Hispanics and Social Media

Why Hispanics Are the Fastest Growing Market in Social Media

The overarching theme in all of my research into the Hispanic market is this: Hispanic people are more likely than every other racial demographic to engage in social media and to rely on digital content for pretty much everything: entertainment, information, shopping, etc.

Hispanics are younger than non-Hispanic white people, with an average age of 27 versus white people’s 42. They also live longer, 82 years vs 78.7 (these stats are from the CDC). Combined with their younger age, researchers say this means they have many more years of “effective buying power,” 54.7 versus only 36.7 for white people. In other words, this is a group that, if you attract them to your brand now, will continue as loyal patrons for 18 years longer than their white counterparts will.

Hispanic woman shopping with her smartphone

The Hispanic community is the fastest-growing community in America. Between 2016 and 2020, Hispanics are expected to account for over half of all US population growth. That number jumps to 80% by 2040-2045. And, because they’re so much younger, Hispanics accounted for 75% of the labor force growth between 2010 and 2016. This means that, as they grow into their careers, they’re poised to be a driving force in America’s economy.

Researchers expect these trends to continue for decades, since Hispanic people tend live longer. What this means for marketers is that this is a demographic to grab NOW. Hispanic people, as a whole, are extremely loyal to brands that “talk” to them, that respect their values and culture.

Greater Trust in Online Content

Hispanics take cues from social media much more than non-Hispanics do. This is where they connect with friends and family. Also, Hispanics are more likely to share branded content. And trust it, if someone they trust tells them they can. Stats on digital usage are below, but they exceed every racial demographic in pretty much every digital application.

Culture is also important to Hispanics, with around one-quarter of them saying they speak Spanish at home and appreciate seeing and hearing it on social media and other digital platforms. Around the same number say that their cultural traditions are important to them, as is passing those traditions down to their children.

The fastest growing group of college students is Hispanics. College enrollment among Hispanics increased around 26% between 2015 and 2016. In contrast, it only increased 1% among whites, while African Americans saw a 20% increase and Asians enrollments rose 12%. These increases are another reason researchers expect Hispanic incomes to continue increasing.

Young and Old Coming Together

Hispanics are more likely to live in multi-generational households

Around 27% of Hispanics live in a multi-generational household, compared to 16% of non-Hispanic households. They’re also more likely to have children under the age of 18 – 49% compared to 27% non-Hispanic. This leads to an interesting demographic. Namely, older Hispanic adults are more likely to be tech-savvy than their non-Hispanic counterparts are, because the grandchildren pass on their interests. At the same time, Hispanic children are more likely to place value on their family’s culture, because their grandparents and great-grandparents play such a large role in their lives.

A Greater Trust in Digital Advertising

This may be the most relevant statistic to our world: Hispanics are much more likely to have a positive attitude about digital advertising on their smartphones. Compared to whites, they are:

  • 87% more likely to think it provides useful information about the product (33% for internet ads)
  • 78% more likely to think it offers bargains (29% for internet ads)
  • 71% more likely to believe it contains useful information about new products (22% for internet ads)

Basic Demographics:

  • Average age of Hispanics in America is 27
    • Average age of non-Hispanic whites is 42
  • Average income is $50,000 but that is expected to rise considerably as their average age rises (the average income for whites is $57,000)
    • Hispanics spend around 74% of their income versus only 70% for whites
  • Hispanics driving population growth, even though they account for 18% of total US population
  • The US Census Bureau expects 30% of more of the population under age 35 to be Hispanic
  • Hispanic digital users actively seek Spanish language content online, even when they speak English as their primary language, as it indicates respect and understanding of their culture
  • The buying power of the US Hispanic market hit $1.5 TRILLION in 2017, a 50% increase over 2010 census figures. That number is expected to hit $1.9 TRILLION by 2022.

Digital Statistics:

  • Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics 18 and older are:
    • 9% more likely to own a smartphone
    • 11% more likely to own a game console
    • 13% More likely to own a smart watch
  • Hispanics use technology, apps, and social media to engage with brands that embrace their values and communities
  • 55% report reading about new technology products online
  • 62% rely on online reviews
  • 63% claim to do as much research as possible before purchasing tech products
  • 59% ask their peers about tech and electronic products
  • 57% say they recommend products they like to their friends and family
  • Social networking:
    • 4 hours, 16 minutes per week via smart phone
    • 30 minutes via tablet
    • 19 minutes via computer
  • Mobile/computer usage:
    • 17 hours, 36 minutes on a smartphone
    • 4 hour, 15 minutes on a computer
    • 5 hours, 30 minutes web on a tablet
  • Around 8.4 million watch videos on their computer every week
  • Around 30.6 million claim to use their smartphone every week, with 24.2 million streaming videos, 17,.8 million streaming audio, and over 27.8 million on social media

Most Popular Sites Among Hispanic Users

Granddaughter demonstrating social media to great-grandmother

Because Hispanics are so young (27 on average) they’re the only race who grew up with the Internet as part of normal, everyday life. 60% grew up in the digital age, compared to 40% of whites. They overwhelming choose it as their medium of choice for pretty much everything.

Hispanic people also expect high quality in terms of both content and the devices themselves. These statistics include Hispanics aged 50 and over as well, who are 35% more likely than white people to look to their smartphones as entertainment and a way to connect with both peers and brands.

The most popular websites and apps among Hispanic users are:

  • Netflix
  • Google+
  • Uber
  • Instagram
  • Spectrum TV
  • Snapchat

A higher percentage of Hispanics are on every social media platform except two: Asians are more active on Twitter and YouTube. The following stats are for Hispanics aged 18 to 49, daily usage:

Graph of social media platform by ethnic group, Phoenix Online Media

Their reasons for using social media are:

  • Stay in touch with family and friends: 53%
  • News and current events: 39%
  • Find local information: 37%
  • Information re a movie or show: 31%
  • Find out about products and services: 27%
  • Meet new friends: 24%

Hispanics use the Internet at about the same levels as white people as far as search engines and maps and GPS. But they outpace white people in the following:

  • 14% more likely to look up traffic conditions
  • 7% more likely to look for moving listings
  • 4% more likely to seek medical information
  • 16% more likely to seek info on automobiles
  • 5% more likely to keep up with what’s going on in their communities

What Does All This Mean?

The main takeaway from all of these statistics is that the Hispanic market is one online companies should not ignore. Not only is it the fastest growing demographic in the country, it’s one that grew up on the Internet. As a result, Hispanic people are more likely than their white counterparts to trust online content, including advertising. In addition, older Hispanics are more tech-savvy than older Caucasians because they’re more likely to live with their children and grandchildren. This results in greater, more frequent exposure to a variety of online media.

For more ideas on reaching your target audience online, talk to the team at Phoenix Online Media.

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