Four Simple Ways to Discover the Power of Latinos on Twitter

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

Royal Rescue by Royal Caribbean’s ‘Explorer of the Seas’ off Coast of Virginia

By Lili Gil, Cofounder XL Alliance- Business and Politics Media Contributor

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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. 

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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…

Union Rags & John Velasquez Win At Belmont: Boricua Celebration

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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.

Digital Marketing 101: QR Codes and Foursquare | By Lili Gil

By the minute, smart-phones, companies and people are clearly becoming more and digitally sophisticated – and having a never-ending list of available social media platforms and apps clearly doesn’t make it any easier.

While this reality may be intimidating for many, understanding and applying these to your life and business is actually easier than you think. This quick 101 on digital marketing and social media technologies may help you boost your sales, dazzle your boss and even impress your friends and relatives when you send your next holiday card with embedded video!

You’ve seen them all:  QR codes on store displays, requests for Foursquare “check-ins” at restaurants and recent business buzz on Pinterest, now ranked as the third largest social media platform – all of which may have you wondering about the application and value of these to boost your sales or your personal equity.

In a nut-shell, these applications help bridge the physical world with the digital world. Think of a highway that makes it faster and more streamline to find what you seek, aggregate what you like and share with those you care; so let’s demystify them for you to start making them work for you.

Quick Response (QR) Code

This is a matrix barcode, formerly confined to industrial uses. However, in recent years they’ve become a common element in consumer advertising and packaging, making it easier for anyone with a smartphone to link quickly to a tutorial video, coupon, Facebook page, link or informational document online. Basically, think of a QR code as a graphical link in the physical world that takes you into a digital destination, serving as a connector between the two. An article on USA Today reported that Taco Bell has used QR codes on fountain drink cups to direct consumers to MTV video content. Procter and Gamble and Kraft Foods have used them for online discounts. TV’s HSN (Home Shopping Network) recently offered a four-day QR-a-thon, displaying the codes at the bottom of the TV screen for more web information about products. You could also get creative in your personal life and create your own QR-code linking to a special YouTube video printed on an invitation card or to link to a digital link that gets an interviewer to download your contact information or resume electronically after scanning your code on paper.

A common application to scan and read codes is scanlife.com. Also Scan.me helps you build and manage your own online mobile site for personal or business reasons and, for those that want to be more sophisticated bitly.com helps you create shorten codes that can be turned into QR-codes that can be monitored with online metrics of clicks, views and sources of visits.

Foursquare

The Foursquare.com website reports that millions of times a day, people use foursquare to check in and share where they are. Whether checking out a new restaurant, meeting up with friends, or visiting a favorite boutique, they are chronicling and sharing their adventures. As a business or brand on foursquare, you can be a big part of that experience.

With an impressive community of over 20 million people worldwide and over 2 billion check-ins, this application has redefined how people find, search, personalize and connect with their favorite places and people nearby.

Once downloaded into your phone or logged into your device, the application uses GPS technology to identify your location to provide recommendations, promotions and friends in your area. While this may seem a bit scary and intrusive for many, privacy settings allow you to control how much is shared with the Foursquare user base on preferences and location… so don’t worry, big brother will not be always watching!

As a business or brand you can embed your venue or product offering as part of the experience of the Foursquare community. Some ways for businesses to leverage this technology include, offering discounts in exchange of check-ins, awarding partner badges, building Foursquare pages or becoming a source of tips for the community. For more information about business offerings visit https://foursquare.com/business which is filled with case studies featuring many brands like Bravo, Red Bull, NASA and even the White House.

Lili Gil is an award-winning business and Hispanic market expert, business, politics and news media contributor and creator of the online show and channel Moments2CulturRise. She is also co-founder and managing partner of XL Alliance a multicultural strategy and marketing firm dedicated to helping business executives and leaders navigate and enter emerging markets. Gil was recently selected by the World Economic Forum as one of only 190 Young Global Leadersidentified across 65 countries for her leadership, community and business impact.

A New Way of Reaching Latinos Online on YouTube: Mitú

Integrated, cross-channel, multi-screen, social, viral, digital, earned are just a handful of the many buzz words recited to thousands of media executives and marketers as they parade from upfronts to newfronts and everything in between. But, who is really delivering? Is there a better mouse-trap to achieve the cultural relevancy needed to win in today’s multicultural America?

While traditional media continues to impress us with Nielsen data, a new metric may be arising to help 2013 budget allocations: YouTube views!

It’s a known fact that Latinos are highly engaged online, but more than consuming content they are also creating. According to the Forrester Social Technographic Ladder, 47% of Latinos online are “content creators.” That’s an over-index of 263 vs. non-Hispanics who also lag behind in the areas of critiquing, collecting, joining and spectating online. Also research fielded by the New Generation Latino Consortium has confirmed an gap in culturally relevant content and the important role digital plays in the everyday life of Latinos today.

