Agility is the Key to Effective Hispanic Social Media Development
October 17th, 2011
Posted by Jose Villa
What makes Hispanic social media more challenging than general market social media marketing and more difficult traditional Hispanic marketing? I would argue two fundamental things:
• Hispanics are early adopters of new technology, especially wit
hin the social media realm (we’re basically dealing with an “early adopter” consumer segment)
• Traditional Hispanic marketing is fairly predictable with clear steps to execution and predictable outcomes (you create a print ad and if you get it into the publisher before a certain date it will run it in a magazine with a certain circulation and will be viewed by x number of consumers)
So essentially, Hispanic social media marketing, even more than traditional social media marketing, is highly unpredictable. It is realm chock full of unknowns. An experienced social media marketer will tell you that they never know what will work before they’re actually in market, so it’s a game of trial and error. You have to be willing to fail before you succeed.
Unfortunately, the way most marketing programs (including social media programs) are planned, developed, launched, measured and optimized is based on a linear model that depends on the accuracy of numerous assumptions and emphasizes the planning artifacts (usually in the form of documents like “strategic plans”, creative briefs, and media plans). It is “waterfall” sequential process (as its described in the software development world):
By contrast, over the last few years, a new, more
flexible approach to marketing, based on the tenets of Agile methodology (again, an approach pioneered in software development), has been evangelized by many organizations that stresses speed to market, rapid iteration, and embraces the notion that marketers don’t know what works before they’re actually in market. Because of the unpredictable nature of the Hispanic consumer and their use of digital media, and the “wild west” nature of social media marketing, an agile approach is critical to success.
So what does this approach look like? It helps to contrast it to the way most of us have gone about developing marketing programs (and ironically, the waterfall method I proposed in last year’s Hispanic Social Media Guide)
So how do you get started with this new agile approach to Hispanic social media? Follow these simple steps:
#1 Assemble a small team and assign roles – Focus on “doers.”
If you planning on producing a lot of Spanish content, get a Spanish copywriter on board. If you will be building an app, get a developer on the team. Give everyone clear roles and make sure you have all the resources to execute on your program.
#2 Decide on the duration of the first project (or “sprint”) – Emphasize short cycles, ideally 2-4 weeks. Anything longer than that means you’re overplanning or don’t have the resources you need to build what you want.
#3 Set goals for the first project / sprint – Flesh out your goals from a user perspective in the form of “stories.” E.g. “I want Hispanic moms to visit the Facebook page, ‘fan’ us, and download a printable recipe.”
#4 Set regular project/sprint meetings – Set short (10-30 min) meeting daily or a couple times a week to discuss the stories, review tasks and estimate time requirements.
#5 Project / sprint retrospective – After you’re in market, evaluate and discuss with the team what went well and what went didn’t.
#6 Start project/sprint planning again (for the next project/sprint) – Go back to step #3 and start again.
This approach to Hispanic social media isn’t about discarding all planning, but instead about condensing into short cycles, where documentation and assumptions are replaced with living programs and actual results (and data).
While I wouldn’t suggest this agile approach for all Hispanic marketing programs, particularly those with hard deadlines and highly defined deliverables (like event marketing, direct mail, or print/OOH advertising), it’s perfectly suited to social media marketing. Social media provides near instant feedback – you’ll know within a few days or weeks whether a program is working. Social media is also relatively inexpensive (particularly of the hard costs of media necessary with most traditional advertising), allowing for easy testing and learning.
One final note: agile Hispanic social media marketing is perfect for companies that are just getting started in the Hispanic market. Success in the U.S. Hispanic mark often requires investments and changes in other aspects of a company’s operation – such as customer service, human resources, and product / service development. Trying to predict them all upfront would be difficult if not impossible
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