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At the end of this post, you will find Month 3 for Latino-themed Facebook pages and their Facebook Level of Engagement (FLOE). Like we said last month:

When we first posted last month about the importance of engagement over numbers when it comes to Facebook pages for organizations and brands, our intent was to offer a sampling of the thousands of Latino-themed Facebook pages out there. The list was no way near exhaustive, and like we said last month, if you are a page that would like to be added to the list, just post your link below in the comments section and add it.

Before we share the latest list, just a quick reminder that this is all about engagement. The goal is to ensure that you achieve the maximum results in the number of likes that you have on a consistent basis, since the more people are talking about you, the better your chances are at establishing real relationships and getting more interest in your online content and properties.

Also, we should ALL strive to be like the Facebook page of George Takei, the KING OF FACEBOOK. Look at his latest numbers: 1,799,194 likes · 870,791 talking about this (that is a 48.3 FLOE).

This month, we decided to just list the Facebook Level of Engagement (FLOE) percentages. Of course, many pages have a lot of likes but imagine if you are one of those pages and you can push your FLOE over 15%? 20%? 30%? These FLOE percentages are all based on real-time stats taken this morning, May 10. We also decided to make one master list, and encourage other brands and organizations to pass on their Facebook links to us so we can add you the the June list. Why are we doing this? Here are our reasons:

  1. We want to start curating a master list of Latino-themed Facebook pages.
  2. We want to see if all these pages can achieve a consistent FLOE of 15%. Once that happens, imagine the possibilities.
  3. Don’t just work to get the numbers, once you have the numbers, curate content that will have people talking about your page. With greater numbers, you have a greater chance of engaging people and having people sharing your content on Facebook organically.
Ok, here is the May list. (Full disclosure: Latino Rebels is my organization.) And like we said, Facebook is just one part of your strategy, it is not THE strategy. The key is always about your main content hub and how a place like Facebook can get you more engaged followers and loyalists.

May’s Sampling of Latino Facebook Pages and Their Facebook Level of Engagement (FLOE)

  1. Mamiverse: 57.6%
  2. Cosmo for Latinas: 51.2%
  3. Pocho.com: 26.0%
  4. Latino Rebels: 19.6%
  5. So Mexican: 18.3% (136,000+ people talking about it)
  6. American Latino Museum: 12.3% (over 11,000 people talking about it)
  7. NBC Latino: 12.1%
  8. VOXXI: 11.2%
  9. Despierta América: 10.3% (over 9,000 people talking about it)
  10. HuffPost Latino Voices: 10.1%
  11. Being Latino: 9.9%
  12. The Big Tino: 8.3%
  13. Gozamos: 7.9%
  14. Primer impacto: 6.8% (over 11,000 people talking about it)
  15. Somos Verizon Fios: 6.7%
  16. Voto Latino: 5.8%
  17. Univision News: 5.8%
  18. Vitera: 5.8%
  19. Hispanicize: 5.3%
  20. Latina: 5%
  21. Pa’lante Latino: 5.0%
  22. Remezcla: 4.8%
  23. Cuéntame: 4.6%
  24. Es el momento: 4.5%
  25. Telemundo: 4.4% (over 11,000 people talking about it)
  26. Mun2: 4.4%
  27. Immigrant Archive Project: 4.3%
  28. News Taco: 4.1%
  29. Sofrito for Your Soul: 4.1%
  30. Univision: 3.8% (over 15,000 people talking about it)
  31. National Council of La Raza: 3.6%
  32. El Diario NY: 3.5%
  33. Hispanically Speaking News: 3.1%
  34. People en español: 2.9%
  35. Fox News Latino: 2.4%
  36. Calle 13: 2.2% (over 25,000 people talking about it)
  37. El Gordo y la Flaca: 2.1%
  38. Mexican Word of the Day: 1.5% (over 19,000 people talking about it)
  39. National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts: 1.1%
  40. Latinos in Social Media: .004%

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Some time around 6pm EST on Thursday January 12, one of the many people who support Latino Rebels, a media and digital agency that I had formed with about 20 other amazing people last April, posted the following picture on our private group page that we use to share ideas and posts to consider for the company’s several social media networks.

I immediately reacted. After years of reading countless posts and articles about the entire immigration debate in the United States, this photo captured EXACTLY what I felt about it.

So, as an admin for the Latino Rebels Facebook page, I posted the photo, just like all the hundreds of provocative photos we have posted in the past. You see, the purpose of why the Rebels were formed was simple: provide people with content that makes you think, tosses conventions upside down, and then we see what happens. At LR.com and all our other social media channels, we post A LOT of content. It is varied, sometimes silly, sometimes serious, but the essence of what we do is always clear: we just want people to react, whether they like what we post or no.

