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Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’


A year hasn’t even gone by since LatinoRebels.com launched on May 5, 2011 and the merry and mischievous band of social media influentials who formed together to create a site that spoke to their world through comedy, commentary, analysis, activism, politics, social media, music, and independent journalism has become one of the country’s (and now the world’s) top independent sites for US Latino content, news, issues, and just general mayhem. In just 10 months, some very cool and very amazing things have happened. Here are just a few, and yes, we will have more to share on May 5, 2012, when LatinoRebels.com turns 1:

  • As of tonight March 26, 2012, according to our Google Analytics, LatinoRebels.com has gotten over 176,000 unique vistors, with over 220,000 visits and over 317,000 pageviews. We still have about six weeks until we complete our first year online, and we feel that we are on target to complete over 250,000 uniques and 400,000 page views in our first year of existence.
  • As of March 20, 2012, we have already exceeded our total 2011 traffic. In other words, all the traffic we got from May, 2011 until December 2011 (eight months), we exceeded that number in less than three months in 2012. We have experienced about a 240% increase in our traffic in the last two months, and this week alone (March 19-March 26) we have gotten over 15,000 unique visitors and over 25,099 pageviews. In addition, with just five days left in March, we are on target to achieving 100,000 pageviews and over 50,000 unique visitors. Spread over a year, that would come out to 1.2 million pageviews and 600,000 unique visitors. Those figures were just pipe dreams, now we are in the running to achieve that goal.
  • Our current Alexa ranking for March 26, 2012 is this:

  • Compete.com is another site we use, besides our own Google Analytics and WordPress stats and this is what they list the page at as of February, 2012. According to Compete.com, we say a 12.16% increase in unique visitors from January 2012 to February 2012 and we are currently ranked 181,304 in the world, having moved up another 29,254 slots up the rankings in just one month.

  • According to Quantcast, which we activated for our site on March 9, 2012 (so we don’t have a full month’s worth of data), these are our current rankings and daily traffic for last week as of tonight:

To all who have been there with us from the very beginning, thank you. This amazing growth took some luck but it also shows that if you write good content, stay true to yourself and independent, use social media and authentic networking and relationship-building to complement your page’s goal, and curate content that you feel matters to your community, you will attract interest. We will continue to be who we are, even if we just had one reader (or even if we had no readers). However, we are not going to lie about this: this feels pretty good. The Rebeldes thank you all!

Independent journalism and content creation lives. We are proud to be Rebeldes.

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One of the most amazing facts about Facebook is that Latinos are everywhere. Our friend Gus Razzetti offers some serious analysis about why this demographic is so strong on social media’s top platform. He writes:

Not so long ago, recommending digital marketing to target Latinos was a very uncomfortable conversation to have with a client. Fortunately, those days seem to be over. Supported by strong research, clients are more familiar with the growing importance of digital among Hispanics (social media, mobile, etc). As part of that (now easier) conversation, Hispanics and social media is becoming one of the hottest topics.

And clients are right. In just one year, as the total Latinos online audience grew 16 percent, the number of Latinos on Facebook grew 2.8 times. In March 2011, the amount of Hispanic Facebook users reached almost 22 million. That is, 70.2 percent of all Latinos online are active Facebook users versus 29.1 percent one year before.

We are seeing not only reach but true engagement. Latinos spend more time on Facebook: 52 percent of Hispanics use Facebook at least weekly, spending an average of 29 minutes on social networking versus White Americans who spend 19 minutes.

While major brands like Univision (latest stats as of March 10, 2012: 316,187 likes with a 7% Facebook level of engagement), Telemundo (227, 351 likes with a 10% FLOE) and Mun2 (158,608 likes with a 3.2% FLOE) have strong and active Facebook communities, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of independent Latino Facebook Fan Pages that have achieved impressive results. Also, artists like Calle 13 are on another level in terms of likes, but their FLOE is still low (900,775 likes/3.5% FLOE).

