since small business owners are busy running their businesses, this is unlikely to happen. So while Facebook claims that 16 million businesses have a Facebook page, the reality at present is that few SMBs are active on Facebook.

When asked by Portada whether Facebook is a relevant business networking site as opposed to be more of a consumer social network, a YaSabe spokesperson said that ” I agree that Twitter and LinkedIn are good social networking tools. Their focus thus has primarily been on B2B and for business networking. However, Facebook remains, at least for local advertising, the consumer-oriented social media. At the moment, Facebook is considered the dominant B2C social media platform.”

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YaSabe has been selected by Viva Móvil by Jennifer Lopez as provider of local information, the companies announced today.

Under the agreement, whose financials were not revealed, Verizon Wireless’ Viva Móvil will help to promote and distribute YaSabe local search applications to its subscribers. YaSabe will help promote Viva Móvil’s new retail locations and wireless services to Hispanic consumers searching online.

“YaSabe offers a gateway that helps Hispanic consumers find local businesses, coupons and more on-the-go,” said Bosco Souto, President of Viva Móvil, in a prepared statement. “We are pleased to recommend to our Viva subscribers to download and use the YaSabe local search applications.”

Viva Móvil products are available both on Facebook and GetViva.com, and will be available in physical stores that will open in cities like New York (June 15), Miami, and Los Angeles.

YaSabe, which earlier this year received an investment by Brightstar Corp., offers Hispanic consumers a location-aware mobile experience that lets them find and discover businesses and special offers nearby. It is estimated that 40% of YaSabe’s usage comes from Hispanic consumers making queries on their mobile devices and the vast majority of this traffic is emanating from the top-10 Hispanic cities.

Brightstar Corp., the world’s largest specialized wireless distributor and the largest Hispanic-owned business in the US, has made an investment in local information provider YaSabe.  Brightstar’s investment is part of a larger round of financing that will be concluded in the first quarter of 2013. This is YaSabe’s first preferred round which includes individual investors and institutions.

<h2>Mobile and its relationship with Local Search</h2>

Approximately 40% of YaSabe’s usage comes from Hispanic consumers making queries on their mobile devices and the vast majority of this traffic is emanating from the top-10 most Hispanic cities.

According to Tejani, Local search, where users are looking for local merchants and service providers, is an obvious and fundamental requirement for the mobile web.  YaSabe offers access to bilingual local business information that is culturally relevant.  What service providers speak Spanish? What are the best Latin restaurants near by?  Is any close by business offering a coupon?”
YaSabe offers Hispanic consumers a location-aware mobile experience that lets them find and discover businesses and special offers near by – no matter where they are.  Users can come to YaSabe.com using their mobile browser or download YaSabe’s local search apps for iPhone or Android phones.

Valpak Direct Marketing Systems will partner with YaSabe.com to enter the U.S. Hispanic market.  YaSabe will enable users to find and discover Valpak coupons and special offers online and from their mobile phones.  

“The 52 million Hispanics living in the United States represent a major growth opportunity in almost every segment of the economy, especially for local businesses,” said Michael Vivio, President of Cox Target Media.  “Partnering with YaSabe lets Valpak step into the Hispanic market in a meaningful way in one fell swoop.”  “Coupons are a natural extension of YaSabe and our relationship with Valpak lets us offer valuable content to Hispanic consumers all over the country”, said Zubair Talib, CEO of YaSabe, “Our users are already actively searching for local deals and coupons. “

VNewspapersalpak is one of the main players in the U.S. direct marketing sector (including the newspaper insert market.) It is owned and operated by Cox Target Media, along with Savings.com. With nearly 170 franchises across the United States and Canada, the signature Blue Envelope® delivers savings and value to nearly 40 million households each month. In the past Valpak has had direct mail programs targeting the U.S. Hispanic consumer.

Opportunity for local merchants

Users can now search for coupons in Spanish or English at YaSabe.com, Google, Bing and on other partner websites like Univision.com, where Hispanics go online.  Local merchants and service providers offering discounts and specials through Valpak are highlighted and users can filter their search results to see only businesses making special offers. The website is updated constantly with new coupons allowing users to find and discover updated and valid special offers from local merchants nearby and in their communities. Latinos in the US have embraced technology, especially the mobile internet, to access information and help them to improve their quality of life.  And 70% of wired Hispanics in the US regularly access the internet via mobile, which is much higher than for non-Hispanics.  And according to Pew Hispanic Center, 6 out of 10 Hispanic households used coupons.