By Lili Gil, Co-Founder XL Alliance and Business & Politics Media Contributor
Short, yet powerful enough to amplify the voice of millions and spark world-movements in 140 characters; welcome to a new Twitter nation! Where relationships, conversations and like-minded people come together for a unique reporting-networking-happy-hour-debate-table-style-real-time-virtual-exchange.
However while most millennials (18-29) are in ‘tune’ with this new way of communicating, the greater majority of adults are still wondering what exactly this means for them.
According to TechCrunch, Twitter is surpassing 500 million users worldwide of which approximately 140 million are in the U.S. The platform has sparked revolutions, reported breaking news before hitting air-waves and has even become a service tool for influential figures like Mayor of Newark, New Jersey @CoryBooker to gather on-the-ground issues from the community.
However, taking a deeper look into the user profiles one thing is evident; just as the elections were shaped by a changing and more diverse face of America; the Twitter conversations are also reflecting a new majority minority reality. For example, Hispanic adoption and use of Twitter is significantly higher resulting in 18% of all Latinos online using Twitter vs. 13% of blacks and only 5% of whites. The population growth rates of Hispanics at 40%+ vs. 4% for the rest of the population compounded by their levels of engagement and adoption gives this segment a unique and emerging critical mass in the digital space.
But how do you find them? Simple, the power of the hash-tag! Many see it popping on the corner of a TV screen, on a brochure; billboard and are too embarrassed to ask exactly what this #SOMETHING means. Basically, the #TAG is like a ‘key word’ that serves as the glue to connect, intercept and bind the conversation of like minded people who are all microblogging about a given subject on Twitter.
To make it easier for those looking for Twitter engagement 101, here are three simple, yet practical, tips for you to get started in this journey:
1. #Discover: The first and most basic task is to click on the #Discover search feature of Twitter. This way you can identify hash-tags that are already active and binding conversations relevant to Latinos or your key subject matter. For example, hash-tags like #LATINO, #LATINOS, #HISPANIC, #BELATINO are some you can intuitively search for to see the types of conversation and people engaging. This not only gives you a peek into the audience’s mindset but also will quickly highlight twitter leaders and influencers. These conversation sparkers are the long-tail that can add up to millions! However for everything ‘Latino’ the most impressive and active hash-tag is #LATISM (Latinos in Social Media) generating millions of impressions and conversations daily. For example, during the last presidential debate #LATISM generated over 30 million impressions!
2. Engage during culturally relevant events in politics, business and pop-culture: There is nothing more powerful than engaging with Latinos when there is already a hot passion point in motion. This requires being culturally in-tune with the news, people and events that are likely to increase the conversation. Many big companies have taken advantage of this phenomenon, and when done genuinely it is very well received! For example, Univision and #LATISM partnered for Premios lo Nuestro earlier this year generating 10 million impressions via Twitter! Post’s Honey Bunches of Oats is also notorious for facilitating Latino conversations during major events like People’s Choice Awards, Latin Billboards and Latin GRAMMY events; where a parade of influencers like @BeChigMag, @webcitygirls, @OscarPetit, @TargetLatino, @LatinoRecap and LATISM founder @AnaRC, among others, all come together under one hash-tag #POSITIVEMIX to share positive news and messages from Latino celebrities exclusively from the most high profile events and red-carpets. This week for example they will be reporting positive messages from Latin GRAMMY nominees who will send special words to Sandy victims and share their best tips to stay positive.
And in politics, tags like #DREAMAct, #LATINOSFOR OBAMA and #VOTOLATINO #IMMIGRATIONREFORM, among others elevate the sentiment and sense of urgency of what has now been identified as the most influential and fastest growing voter community in the U.S.
3. Talk like a friend not a car-sales-man! Great, once you’ve found the conversations and the people, it is time to engage. However, many make the mistake of becoming spammy and annoying very quickly if all they care about is pitching their own pitch. One thing is to ‘sell’ and another one is to converse…and twitteros are savvy enough to tell the difference in just one tweet! Basically, inter-personal human principles translate to Twitter even at its limited 140 characters. So listen twice as much, take the time to compliment, re-tweet and respond. Think, how would I start a conversation at a happy hour or networking event with a person I haven’t met before? That same tone of voice applies in Twitter-world.
4. Track and measure: Luckily the web offers many social media measurement tools that can help you track and monitor conversations. Some of my personal favorites are Tweetreach, Tweetdeck, SproutSocial and Klout. These tools make it simple to track hash-tag performance, identify influencers and get inside the minds and hearts of your audience.