Here are some of the pages we have seen in terms of raw fan numbers. (all stats taken on March 10, 2012). It is not meant to be an exhaustive list, and if you would like to have your page added to our next report, just comment on this post with your Facebook URL. However, what is interesting to note is that a key metric in all this now is FLOE. Raw numbers are good, yet any brand that is constantly engaging its community on a consistent level is creating more active and interested communities. Like we tell our clients all the time, you can have all the people in the world following you, but if you don’t have people talking about you, those numbers mean nothing.

A good Facebook page, in our opinion, should achieve a consistent 10% FLOE for over three months to really impact fans and increase brand loyalty. Facebook Fan Pages are a dime a dozen these days, and unless you aren’t engaging with your fans and they aren’t engaging (both in good ways and not so good ways), you are basically talking just to yourself and your inner circle. You don’t capitalize on how you can use social media and your investment in it to actually convert your strategy into business growth (if indeed that is your goal but in the end, we can all agree that everyone wants to be noticed as a group, brand, organization). How you make your audience get more engaged takes consistency, good content, true curation (it’s never about YOU, it is always about THEM), and just old-fashioned hard work. Anyone can get someone to like a page, it is what you do with it after that and how you support similar pages and communities that matter. Brands that are serious about engaging a very active Latino Facebook community need to understand that big numbers need to be tended to, like one tends to a garden. Patience, dedication, authenticity, and support. Then you get engaged loyal followers.

Here is an initial list of pages we have seen and either follow or are aware of. Again, if you would like to have your page added to our next study, post your like at the bottom of this post. Our goal is to eventually have a list of about 200 Latino Facebook Fan Pages that we will track FLOE every month. The reason we are doing this? To show our world a clearer real-time picture of where to find this coveted demographic on Facebook and who is engaging and interacting with brands, groups, and organizations at a given time.

Mexican Word of the Day:  1,222, 339 likes/2.4% FLOE

So Mexican:  561,107 likes/10.4% FLOE

Latinos in Social Media (LATISM):  135,360 likes/1.6% FLOE

Cuéntame: 74, 587 likes/2.2% FLOE

American Latino Museum: 69,981/3.9% FLOE

Being Latino: 68,336 likes/6.7% FLOE

Fox News Latino: 41,391 likes/3% FLOE

Other similar pages (one of which I founded last spring) continue to emerge and appear. It is clear that the Latino Facebook page is now getting traction. Here are some other pages:

Voto Latino: 13,107 likes/7.6% FLOE

Latino Rebels: 12,546 likes/25.7% FLOE (my group’s Facebook page)

Remezlca:  9,236 likes/7.6% FLOE

News Taco: 3,794 likes/10.8% FLOE

Gozamos: 3,445 likes/7.7% FLOE

Univision News: 2,918 likes/12.5% FLOE

NBC Latino: 1,514 likes/16.5% FLOE

Pocho.com: 1,056 likes/16.7% FLOE

Pa’lante Latino1,078 likes/10.5% FLOE

Tu Vez: 494 likes/22.4% FLOE

So, here is the list in terms of FLOE, to determine a real-time picture of who is engaging people on Facebook. The key is that if you keep staying engaged and keep your FLOE around 10% at all times, as you grow your fan base, you will grow your reach. Of course, once you get into the really big numbers, your FLOE loses its impact since then it truly becomes a numbers game. 60,000 engaged followers is still 60,000 engaged followers, no matter what your FLOE is. But even so, if you did achieve that number, wouldn’t it be cooler to get that number up to 120,000 with just a more consistent social media strategy?

