The Hispanic culture is a high-context culture and people love to be and stay in touch with their families and amigos. In a high-context culture people primarily find their sense of self-worth and identity through group activity and approval. In a low-context culture, like mainstream America, people find their primary sense of self-worth through individual achievement and accomplishment.
The Latino group dynamic is extremely important to understand and is the main driver to higher engagement on social media.
According to Pew Hispanic Research, 68 percent of Latinos indicate they use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. That’s 10 percent higher than all U.S. Internet users.
Roughly 46 percent of all users of the popular WhatsApp in America are Latino. This is significant since Latinos account for a little more than just 15 percent of the total population. This app allows people to be in constant contact with family members anywhere in the world — in real time. It also has a group function that allows multiple users to communicate together in highly efficient ways.
LinkedIn has also made significant investments to attract Latino users and has made great inroads into this demographic. Companies serious about entering the professional Latino market either for recruiting or sales purposes must be on LinkedIn.
The data is clear; Latinos love and use social media! The culture is viral, and people love being connected with other people. Most roofing companies initially consider a social-media strategy for recruiting purposes. We all understand that the industry has some serious labor challenges, but if you put recruiting first, you may not maximize this unique opportunity to connect with Latinos in significant and meaningful ways.
In working with companies to manage their social media strategies with Latinos, we at Bilingual America use the six following benchmarks — ranked in order of importance — to determine what, when, and where to post:
1. Employee Recognition
This is number one because if we’re not properly recognizing our employees everything else comes off as insincere and disingenuous. We publicly recognize an employee for their work, commitment, accomplishment or level of excellence at least once or twice a week.
Due to the viral nature of the culture, people will begin to share this with their friends. Many times they’ll even publicly rib the person all in good fun. Employee-recognition posts usually get shared and played throughout social media, and will at the very least reach both friends and family of the recognized employee. This also tells other employees that we appreciate what Latinos do and who they are.
2. Relationship Building
Being culturally relevant goes a long way toward developing healthy and respectful relationships with Latinos. Here’s an example: A client in Dallas recently raffled off several tickets to the Mexico vs. Argentina soccer match at AT&T Stadium in September. The winners simply had to “like” the company’s Latino Facebook page and were featured in pictures with their tickets that were later posted online.
The gesture told the employee base that ownership understands the cultural importance of the Mexican national soccer team, which will only help develop relationships with Latinos in the company going forward.
3. Staff Development
We schedule posts with safety-training photos, management pointers, and tips for personal and professional growth.
This helps promote a learning and growth culture, and tells Latino employees that we sincerely want to help them grow and prosper. It also conveys to the public that those who work with you not only get a job, they get help in developing a career.
4. Community Engagement
Remember that the Latino culture is high-context and that you’re never really working just with individuals. You’re working to win the group, or in this case, the community. Latinos historically have strong brand loyalty, and once your company has developed a trusted brand in the Latino community, you’re home free. From that point on, it’s simply a matter of maintaining trust and doing the right things to stay culturally relevant.
Social media can help you tie into the leading community groups, and you can make direct contact with community leaders through sites like Facebook or LinkedIn quite easily. Just let them know that you live in their community and are interested in helping Latinos to grow and prosper locally.
If you leave the community out of your Latino social-media strategy, you leave out the heart and soul of the average Latino person. You must engage at this level to truly gain market share, whether from a recruiting or sales perspective.
5. Recruiting Efforts
Once you build up a loyal fan base by showing you care and are culturally relevant, recruiting becomes quite simple. To use a farming term, you have plowed up the fallow ground; you have gained trust on both personal and community levels.
Only at this point should you post job availabilities directly on your social-media sites. I know a lot of people would like to put this first on the list, but if you’re looking for long-term sustainable recruiting results, stay patient and build on the first four benchmarks. By doing so, you’ll eventually have as many people as you would like waiting to work with your company.
6. Retention Efforts
Of course, it does little good to be a recruiting juggernaut only to churn people through a weak corporate structure composed of a dysfunctional workforce and leadership group.
Posts that have to do with retention highlight the stability of our leadership. If we have poor or weak leadership we’ll consistently churn employees. This is especially true among Latinos where weak or insecure leaders tend to make it very difficult for new and talented people to prosper.
When we publicly highlight the stability of our leadership group we show people that the company is stable and that employees can trust they will have both a good job and opportunity with us. All leadership training done with both Latinos and non-Latinos in the organization should be posted and highlighted.
Posts that highlight internal company opportunities also fall into the category of retention efforts. Posting that an internal position is available to a public site says to people that there is opportunity with the company. Posts that highlight employees who have been promoted to higher levels of leadership also underscore that yours is a company where opportunity knocks. This is a key driver in retention. Why, after all, would one leave if they have significant opportunity just around the corner?
When you properly leverage social media strategies with Latinos, you will find a high level of interaction and interest in your company. It may just be the biggest return on investment you’ll ever enjoy, if you get it right.