So next time you think Twitter is just for celebrities reporting what they had for dinner, think again! Major world-movements have sparked by Twitter conversations, petitions for public policy changes have been amplified with a hash-tag, and Latinos have claimed a stronger and bigger voice with the power of 140 characters well used.
Happy tweeting! @liligil
Follow the tweetcasters bringing positive news, messages, exclusive celebrity photos and video from this week’s Latin GRAMMY events!
#POSITIVEMIX #LATINGRAMMY #LATISM
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?
While we are already tweeting and sharing content as of 11/14, the official green carpet is on:
Thursday, November 15th | Starting at 4PM ET/ 1PMPST
Back in October Post’s Honey Bunches of Oats® announced the launch of its Positive Mix campaign featuring multi-platinum artist and 2012 Latin GRAMMY® nominee Prince Royce on the cover of millions of cereal boxes.
Fans love it, TV viewers are watching it, shoppers are surprised in their supermarket aisles and buying it and bloggers are all chatting about it!
#POSITIVEMIX and the chance to meet and greet Prince Royce during a VIP New Year’s experience in New York City is the talk of the town for sure!
Prince Royce is also making waves in social media with a lot of buzz especially this week as we gear up to the biggest week in Latin music, Latin GRAMMY week. Nominated to Best Tropical Album, Prince Royce will be sending special messages from Las Vegas joining in with many others tweetcasting live with the hash-tag #POSITIVEMIX.
To get the word out, we even have an exclusive ‘Behind the Scenes’ video of the making of ‘Positive Mix’ with the king of Bachata to get everyone excited! Feel free to view, share, post and enjoy!
Keep it positive with us and stay tuned for LIVE coverage from the Latin GRAMMY Awards this Thursday starting at 4PMET. Follow @HBOatsLatino and our gang of Latino influencers @BeChigMag @webcitygirls @OscarPetit @AnaRC, @CesarcamchoTV, @TargetLatino, @LatinREcap and @Liligil for exclusive photos, interviews and positive content from the show’s events all under the hash-tag #POSITIVEMIX.
In a close presidential race, it is evident more than event that the rapid growth and influence of the Latino community has reshaped the political conversation in America.
From Spanish TV spots, catchy taglines to voter-drives featuring mariachis, both President Obama and Mitt Romney have integrated Hispanic efforts to tap into the fastest growing voter group in the U.S.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund projects that the Latino vote will increase 26% from 2008, and Latinos will account for at least 8.7% of the country’s voters at 12.2 million. Also, Latinos are paced to make a significant different in key battle grounds like Florida, Colorado and Nevada; where they will represent up to 18 percent of the total voter share, in states like Florida, according to NALEO.
However, politicians are not the only ones recognizing the importance of Hispanics in the political landscape. News organizations have already announced their special coverage during election night and many are showing a ‘ramp-up’ to better Latino representation and unique analysis on the issues, perspectives and profile of Latinos in this year’s presidential election.
This is why for the first time, FOX News Latino will stream live at 9PM/ET on November 6. The special coverage will be hosted in Spanish by former CNN anchor and now FOX News’ Rick Sanchez with entrepreneur, Hispanic strategist and cofounder of XL Alliance, Liliana Gil Valletta. The live program will feature analysis from influential leaders in the Hispanic community like Manuel Fernández, Café Con Leche Republicans, Director Estatal de Florida, Carmen Segarra, Analista Política, Arturo Carmona, Director Ejecutivo Presente.org, Hugo Balta, Pdte. Asoc. Nacional Periodistas Hispanos (NAHJ), Cid Wilson, Activista, Latinos for Obama, among others. The Spanish coverage was formally communicated in a press release issued by FOX News last week as part of their comprehensive plan for exclusive coverage election night.
9/25 is National Voter Registration Day. Don’t miss your deadline and register
By Lili Gil, Cofounder XL Alliance- Business and Politics Media Contributor
Breaking News- On Saturday September 8th, 2012 at approximately 6:15 pm eastern standard time off of the coast of Virginia, Captain Olav Gunnar Nyseter of Royal Caribbean’s ‘Explorer of the Seas’ announced a change in course to assist the US Coast Guard in a rescue mission of a sailboat eight miles away from the ships original course which had drifted into the Atlantic due to a broken main sail. Under heavy seas, growing inclement weather and only a small inboard engine, the sail boat had run very low on fuel and ran the risk of going completely adrift with no power.