  1. Latino Rebels: 25.7% FLOE
  2. Tu Vez: 22.4% FLOE
  3. Pocho.com: 16.7% FLOE
  4. NBC Latino: 16.5% FLOE
  5. Univision News: 12.5% FLOE
  6. News Taco: 10.8% FLOE
  7. Pa’lante Latino10.5% FLOE
  8. So Mexican:  10.4% FLOE
  9. Gozamos: 7.7% FLOE
  10. Remezlca:  7.6% FLOE
  11. Voto Latino: 7.6% FLOE
  12. Being Latino: 6.7% FLOE
  13. American Latino Museum: 3.9% FLOE
  14. Fox News Latino: 3% FLOE
  15. Mexican Word of the Day:  2.4% FLOE
  16. Cuéntame: 2.2% FLOE
  17. Latinos in Social Media (LATISM):  1.6% FLOE

That is the challenge Latino Facebook Pages face, and our hope is to have everyone we know accept that challenge and grow together. Let’s make 2012 and beyond the Year of True Engagement and Relationship Building.

Remember, add your Facebook URL page here if you want to be added to the next study.

NEXT WEEK: We will study Twitter and other newer cool social platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Storify, and others.

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In this crazy world that is social media, you just keep doing and blogging and connecting and sharing. Since this blog was started in 2009, the goals were clear: to practice independent journalism, to write about the social media world of US Latinos, to celebrate #LatinoLit, to shout out the world about the great Fernando Varela (he is my brother, why wouldn’t I?), to share my writings, and to inform readers about the crazy topsy-turvy world of Puerto Rican politics. This is the world of this blog and it is a world that speaks to my world. In short, this blog is my personal world and I am humbled by all the people who have come into this world, all the people who have commented here (both the good and the bad), and all the people I have met and have become part of my familia.

Yesterday, I was greeted with some very cool news: a nomination for the inaugural Social Revolución event at SXSWi in Austin. To the angels who submitted the nomination (and I think I know who those angels were), thank you. GRACIAS MIL.

This whole world of Latino social media is bigger than any of us. Want to know why we are becoming a force? Because many of us started TOGETHER in 2008 and CONNECTED AUTHENTICALLY. We all shared the same vision. We all believed in the future, and more importantly: we all helped each other. When there was a blog someone wanted to share, we shared it. When someone had good news to post, we posted it. When people wanted their links tweeted, we tweeted. We are all in this together, and when we realize that each one of us can add our “little grain of sand” to the larger vision, we will become a powerhouse. The point is this: no one, no one is better than anyone else on the Internet. Once you have a page, a profile, a Twitter presence, etc., you are just as powerful as any other page on the Web. What you decide to do with that and how you want to present yourself is what matters.

My philosophy is a simple one: always be giving. Always be yourself. Always be authentic. Help people with no expectations. Do what you do for the right intentions and demand better. Use your blog, webpage, social media profiles to create real relationships and connect with like-minded people. Share your opinions respectfully and defend yourself when you have to with grace. When you make mistakes, just say you goofed. Be humble and admit your errors. Try to improve the next time. But never ever get caught up in the medium or in the numbers. If you don’t like something, say it. If you love something, say it too! I have said that from day 1 in 2008 and it still resonates with me every day.

Peace to all. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting this blog and the Rebels. Let me know how I can help YOU in any way. You know where to find me.

Julito77

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We get very excited when our dear friends have great news to share and in the case of Adrian Carrasquillo (@RealAdrianC on Twitter), today marks a time to celebrate a very cool accomplishment for him and @NBCLatino. They are going social, and we wish them all the best! We asked Adrian to share his thoughts about the essence of NBC Latino. Here they are:

“I’m happy to announce that we’ve launched the NBC Latino social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. Social is one of the pillars of our vision. We come nowhere near our mission unless we have the pulse of our community. But we wanted to do it right. Now that we’ve worked to hone our editorial voice we feel we are ready to launch social.

We want to appeal to Hispanics who feel that there has been something missing from Latino news. Our hope is that by immersing ourselves in the community and elevating what we all see as the Latino news conversation, we will better reflect the nuance, richness and depth of the U.S. Latino experience.

I subscribe to the theory that the most precious resource on the Internet is the time and attention of readers. You can’t survive in 2012 by expecting people to type in the URL to your website. Since 25 percent of all online trips in the U.S. end up on Facebook and Twitter and have become the online town square, I want us to tap into the vast Hispanic online community and present content that is fun, fresh, inspired and smart on the platforms where they already are.