Just 30 seconds after the photo was uploaded, we had already gotten 5 likes. Within a minute it was 15. 64 hours later, we reached the following number as of this posting on Sunday night:

Yes, you read it right: we have gotten 31,657 likes and 28,083 shares. Safe to say that this photo resonated, both with people who believe in true immigration reform for this country and those who have a different view. (SIDENOTE: If you are the person who actually passed this picture on to one of our supporters, please let us know? We got some cold beers waiting!)

Furthermore, the Latino Rebels Facebook page gained over 6,500 new fans in the last 48 hours (almost reaching 10,000), tripling the number of fans we had on January 11. The response from the vast majority of our new fans to our Facebook page has been highly positive, but what this instant organic growth caused was something that we never expected: we had to explain ourselves to all these new fans and explain ourselves quickly.

All of a sudden, people from all over the world wanted to know who we were, what we believed in, what was our mission. They wanted answers and they wanted them NOW. Where did you guys come from? What is your angle? And why do you post so many stories? Don’t you know that you are spamming me?

It took us about a day to take all this ultra-rapid growth and understand what to do with it. Our decision was easy: we stay true to our core mission—we post information daily and organically on Facebook. We go with the flow of the day and the feel of the community. If a big story is happening, we might post more. And if we just want to post music, we do that too. We don’t think about the BEST WAY to operate on Facebook. We just DO IT, and let the community decide. That will not change and by staying true to who we are (unless our community tells us differently), we did the following:

  • Posted a core mission statement in English.
  • Then because about 60% of our growth was coming from Latin America, we posted our core mission in Spanish.
  • We made a decision to post more in Spanish.
  • We reminded ourselves that the REAL HUB of our company is LatinoRebels.com and not our Facebook site. Facebook is just a channel of the company’s many channels. LR.com is the HUB and in the last 9 days, that hub has seen over 20,000 unique visits, pushing us over the 100,000 mark in just 9 months of launching the site.
  • We told people who didn’t like our style to just not follow us. Unlike us. It doesn’t bother us. We cannot be all things to all people, and we all felt strongly that if we twisted in the wind every time someone gave a suggestion to run our pages, we would lose our company soul. So we kindly told these few critics that there are gazillion pages on the Internet, if you don’t like our style, you can leave. Just respect us as you walk out the door, we would do the same.
  • Our philosophy is simple: never ever worry about having people unfollow you or losing numbers. In the end, the obsession with numbers and stats on social media is not why we do this. That is for the brands that think that numbers equal engagement and brand loyalty. It doesn’t. You know how you win people over? By connecting with them, by sharing their content, by asking them how you can help them. THIS IS NEVER ABOUT YOU, IT IS ABOUT THEM. We have been doing this every day for months, with no agendas and no master plan that would lead us to somewhere else. We have truly grown organically, reflecting the power of social media. Of course, our goal is to make the company successful, but our money is made not through our fans or the ads we would peddle to them (which we don’t). We make our money by working with our clients to replicate what we do on our content pages. That is what makes us different: our content and how we share that content is our agency model. Great content attracts audience. And that attracts engagement, which then attracts connections that will last for a long time.
UPDATE: Facebook just posted our analytics for last week and we will let the data speak for itself:

So to all the new fans and new likes and new shares, thanks. We are also aware that this type of unprecedented growth for us will not last. Someone else will post another picture and the likes will go somewhere else. We just hope that the motives are honorable and for the right reasons. We have never been a big fan of having brands try to generate social media buzz by selling their product through social media campaigns. I personally don’t want to be sold on the Internet, I just want to BE. Let ME decide what I want to do online, and if once in a while, I shout out a brand or work with a brand, it is because I believe in the brand.

Also, we never came into this company to increase our traffic quickly. It just happened because we got lucky. (And guess what? You can get lucky too.) The wave the Rebels are riding right now has been so much fun. It has forced us to refine our strategy and explore new partnerships for growth It has made us a better company.

¡Que vivan los Rebeldes! Long live the Rebels! You know who you are.

And to the entire Facebook community, thanks for the love!

UPDATE, 4:55 EST: The latest analytics are in from Facebook. Are you kidding me? Crazy.

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Saw this on Bit Rebels this morning. Loved it. Facebook. Photos. Lots of them. Such is life. And life is good.