But, where is that content? Where do Latinos engage most? What are they watching online and where? While we’ve seen the great success of YouTube sensations like Justin Bieber and makeup artist Lauren Luke, where are the Latinos? Brands envy the power of the hundreds of funny, talented and charismatic YouTube sensations that gather 5, 10 and 20 million views to their channels; hoping their brand could steal at least a fraction of that reach. Ironically some of these raw and authentic at-home videos end up getting more eye-balls and reach than some of TV’s best produced multi-million dollar projects! An example: La Receta de la Abuelita; a YouTube channel that scores an impressive 30,000 subscribers and over 19 million views through simple at-home cooking demonstrations of abuelita’s most loved recipes.

This is one of the many channels now aggregated by Mitú a premium branded YouTube network featuring both original and user-generated content in English and Español también. Starting with 659K subscribers and reporting over 228 million views, the channel serves as a destination connecting thousands of Latino content creators with each other, with advertisers and with the world.

The time is right for Mitú as marketers continue to increase their focus on both reaching Latinos and innovating with digital and social media marketing. According to Econsultancy’s Marketing Budgets 2012 Report, based on a survey of more than 500 companies and agencies, more than two-thirds (68%) are increasing their digital budgets for 2012, compared to 45% of companies increasing overall marketing budgets but only 16% saying the same for ‘traditional’ marketing budgets. Three-quarters (74%) of companies are investing more in digital marketing technology this year, up from 67% who expressed similar intent a year ago; which creates an opportunity for innovation in this space.

Clearly the viewers are there, the numbers are real and the research continues to validate that digital marketing and social media are redefining the media landscape, but will the brands and budgets follow? It’s time to start letting numbers drive the decision making and stop thinking of digital as an experiment or innovation, it simply is the way our consumers engage and live today!

Lili Gil is an award-winning business and Hispanic market expert, business, politics and news media contributor and creator of the online show and channel Moments2CulturRise. She is also co-founder and managing partner of XL Alliance a multicultural strategy and marketing firm dedicated to helping business executives and leaders navigate and enter emerging markets. Gil was recently selected by the World Economic Forum as one of only 190 Young Global Leadersidentified across 65 countries for her leadership, community and business impact.

Emilio Estefan, Wilmer Valderrama, Akon and Jenni Rovera Get Political at Billboard Latin Music Awards with Lili Gil

Click Here to Watch: http://video.foxnews.com/v/1599908110001/

By Lili Gil, Hispanic Market Expert, Co-founder XL Alliance, TV/ Media Contributor

In the midst of the glitz and glamour of the Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami, Fox News Latino asked deep questions while celebrities sashayed across the red carpet.

While most of the media was interested in ‘what are you wearing?’ And ‘how do you feel tonight?’ We struck a different chord with the celebrities. We asked: ‘What are your views about the role of Latinos in this year’s election?’ And they loved it! 

We were praised for elevating this important matter and the artists were quick to open their heart and share their perspectives.

Emilio Estefan was quick to mention his participation in a call with the White House on Friday, and Wilmer Valderrama, who is actively involved with the organization Voto Latino, got extremely passionate about the growth trends of our community and his dissatisfaction with the Arizona law. R&B recording artist, songwriter and record producer, Akon talked about the importance of unity and the power of minorities sticking together to make a difference and let their voices be heard. 

La diva de la banda, Jenni Rivera, was equally passionate to motivate Latinos to get involved.

You may wonder, why did we get political on the red carpet? Because our voice, our community and our influence is paced to make a critical difference on the race to the White House. A cover on TIME Magazine, controversies over the Arizona Law, a potential vice presidential candidate,  Marco Rubio and many more, are at the core of our conversations. Even for celebrities who are doing voter drivers and attending meetings at the White House.

Latinos represent a potential 21.7 million eligible voters, according to the Pew Hispanic Center; however of those eligible in 2010 only 6.6 million actually headed to the polls; a number that can mark a historic difference in this year’s election. This disconcerting 30 percent or 15 million gap has been recognized by many organizations like Voto Latino; which is touring with the Mexican band Maná as part of their ‘Drama Luz’ tour; and other celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Jon Secada and Shakira have joined various functions at the White House in efforts to amplify and raise issues of our community.

If celebrities, who travel weekly, sleep four hours a day and carry an agenda of 20 priorities are taking the time to get involved politically, why are we not all doing the same? Just as we follow their gossip and fashion trends, let’s realize that nothing is more fashionable than setting our own political trend in America this year… just as they are. Click here and get registered to vote!

Lili Gil is Hispanic business strategist and cofounder of XL Alliance, a cultural marketing firm. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and serves as a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. You can follow Lili on Twitter @liligil.

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/entertainment/2012/04/27/celebrities-get-political-on-red-carpet-at-billboard-latin-music-awards/#ixzz1tISpSmxd

Collateral Damage from Cartagena Prostitution Story

Who would have thought that a historic event, the Summit of the Americas, would have turned into a marketing case study of bad PR and bungled crisis-management for the U.S., Colombia, and even an opportunistic airline.