The Explorer of the Seas, a 1,021 ft. cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean, on the tail-end of a 10-day Caribbean cruise heading to its home port in Bayone, NJ quickly responded to a request from the Coast Guard to assist the small sailboat. The vessel, called “Prima donna,” was reached by the cruise ship at approximately 6:55 pm which provided fuel and supplies to the three passengers on board.
Thousands of on lookers and vacationing cruisers cheered as the cruise’s rescue boat reached the vessel swaying heavily under the forces of the Atlantic.
As a witness to this live-rescue and cruiser on the ‘Explorer of the Seas” I was pleased to see the prompt response of Norwegian Captain Olav Gunnar Nyseter and everyone’s desire to help in a critical moment for three terrified passengers. It is wonderful to see that in the midst of a boat with 3,600 cruisers, 1,200 staff and crew members and well over 65 nationalities represented, one common spirit united us in this moment as we were able to cheer on the ‘Royal’ rescue!
Lili Gil is an award-winning business strategist and cofounder of XL Alliance. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and serves as a regular news and politics contributor to various media outlets like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. You can follow Lili on Twitter @liligil. Gil was a witness of the Royal Caribbean ‘Explorer of the Seas’ rescue.
Analysis on CNN en Español after The New York Times posted an articled that minimized the importance and impact of the Latino vote in the 2012 Election.
The nation’s rapidly growing Latino population is one of the most powerful forces working in President Obama’s favor in many of the states that will determine his contest with Mitt Romney. But Latinos are not registering or voting in numbers that fully reflect their potential strength, leaving Hispanic leaders frustrated and Democrats worried as they increase efforts to rally Latino support… READ MORE HERE: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/us/politics/latino-growth-not-fully-felt-at…
On the eve of the New York City Puerto Rican Day Parade and 20 miles east from the island of Manhattan, Puerto Ricans have a new reason to celebrate: Boricua jockey John Velazquez takes the victory at Belmont Stakes with horse Union Rags.
Originally from Carolina, Puerto Rico; where he first learned how to ride horses; Velazquez came to the U.S. after winning his first race in 1990 aboard Rodas at El Nuevo Comandante racetrack in Canavanas, Puerto Rico. Since then, the talented jockey with 4,823 firsts in his career has won prominent races like the 2011 Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes in 2007 and this year, after replacing jockey Julien Leparoux, Velazquez wins the Belmont Stakes for the second time. His impressive track record as a top ranking jockey by the National Earnings List for Jockeys made a historical turn after his induction in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2011. Certainly, Velazquez is an example of discipline and an amazing talent for Boricuas and Latinos to be proud of! With an athlete of such prominence it?s staggering to see how Latino fans, Hispanic media outlets and international news organizations seem unaware of his accolades in the sport.
While Latinos are known as key contributors in sports like baseball, soccer and even have the NFL dancing salsa, horse racing falls behind tapping into a fan base prime for growth and celebration of the sport.
In fact, Velazquez is only one of over a dozen Latino jockeys that top the list of top ranking, top earning and best performers in horse racing in the country; according to Equibase. The list of All Time Thoroughbred Leaders- Top 20 Jockeys by Earnings is 50% Hispanic! Putting it in perspective, 28.3 percent of Major League Baseball players are Latinos; an impressive statistic likely to be surpassed by horse-racing; yet no one in counting. Most Latino Jockeys share a similar immigrant story of hard-work, dedication and excellence that would make them heroes and role models in the community. Names like Peruvian Edgar Prado, Panamanian Alex Solis, Chilean Jose Santos and Venezuelan Ramon Dominguez, are some of the jockeys leading the charts and earning hundreds of millions of dollars in horse-racing; yet most are unknown names to the 50 million Latinos that reside in the U.S. For example, Dominguez topped the annual North American leading jockeys? list in 2010 with earnings of $16,911,880, certainly news worth reporting.
So, as New York celebrates the 55th year of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on the Belmont Stakes weekend; one more time the facts and figures confirm that the contributions, growth and prominence of Hispanics in the U.S. is something we should all be celebrating!
Lili Gil is a business strategist, Hispanic market expert and contributor to Fox News Latino. She was elected as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is co-founder and managing partner of XL Alliance, a cultural marketing firm. You can follow Lili Gil on Twitter @liligil.