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Ah, my soon-to-be-11-year-old. Last few months of elementary school. Next year, middle school. Should I worry? No, not really. I mean she does a very cool and dead-on impersonation of her Papi. My future Tony-award will be just fine.

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When we reported last night about the social media push to Free Cuba, in light of recent events in Cairo, there was a grand confirmation of a massive demonstration in Havana at 5pm EST on February 21. The anti-Castro, pro-democracy movement on Facebook, which had reached over 4,000 fans in a span of just two weeks, was eagerly anticipating the spark that would ignite regime change in Latin America’s oldest Communist government.

Earlier tweets from the BBC’s Cuban correspondent didn’t deter them. One tweet in Spanish from the BBC’s Fernando Ravsberg, who is based in Havana, said the following: “The call for protests on Facebook to begin on Monday did not cause any great results.” Ravsberg also tweeted this: “Friends, I went out this morning around the city and returned at noon. No protests and police presence was as normal as any other day.” When we shared these tweets with the Cuban exiles who formed the majority of the Facebook page, we were told that Ravsberg was a puppet of Fidel. Yeah, the BBC is a puppet of the Cuban government. FREE CUBA! THE TIME IS NOW!

In addition, the very vocal and prolific blogger Yoani Sánchez had nothing to say about February 21. Just another normal day. We would think that is Sánchez knew that something was actually materializing, she would have used her vast social network (she also guests blogs for the Huffington Post) to shout that the resistance was happening and that Cairo had come to Havana.

Then, as I dug a little bit more, around 6pm EST tonight, I found a YouTube video that apparently filmed an empty park today in Havana, the same place and time where the demonstration was to take place:

Now, most anti-Castro critics will argue that the video has no factual proof that it was filmed on February 21 at exactly the same place and time where the demonstration was scheduled to take place. True, the video has no proof. But in the world of social media, the message is just as important as the facts. If indeed the video was filmed accurately, then you would think that the few Cubans who actually GET Internet access would have been given a hall pass to upload a video to show to the world that all is well in Havana.

So I dug a little more, and found a site in Cuba that contained photos of the same plaza, claiming that the author had just taken the photos there. Here are just a few of the photos:

Besides the presence of a tank (ok, maybe the government did know something was up), it looked like another later afternoon day in Havana.

Of course, we are not so naive to think that what we showed here was indeed proof, and the Miami Herald did report over the weekend that a “melee” had occurred last Friday in the town of Holguín:

A top Cuban hip hop duo that lashes the ruling system with its lyrics reportedly sparked a clash with police last week when they tried to visit two youths jailed since Dec. 25 for playing their music too loudly.

The reports included contradictory information and could not be independently confirmed, but coincided in noting that the group Los Aldeanos was at the heart of a “public disorder” Friday in the eastern city of Holguín.

Havana human rights activist Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cruz said he had received reports that about 80 people were detained and five were injured, apparently by rocks thrown at police from a crowd of 1,500 youths that had gathered around the Aldeanos.

So, what is it? What is actually happening in Cuba? Since the press is limited, you have to scour different source to try and find a story. There is still hope from the Free Cuba Facebook crowd that the February 23 anniversary of the death of political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tomayo will spark some demonstrations on the island.

But here is the problem with the current Free Cuba Facebook group: the vast majority of them are Cuban exiles living outside of Cuba with Internet access and Facebook accounts. The Social Media Revolution in Cairo happened because the people who sparked it through social media were also the people who acted in the revolution. With all the antagonistic feelings between Cubans in Cuban and Cubans outside of Cuba, the posting and ranting of FREE CUBA status updates feels like the Boy Who Cried Wolf right now. There is no mainstream coverage of these events, because, quite frankly, NOTHING IS HAPPENING IN CUBA.

The only blog from Cuba we found that even mentioned resistance was the bilingual one called “I Will Not Shut Up, I Will Not Leave” in English. Their latest post calls for a Cuban resistance on February 23 to remember Zapata Tomayo:

The National Orlando Zapata Tamayo Civic Resistance and Disobedience Front is calling on all activists and members of the Cuban resistance to participate in the “Zapata Lives!” march, which will take place throughout the nation on February 23rd, the one year anniversary of the assassination of political prisoner Orlando Zapata.

Brothers, Sisters, Cubans… this 23rd of February will be the most appropriate moment to declare that we are all resistance, and that Boitel and Zapata live on!  Paying homage to this Cuban martyr also means paying homage to all the martyrs Cuba has had during all its years of political imprisonment.  In this same manner, by doing this we also accept these martyrs as symbols and guides in the struggle for peaceful changes towards democracy in Cuba.
Compatriots, on this 23rd of February, notify the neighbors of your municipality or city in Cuba that the flame of resistance is now stronger than ever.
Brothers, the name of your movement does not matter, nor does its political affiliation or association.  It is the time to unite all of our voices in one demand and to scream wherever we can be heard:  Zapata lives on!  We are all resistance! The streets belong to the people!

