Just 34 out of 184 brands have a Spanish-language presence on Facebook, according to a survey by the Latinum business network. “For brands willing to put up Spanish-language Facebook pages, there’s a huge payoff,” says Latinum’s Andy Hasselwander. Paco Ideation’s Alex Levine reports that many prospective Latino customers simply ignore messaging if it is solely in English. “Many Hispanic Americans, especially the older generations, don’t speak English or are not comfortable with it, so not providing them information in Spanish leaves them high and dry for information,” he notes. Levine also points out that even Latinos fluent in both English and Spanish tend to trust Spanish messages more, “so making a Facebook page that’s Spanglish or in Spanish reaches them on a platform in which they’re comfortable in a language that they’re comfortable with.”
Reasons underlying the lack of Spanish content include worries that it will spark complaints, although Hasselwander cites marketers with a Spanish Facebook presence report that such content has not impacted sales adversely. Levine recommends that developers of Spanish-language pages invest as much time in them as they do with English Facebook pages. “Communicators need to have their messaging developed by native speakers who understand what makes Latinos tick,” he says. “Some messages may hit home with the general market but not bring in results for the Latino market.” Latinum recommends engaging and interacting with Spanish-speaking customers online and using human translators.