Latinos dominate Twitter and Facebook

Elianna Ramos, better know as @ergeekgoddess, is leading the

charge for Latinos in Social Media. (Photo: Conz Preti)

By MARIANA ATENCIO (Channel: MediaLatin American Affairs)

When Elianna Ramos speaks, thousands of people listen. Yet no one know her by name. Instead, they know her as @ergeekgoddess, and nearly 14,000 individuals follow her on Twitter to see what she has to say.

As part of Latinos in Social Media (#LATISM), an organization that is trying to capture this emerging market – valuated at $1.3 billion – @ergeekgoddess is an example of the new generation of Latinos, which use the Internet to promote awareness of urgent issues in the community, and to prompt social action.

“Besides writing what you had for breakfast, Latinos are starting to take over their identity – connecting with people that think like them and leading causes in the real world,” said Ramos about the activity of Latinos online.

Theses tendencies are not going undetected, the numbers speak for themselves. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 18% of Latinos that use the internet have accounts on Twitter, compared to only 5% of white non-Latinos, and 13% of African American non-Latinos. On Facebook the same thing holds true, with 54.2% of Latino internet users on Facebook, followed by 47.7% of white non-Latinos and 43% of African Americans non-Latinos.

As part of the effort to take advantage of this Latino presence and activity online, #LATISM held the first bilingual conference of Latinos in Social Media in Chicago this week.

“This is something unique,” said Ramos from the conference. “The reason we are doing this is to offer people who speak, not just English, but Spanish, the opportunity to gain access to all of the resources available on social networks.”

The conference has held seminars and meetings to address a host of crucial issues for the Latino community, ranging from immigration and business, to education and health.

According to the Pew report, Latinos are most interested in issues that affect Latinos, social issues, and education. Unity and commitment are topics that have been key for a number of Twitter education initiatives. An example is Univision’s “Es El Momento” campaign, which was promoted on Twitter and included representatives from the White House.

According to Ramos “Es El Momento” had 16 million impressions in two hours. “This means that Latinos are very tuned into problems that affect the community. They are desperate to get their voices heard.”

For @ergreekgodess this social media boom within the Latino community occurred as a result of two separate phenomena.

First, due to the prominence of mobile phones, the digital divide between the Latino community and their white counterparts was reduced. “People who don’t speak English or don’t have Internet can now get online with their cellphones.”

Second, young Latinos have completely embraced social media, adopting platforms such as Twitter and Facebook faster than any other ethnic group.

It is evident that – through social media – Latinos are realizing that they can promote actions, protest against laws they don’t agree with, and grow as a community.

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Categories: NGLC Conference

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