Second Draft: Tweeting in Latin America

August 17, 2009 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

Section Two : Case Studies design

Chapter x : Tweeting in Latin America

Opening

In February 2009, Twitter experienced a 1,382% year-over-year growth and an increase on the total unique visitors from 475,000 in February 2008 to seven million in February of this year. Making Twitter the fastest growing site among the social media users followed by Zimbio with 240% and Facebook with 228% growth[29]

In addition, this year Oprah had a day in Twitter. This event made Twitter subscribers jump from 5,000 to 10,000 to 500,000 to 1.2 million after the Oprah event. According to PC World, “Twitter’s traffic is shooting through the roof right now.” A report found that the usage of Twitter has doubled in March (131% from February). [28]

However, Twitter is growing significantly not only in the United States, but in other parts of the world.  In Latin America the use of Twitter is growing fast. However, the use of Twitter goes beyond writing a message.  Twitter is about the voice and the goal of the tweets and as Twitter continues to grow in this part of the world, basic guidelines are needed.

But how is Twitter been used in Latin America? What cultural aspects need to be considered for Twitter use and implementation in Latin America? Why is the use of Twitter in Latin America Important?

This chapter explore three main areas in which Twitter is been used in Latin America; politics, media and retail. In addition it will show some cultural aspects that are important to consider before the implementation of this microblog in a business model as well as the way that Twitter is changing the business models in Latin America.

Twitter Facts in Latin America

The growth of Twitter has reached Latin America. For example, Brazil is among the five countries in the world that use this microblog the most. Brazil makes up for 2% of the world population that uses Twiter and was the first country in Latin America that used Twitter (July 2006). [16] Other countries that are using Twitter as well is Argentina (since September 2006), Chile (since October 2006) and Mexico data was not available. [1]

The growth of Twitter is significantly important as it is changing the way that people communicate in Latin America. As it mentioned before the way that tweets are written need to have a structure that connects with the culture of that particular area of the world. For example, In Latin America only 10% of the population uses internet [17], this point is important to consider if organizations are thinking about implementing Twitter in their business model.  It is important to know that in Latin America the first exposure to internet comes from the mobile technology.

According to an academic article [5], there are 308 million people in Latin America who own a mobile phone. In this part of the world only a small proportion of the population has internet service (10%), but a vast majority of the population has mobile/cell phone service (70%). [5] This growth factor on mobile technology in Latin America can explained why Twitter has growth in this region. It also important to highlight that Twitter can be accessed via text message after the user set the account via internet, which it can be done at internet cafes (very popular in Latin America) [4,5] According to Twitter, Twitter’s traffic comes from SMS, Instant Message, Mobile Web and other API projects. [30]

Mobil technology has reached critical mass in Latin America, therefore, this may facilitates the growth of Twitter in this part of the world, as Twitter’s platform can be access by text message. For example, Argentina has a mobile penetration of 98.7%, followed by Chile which has a 80.4% and Mexico and Brazil with over 70%. [3]

The above penetration rates translate to about 286,503671 million people of possible potential users of Twitter.  Therefore, it is important for business organizations in Latin America and from other parts of the world to pay attention to this numbers as it may increase their number of potential consumers. Also, as Twitter users grow this tool will be use more and more for other purposes besides business, like community organizing, mobilizing and politics which can raise the voice of millions of people who may use Twitter as a venue to speak up to make a significant change in Latin America’s society.


Politics: How Is Twitter Used In This Sector?

On June 28, 2009, Honduras ousted its president, Manuel Zelaya. [9] As a result a hashtag -#honduras- in Twitter was created to follow and comment about the event. The response of people from all over the world was reflected on the number of tweets and tweets up that continue to grow.  For example just in a period of 24 hours in August 1st, 714 tweets were posted under the #honduras hashtag.