During a time of emerging stability for the region and a revival of investor interest in Latin America, host country Colombia saw a perfect opportunity to highlight the country’s tourism potential as well as the positive impact of Colombians in the U.S. go down in flames thanks to a few Secret Service agents having a little too much ‘fun.’

I get it, sex sells, but why all of the news and reports on the ‘prostitution of Cartagena?’ The media is obsessing over sex, while ignoring the historic gathering of world leaders that just took place at a destination recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage. Known for its fortress, stunning cobble-stone streets and untouched old-city villas, Cartagena is listed next to Istanbul, Fiji, Paris as a top travel destination in the world. 

How about reminding Americans that Colombia is one of their strongest allies in Latin America, that Colombians rank number one among Hispanics for college attainment in the U.S., 29% of Colombians in the U.S. are college educated, and that country’s economy —which grew at around 6 percent in 2010, according to the World Economic Forum —is spoken of as a potential future addition to the BRIC group.

But you may wonder, why should I care in America about upsetting the perception of Colombians? At the core of this story lies unfortunate ignorance displayed by most media and marketers alike surrounding Colombia and Latinos. 

Their words and narrative are having a piercing impact and causing collateral damage on the perceptions, image and loyalties of close to one million fellow Colombians in the U.S.; of which I am one. We are feeling the heat and the outrage from the derailed coverage of the Summit of the Americas.

Why is this so critical? Because this type of media dis-service provides validation for existing stereotypes of Latinos.

The icing on the cake of this PR fiasco was served up by Spirit Airlines, who quickly seized the ‘opportunity’ with distasteful advertising of prostitutes and ‘more bang for your buck’ for flights to Cartagena. 

Spirit’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Barry Biffle, should call the culturally incompetent agency that suggested that copy and graphic for the main page. Otherwise, Mr. Biffle  may end up baffled by the power of a million angry Colombians.

An online petition has already begun circulating —created by a Colombian professional in the U.S., Eddie Niño, on change.org —called: ‘Spirit Airlines: Stop promoting Cartagena, Colombia as sexual tourism destination.’

Let us all learn from this experience. Don’t let sensationalism damage your image with America’s fastest growing consumer base; Latinos.

Lili Gil is a Hispanic marketing 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. You can follow Lili Gil on Twitter @liligil. 

Analysis on CNNEE

On FOX NEWS LIVE:

¿Que Pasó? People’s Choice Awards, Where Were the Latinos? by Lili Gil for Fox News Latino

On its 38th edition, the People’s Choice Awards tallied an impressive total of 230,000,000 votes giving fans the power to choose their favorites in television, music and Hollywood. 

While Latinos are certainly making waves in entertainment, those nominated like Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Eva Longoria, Fast Five actors Tego Calderón and Don Omar, Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara, and even pop sensation Selena Gomez were all M.I.A. at the award show. 

So who was there to somewhat represent? “Solo dos”…CSI’s Adam Rodriguez and Jersey Shore’s half Boricua Ronnie Ortiz-Magro walked the red-carpet.

Did they not know that Latinos do tune in into American pop-culture matters? Do they not realize that one in four teens in America is Hispanic? 

That Latinos are 80% more likely to go to the movies during opening weekend? That 62% of them are U.S. born, therefore bicultural and bilingual? That 47% of Los Angeles is Latino! And to top it all of, there was a Twitter explosion happening live during the show uniting a very unique Spanglish conversation. 

The voice of top Latino influencers like Lance Rios, founder of the largest and most popular Latino group in Facebook “Being Latino”, fashionista Mercedes Sanchez of BeChicMag, lifestyle editor Lizbeth Cardozo of LaCosmopolatina, celebrity insider Oscar Petit, among others, came together under the hash-tag #HBOatsLatinoVIP. 

Other Latino tags like #Belatino and #LATISM rode the conversation as well.  The content source came from live reporting being “tweet-casted” from the red carpet by me and the remote crew of Fox News Latino and XL Alliance.  

Tweet-reach reported that their collective buzz, sharing and re-tweeting of the hash-tag reached 117K people generating close to 900K impressions!

In a nut-shell, do not underestimate the power of the Latino voice when united. Whether in entertainment or even in business and politics, Latinos are listening and sharing perspectives critical to impact the opinion of America’s fastest growing market segment.

Thank you Fox News Latino, for giving us a voice and platform to continue to elevate the importance of our voice. Last night at the People’s Choice, tomorrow could be from the next debate, the white house, another major event and more.

Lili Gil is an award-winning business and Hispanic market expert, business and political media contributor. An award-winning professional and entrepreneur, Gil was recently selected by the World Economic Forum as one of only 190 Young Global Leaders identified across 65 countries for her leadership, community and business impact. You can follow Lili on twitter @liligil



Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/entertainment/2012/01/12/where-were-latinos-at-peoples-choice-awards/#ixzz1lEVE4Biv