Latin American Companies Should be Social Media Experts
Today, I had an interesting experience at two prospect meetings. I was meeting with organizations who are just starting to employ digital innovation strategies in Colombia (one of them is farther along than the other one). In general, I am truly amazed at the disconnect between the user population in these countries and the companies who actually leverage digital tools to join the conversation with their customers.
One of the most exciting recent developments within the Internet space has been the rapid uptake of social media tools and, even more interesting, the adoption of these tools on mobile platforms. Just was with their record-breaking mobile adoption growth rates several years back, Latin Americans are also breaking records for adopting social networking platforms. For instance, Colombia is number six in the world in terms of the total number of facebook users.
I just read a post by Shane Gibson, who is currently in Colombia talking precisely about social networks. Incredibly, companies in the region who take advantage of the fact that their customers and prospects are having conversations using these digital tools are few and far between. What are they waiting for? Instead of spending beaucoup sums of money on traditional media spends, they could be “mixing it up” and including solidly planned online iniciatives to promote their brand, products, services, etc. through direct advertising, community building, word of mouth enabling or other strategies. An added benefit is the fact that, by doing this in virgin territory, any well thought out strategy strongly executed will be seen as digital innovation by the market place.
Anyhow, this will all play out as it always does in the region. The market will await some solid successes and then a mass of followers will dive in head first trying to imitate their models. When this will actually happen is the big question.