On July 5, 2009, Mexico had its legislative elections and a hashtag -#votonulo- was created. The purpose was to request that Mexicans vote “NO VOTE”. According the CNN en Español this made a difference on the way that Mexican people voted that day.  About 6% of the Mexican population voted “NO VOTE” in a country with a population of more than 109M this means about 6.5M. In metropolitan areas like Mexico City with almost 20M people [12] and Guadalajara with almost 5M people [11] the “NO VOTE” reached 11% (2.7M). This event has never happened in Mexico before, according to CNN en Español and Twitter played an important role in it. [13,14]

Twitter in Latin America in the area of politics is playing a very important role in the way that people gets involved in politics.  However, the use of Twitter in Latin America for political purposes is not limited only to the hashtag. More and more politicians are using Twitter as a platform to get more exposure with the hope to accomplish what President Obama did with the help of this microblog. However, even though Twitter represents a venue to obtain a significant number of followers, it does not mean that anyone, in this case any politician can do what Obama did.

In Chile parliamentary and presidential elections are around the corner and social media is playing an important role in the race to obtain the majority of votes that will allow them to win. There are two candidates for the presidential seat that excel in the use of social media, Sebastian Piñera for the center-right National Renewal(RN) party [19] which is a constituent of the Alliance for Chile coalition [20] and Marco Enriquez-Ominami who is running as an independent candidate. However, for Enriquez-Ominami it will be more difficult as he fist need about thirty six thousand supporters that notarize their support in order to make it official and for Enriquez-Ominami to become an official presidential candidate.[18]

In addition, parliamentary elections are also taking place and candidates do not want to fall behind in the use of social media. One good example of this is Representative Marisol Turres for District #57 since 2006 with a population of 279,004.  Turres has used social media to maintain his region informed by using tools like Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter.  She will attempt to be re-elected to continue with her efforts in helping the people of that district. Twitter is the most recent tool used by Turres.

Marco Enriquez-Ominami

Enriquez-Ominami is using social media tools including Twitter to organize and facilitate that process for those thirty six thousand people who need to notarize their support to make him an official candidate. Enriquez-Ominami opened his Twitter account, Marco2010, on March 23 of this year. Currently, only five months after he opened this account he has 10,195 followers (as of 08/14/09). According to Twitter Counter the average growth per day is 492.  For example on June 19 he had 3,602 followers by August 2, he had 8,248 and only three weeks later, he has acquired 1947 new followers for a total of 10,195 and growing number of followers. According to a Chilean newspaper, the popularity that he has gained among the Twitter community in Chile has placed him as the most voted Chilean in Tweeterwall. [15] [figure 1]

Figure 1

Mr_Twitter

The current number of followers may be seen as a low number, but if Chile’s total population of 16.4 million is considered, then this number is not low at all. [21] In addition, it needs to be considered that Chile has about 50.9% internet penetration (8.3 million) [21] then the number of followers represents 0.12% and growing at fast rate. Obama up to date has .86% of followers, however the internet penetration rate in the United States is almost 75% (227+ million) and this is a current number.

It is important to highlight that Enriquez-Ominami’s strong message of change, his effort to reach out to young voters and his charismatic personality, have helped in this effort. Using Twitter does not guarantee an immediate rise of followers or a presidency. The candidate must offer more than a social media platform. Enriquez-Ominami has a valid message and a personality that allows him to represent that message, he is young, he has reached out to young supporters who have been neglected in the past, and he has a political history that backs him up. All of these factors have earned him the title as many have called him of Chile’s Obama (Obama Chileno in Spanish), he shares many aspects that President Obama has, but Enrique-Ominami has not yet won the maximum legislative sit in Chile. [18] Only time will tell.

Marco is using social media tools to accomplish his message of change in Chile.  In Twitter he is doing a terrific job on his tweets, which reflects a true change in the way politicians are conversing with their audience.

Sample of Tweets (interpretation)

DM

@KlawMarambio thank you very much, we are opening the doors of history. @KlawMarambio mil gracias, estamos abriendo las puertas de la historia 08/14/09

@fernandounda where did you read that? @fernandounda donde leíste eso¿? 08/14/09

@ortizmiguel I have not had the time to see Elisa, but Fernanda has, she says that is fascinating. (Elisa is a suspense soap opera that has reached high rankings and Fernada is Marco Enriquez-Ominami) @ortizmiguel no he tenido tiempo de ver Elisa, pero la Fernanda sí, dice que es fascinante. 8/13/09