Could something happen in the future? Sure, if the majority of Cubans on the island actually had access to the Internet and social networks. But they don’t. So the FREE CUBA Facebook fans keep posting messages of freedom and action, but no one is listening. Or are they?

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Nothing.

Should it come as a surprise that Cuba’s state-run media, GRANMA, makes no mention of this week’s Cuban Social Media movement? Why would it? It is not in their interest to allow non-violent demonstrations be part of their coverage. In the world of Cuban state media, it is better to deny reality than actually admit it.


Instead, we get the following English post by Raúl Castro: The Revolutionary Rebellion in Egypt. There is support for Egypt and what is has accomplished. But do we read about how social media propelled a movement to overthrow a dictator? Instead we get this:

After 18 days of harsh battling, the Egyptian people attained an important objective: to defeat the United States’ principal ally in the heart of the Arab countries. Mubarak was oppressing and plundering his own people, he was an enemy of the Palestinians and an accomplice of Israel, the sixth nuclear power on the planet, associated with the military NATO group.

And we get this:

The United States supplies Israel with the most modern and sophisticated armament, worth billions of dollars every year. Egypt, an Arab country, was converted into the second recipient of U.S. weapons. To fight against whom? Against another Arab country? Against the Egyptian people themselves?

When the population was demanding respect for their most elemental rights and the resignation of a president whose policies consisted of exploiting and plundering his people, the repressive forces trained by the United States did not hesitate to fire on them, killing hundreds and wounding thousands.

Castro also ends with these statements:

Obama is affected by the events in Egypt; he acts or appears to act as if he were the owner of the planet. What is happening in Egypt seems to be his own issue. He has not stopped talking over the telephone with leaders of other countries.

We support the valiant Egyptian people and their struggle for political rights and social justice.

We are not opposed to the people of Israel; we are opposed to the genocide of the Palestinian people and in favor of their right to an independent state.

We are not in favor of war, but rather in favor of peace among all peoples.

So the Cuban government is in favor of peace, but will it allow its own people to express themselves the same way that Egyptians did? Will it allow for democracy to flourish on the island? Will it provide its own people with true freedom of expression and self-determination?

The answer is, quite simply, no.

The reality is clear: it is in the interest of the United States to see a free and democratic Cuba. While Cuba’s Communist leaders form partnerships with China, President Obama eased travel restrictions to Cuba in the hopes of increasing civil society on the island. Yes, a free Cuba will be better for the United States.

Although the irony is that the one group that is salivating for Cuba to be liberated, Cuban American Florida Republicans, are quick to criticize the Obama administration for doing this. As Florida Republican Senator and Cuban American Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said:

They will not make the Castro regime show respect for human rights, and they certainly won’t help the Cuban people free themselves from the despotic tyranny which oppresses them.

So basically it comes down to this: the Cuban government criticizes the Obama administration. Florida Republican Cuba American leaders criticize the Obama administration. The politics of extreme are alive and well in Havana and Miami.

No wonder people are ready to demonstrate and use social media to get their messages across. Politicians cannot be relied upon.

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This is the moment. The is the time for Latino influencers in social media to take their message mainstream. No more niche communities. No more small groups. 2011 is the year. The year we go mainstream.

How do we know? Let us show you the way.

Exhibit A: Create The Disruptive Event

This week’s TOP GEAR fiasco catapulted this blog to a different level. Want proof? Here are the search terms that brought people to our blog yesterday. We have 87 terms that brought people to this blog.

Here is image 1:

Here is image 2:

Notice the topics? Yup, the “disruptive event” that brings people to read a blog occurred this week for us. Thank you. Google.

Exhibit 2: People Will Come

When you write about the right “disruptive event,” people will come. Here are our current traffic stats:

 

Daily Page Views

Monthly Page Views

 

Yes, we are going mainstream.

 

So, are you ready to join us? Are you ready to start taking the power that you have as a Latino influential and turning that power into what this is all about: getting people to read your content and connect with you? Then do these simple things:

 

  • Celebrate Latinos in Social Media: #LATISM

And keep working it. Support your friends. Share their content. Write good content. Comment on other content. Share. Share. Share. With no expectations. That is how you go mainstream. With a lot of hard work and support from others, you will get there. ¡VivaViernes!

 

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