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

FOX News Latino Announces Live Spanish Coverage Election Night

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, 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.

Viewers can tune in to live coverage here:

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:…

Union Rags & John Velasquez Win At Belmont: Boricua Celebration

Belmont Stakes velasquez.jpg

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.

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

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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.

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