I’ve come to know, respect and admire a lot of people in the Latino space in the last year and a half — from influencers and bloggers to amazing people furthering Hispanic initiatives through the social community. We want to continue to tell important stories and I want everyone who comes across our content to feel ownership of it. We want to represent them and we want them to keep us honest.

So I invite anyone to email me at adrian.carrasquillo@nbcuni.com or tweet to me @RealAdrianC if they have any questions, comments or concerns. Thanks to everyone who is joining us on this journey. I can speak for everyone at NBC Latino when I say that we’re honored to be in the position to make it with you.”

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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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The social media obsession with large numbers of followers and fans is so 2010. It is clear more than even that as people, groups, companies, and brands all jump into the social media space, the issue of quality over quantity is more important that anything else. We had said this a while back in 2009, when Twitter was more fun and Facebook less brand-like.

Now that these two social media icons as well as a small number of other networks have grown in mainstream acceptance, just like a frothy latte, the time for the cream to rise to the top is critical. (Pardon the bad metaphor, it’s Saturday morning!).

So, the whole issue of engagement and enduring relationships is the goal EVERY social media profile should achieve. This maxim would also apply to brands more than ever. Social media is not, and never will be, a quick shot of whiskey at the bar, it is a long enjoyable meal, with several rounds of drinks at the beginning, a few appetizers, some killer first courses, don’t forget the dessert, and the mandatory after party!

The point is this: for any brand (or individual) to stand out in a growing and very crowded universe, you MUST take the extra few steps to establish a real and authentic presence online. This includes (wait for it): spending real time to WORK your profiles, meet real profiles, chat, be respectful, get to know your followers, and as my man Ted Rubin has been saying: FOSTER REAL RELATIONSHIPS ALWAYS. Sustain them. Nurture them. And guess what, everyone? That takes hard work.

Luckily for everyone, the social media giants are giving us free tools to achieve this. Don’t get us wrong: we know Facebook is king, and it looks like it will still be king for a while, but one of the biggest problems with it right now is that EVERYONE IS ON IT. When a local deli is on Facebook and the deli puts its Facebook page on its menu, you know that Facebook is a part of life. So now, users on Facebook  are inundated with Facebook Fan Pages. It has become a silly quest for numbers when it fact the ONLY STAT THAT MATTERS IS THIS ONE:

How many people are talking about you right now on Facebook?

That one little Facebook stat in a Facebook Fan Page is all that matters. If people aren’t talking about you, then you are just wasting your time. If at any moment of the day, you don’t have at least 5% talking about you organically, it is time to change your strategy.

Sure, even if you are a large Facebook Fan Page with large numbers, you can offset such a low engagement percentage, but wouldn’t anyone want to increase that percentage? Don’t you want to go from say 2.5% percent (which is a really low number in the grand scheme of things) to say, 5%? And wouldn’t you want to do it organically (not through PAID links and clicks and advertising)? That would be an 100% increase in your engagement.

We will take 20% engagement on a daily basis any time

When I formed Latino Rebels early last year with about 20 other social media influentials who understand what best practices are, we really worked hard to build relationships with our fans. Our Facebook presence was key to our company strategy.

We are happy to say that by BEING THE CONNECTOR and BUILDING SUSTAINABLE RELATIONSHIPS, our current Facebook engagement rate has ranged from 20% to 25% in the last four months. As we grow our Facebook presence, we build it slowly and organically, and it is actually incredibly fun to see how many of our Facebook fans now comment and more importantly, post on our Wall to share content that we eventually might cover for our main website.

UPDATE, January 18, 2011: And once in a while, we hit a blackjack. Latest stats from LR on FB:

That level of engagement takes hard work, it takes time, and most importantly, you cannot be lazy about it. Whenever someone comments on our Facebook posts, the Latino Rebels respond to those people. If there are long threads, we are part of that thread, encouraging people to comment, asking them questions and connecting in a truly authentic.

