Inspiring Community

By Kelly Dawes

Community is everywhere. It’s more than the traditional definition of living together in one place. It’s more than practicing common ownership. It’s about a community of individuals wherever they happen to be in the world and about connecting together in a meaningful way. Community is a key theme for Latinos. 

We can see the Latino desire for community by looking at mobile phone media trends. Cell phones are more than just a way for Hispanics to communicate quickly; they’re a way for them to communicate with many. They’re a way to stay connected with friends and family in the U.S. or even their country of origin if it is outside of the United States. For many Latinos, cell phones aren’t about efficiency and multitasking as they are for so many in the general market; they’re about expanding personal knowledge and experiences.

Mobile phones are bridging and building society in a way that allows for Latinos to feel part of whatever community they desire. As marketers for the Hispanic consumer, we need to think beyond just geography. We keep saying that it is no longer about creating content that consumers in Houston or Miami solely understand because that same content may be read and shared by consumers on the opposite end of the country or even a whole other country. We live in a global society where content can move easily between consumers. Hispanic consumers are very much a part of this, and we need to understand this idea and embrace their drive for community as an important factor in all marketing messages.

Even beyond using the cell phone for community, Hispanics are also driving the social media space and view the digital space as the “plaza del pueblo” (central plaza) as a mean for staying connected (eMarkter Report, September 2011). It’s more than using the cell phone as a way to stay connected with community. Hispanics are being entrepreneurs and creating and interacting in the digital world, and they are twice as likely than the general market consumers to do so (eMarkter report, September 2011). 

How can we keep up with this knowledge and information of community for Hispanics? How can we actually see this interaction?  A great representation of this movement amongst Latinos is in a ground-breaking social media organization: LATISM. LATISM stands for Latinos in Social Media and has been deemed one of the most influential online movements by capturing over 10 million impressions a day with their hashtag #LATISM. LATISM understands the idea of community and creates a space of Latinos of all ages to interact and communicate with each other through a place that they know best: Twitter. Conversations from education to politics happen weekly by allowing fans to contribute and engage in the conversation. The platform went one step beyond that and focused even more on community by creating chapters throughout the country, the grassroots of this organization. The organization is continuing to grow and we need to step back and ask ourselves why? The simple exchange of information, conversation, and community are what is driving these passionate followers and this is the key reason why here at iNSPIRE! we support this organization.

The heart of the Latino culture is community and it’s easy to see in their cell phone patterns, creative capabilities and interactions in the digital space. LATISM is just one example of an incredible organization that understands the idea of community. What can we do in our day-to-day lives to build even further upon this existing community? The products and services we create are counting on you to remember this and to be the voice that ties Hispanics to their passion: community.

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