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Facebook Adds Language-Based Hispanic Targeting for Advertisers

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Facebook has introduced new language-based targeting segments to help advertisers deliver more relevant messages to Hispanic users in the United States. Building on the US Hispanic affinity segment brought to market in 2013, the new targeting capabilities allow marketers to reach Hispanics according to their language preferences – Spanish-dominant, bilingual or English-dominant – and are available now via Facebook’s ads interfaces and API.

Photo via Facebook

Hispanics represent the largest ethnic or racial minority in the US, but they are also an incredibly diverse group, encompassing many different cultures and countries of origin – with which they tend to identity more than a common culture or label. For Hispanics, the single unifying thread is language. More than 82 percent of Hispanic adults say they speak Spanish, and almost all consider it important for future generations to do so, as well.

Regardless, the share of those who speak Spanish is expected to decline with each generation. For young and US-born Hispanics in particular, the language they speak already depends heavily on their situation and surrounding environment. Whether at home or school, with friends or family, or in the local shopping mall or grocery store, there are multiple generations of Hispanics with varying language preferences.

The complexity of the Hispanic population poses a unique set of challenges for marketers, but those come with opportunities as well as this group grows in influence. A one-size-fits-all approach is often not the right approach, so marketers will want to fully understand the diversity within this audience and identify which sub-groups within the larger Hispanic demographic with which they are actually interested in connecting.

For example, are you trying to reach Spanish-dominant immigrant moms, their bilingual teenagers or third generation English-dominant adult males? These are only a few of the many specific audience profiles that can now be specifically targeted on Facebook with the addition of language segments.

And there’s even more good news – the Hispanic affinity audience on Facebook already over-indexes on all key engagement metrics, with 69 percent of those users returning to the platform daily (Source: 2013 Facebook Internal Data). Advertisers interested in reaching Hispanics at large should consider testing variations of their message, tailored to the preferences of different sub-groups, and targeting them accordingly.

Facebook has already found success with a national CPG brand that participated in early testing of language-based segments. Posts leveraging language-based targeting among Hispanics reached 2.8 million users in the desired target and garnered up to 40 percent more engagement than the brand’s general marketing efforts.

Much of the power of Facebook advertising, versus that of more traditional channels, lies in the ability to effectively deliver customized messages to custom audiences. Overall, Hispanics represent the most active ethnic or racial group on social media, and are more likely to follow brands and celebrities, and to post content to social media sites. Whether or not advertisers have messages and campaigns aimed directly at this diverse group, their social media prowess cannot be ignored, and language-based targeting serves as an essential tool to drive relevancy among an already engaged audience of Hispanic users in the social space.

Cover photo via All Facebook Blog