Because of this, LatinoRebels.com and the entire Latino Rebels social network have quickly become a destination point for a very desirable demographic. Our numbers are not only growing, but our fans are also engaging and opinionated! That is what community is all about. That is why we love social media, and if  brands don’t wake up and understand this, eventually people will tune out and just see their fake Facebook pages are forced, opportunistic, and not authentic at all.

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So last week, Sports Illustrated opened up its cover selection process to social media, letting anyone in the world vote for the best picture of 2011. In the end, the fans chose Rutgers’ Eric LaGrand and his inspirational story. Granted, it was a good choice, but the explanation by SI’s Terry McDonell reveals that in the end, big brands don’t get social media, and you are left to wonder if they ever will.

This is what McDonell wrote in last week’s issue:

The idea that the editor should relinquish that call this week and ask fans to choose the cover came from Scott Novak, SI’s vice president of communications. Novak is editorial minded and brilliant at driving connections with readers through social-media platforms such as the SI Facebook page, where he proposed to invite visitors to vote for the best sports moment of the year, with the winner featured on the year-end cover. The argument against him was simple: As much as readers may second-guess the magazine’s cover choices, that’s where they want SI’s credibility and authority to start. And who said the voters would be readers in the first place? But the argument Novak, his team and a growing number of staffers made was that letting the public in on the selection process would strengthen the bond between the magazine and its readers and, further, allow SI to plug into a new two-way relationship with a wider landscape of sports fans.

Again, it was a noble effort, but McDonell’s words reveal a few misconceptions that brands still blindly follow when it comes to social media. This is why in the end SI missed the mark:
  • It’s all about control. There is still this assumption by media outlets that in order to succeed in the digital space, they must still control the message. And that is where the problem lies. Once you commit to social media, everyone becomes an equal, from the magazine to the readers to the people who tweet about the brand.
  • Social media credibility comes from actual engagement. It is just hard to believe that SI truly “gets it” now. The SI example, as much as its editors think it is “two-way conversation,” it is still SOCIAL MEDIA LITE. SI missed the opportunity to take their cover selection process and really make it 100% engaging. Sure, people voted and chose the cover, but SI’s team failed to make something out of it. They should have spent more time shouting out the people who voted, mention them, thank them for the votes on Twitter. THAT would have strengthened the relationship SI sought. Instead, SI was still the story, and not the voters. People will quickly see through that.
  • Where is the real engagement? True engagement is when both sides of the channel are highlighted. SI still thinks that it is better than the people who follow its accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Maybe if SI lightens up a bit and not feel so concerned about losing control, people would become even more loyal.

It is encouraging to see that McDonell has a Twitter account. But his profile on Twitter just has four tweets (although kudos for using an @ reply for one of those tweets, maybe there is hope?). And McDonell has only tweeted once this December, the month when he should have done more to prove that SI is becoming more social media savvy and friendlier. And before that, he tweeted once in October 2011, once in December 2010 and his first tweet was in October 2009. Knowing how smart the guys at SI are, I do believe they will understand that they must practice what they preach. I am rooting for you, Terry. Come dive into Twitter and enjoy it.

Trust me, I love SI. I think it is the best weekly magazine in the world. The writing is vastly superior and the photos are top-notch. However, if SI REALLY wants to dive deeply in the social media sphere, it should, for example, take the time to simply reply to people, their readers, the ones who buy their magazine every week (their current Twitter presence is the perfect example of how NOT to do it).

So maybe, if their editors are open to it, they should publish a Social Media edition of their magazine, where individuals who follow the brand choose and develop the brand for one week. Publish the tweets, shout out the opinions, and maybe even have some content creators publish some of their pieces. Now THAT would be cool. Let’s hope SI stops hiding behind the image of the BIG BRAND that thinks it is doing social media. It would actually be more fun for them and it would change the needle for them, especially in this age, where ANYONE can be a publisher now.

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