Engagement

Going to Rancagua, Quillon, Chillán, Los Angeles and Concepción. I accept suggestions on local themes. Partiendo a Rancagua,, Quillon, Chillán, Los Angeles y Concepción. Acepto sugerencias sobre temas locales. 08/13/09

The RVN Law will be vote don son, what do you think about the mission that TVN has? Se votará pronto la ley sobre TVN, qué les parece la misión que cumple TVN¿? 08/12/09

Tomorrow, I have a meeting with SCD headquarters, what position do you have about copyright? (SCD is the Chilean Society for Copyrights) Mañana me reuno con la SCD, en la sede del comando, qué posición tienen respecto de los derechos de autor¿? 08/09/09

Arriving home early, what do you think about the proposal to reinstate the death penalty? llegando a mi casa, temprano, qué opinan acerca de la propuesta de reponer la pena de muerte¿? 08/06/09

Now the question is if he will be able to first get the 36,000 votes that he needs to become an official candidate and then if he will become the next Obama. If he indeed wins the presidency of Chile, he will become the second president elected by four important factors; social media, a strong message, reach out to young voters who in the past had been neglected and a charismatic personality.[22]

Sebastian Piñera

He is another candidate running for the presidential elections in Chile. This is not the first time that he is running for this seat. Pinera run for the highest seat back in 2005. Pinera is not a new user of social media; he has used these tools for many years.

Pinera joined Twitter back on February 18, 2008.  His first tweet was on April 18, 2009, “Probando Twitter” in English it can be interpreted as “Trying out Twitter”. Pinera is not a new face in the political arena in Chile.  According to The Patagonia Times, the Center for Studies in Contemporary Reality (CERC) poll, Pinera still ahead in Chile’s Presidential Election. [23]

Pinera’s strategy of incorporating social media as a tool for his campaign is a successful and an innovative way to approach the younger population. He also has a strong message for change and hope. These facts are reflected in the way that he has been using Twitter. Pinera’s account has an average growth of 226 according to Twitter Counter. [figure 2)

Figure 2

Twitter counter

As of  August 14, 2009, Pinera has about 11,995 followers which place him as the presidential candidate in Chile with the most followers in Twitter. Pinera’s tweets are written in a human voice and with the idea of an open conversation. Pinera responds to DMs, he Re-Tweets, he shared some of his most precious moments with his followers, and he maintains his followers informed of his campaign work.

DM

Me refiero a @albertoprecht Ojala mas jovenes se entusiasmaran con la politica. 08/14/09

@Lakawila Pronto visitaremos Iquique, así como todas las comunas de Chile

@juanrojasm Nuestro Gobierno será liderado por jóvenes,como ya están liderando los Grupos Tantauco. ¡Bienvenido!

Engagement

Thank you very much to all of you who have sent supportive messages. To be in this field good energy and good vibes! Muchas gracias a todos los que me han mandado mensajes de apoyo. ´Para estar en esto se necesita de la energía y buena onda!

Friends: recently my daughter Cecilia informed me that the moment of having her first daughter Antonia has arrived. Therefore I’ll go back to Lota to be with her. Amigos: Recien mi hija cecilia me aviso que llego el momento de que nazca antonia, su primera hija. Asi que vuelvo desde lota a acompañarla

Colocolo tie. Way to go boys. With Colocolo everything is possible!! (Colocolo is a very popular Chilean soccer team) Empato Colocolo. Vamos muchachos. Con Colocolo todo es posible!!

Marisol Turres

Marisol Turres was elected by El Mercurio a very important Chilean newspaper among the 100 women leaders of Chile. [24] Turres has been a representative of district #57 since 2006 and she is now running for  re-election. The region that she represents has a total population of 279,004 and it is considered a rural area where internet is limited. However, Turres has used social media to keep her region informed. And just four months ago she included Twitter in her efforts to maintain an open communication with her followers.  Turres has found the venues to provide a platform for people who have no access to internet or to a computer. Mobile technology is more accessible in that part of Chile [25] and the fact that Twitter can be accessed via text message makes Twitter a good tool to keep the conversation open and flowing.

As of July 27, Turres had only 68 followers, but as of August 14 her number of followers has increased to 90. This number may be perceived as a very low number, however if the size of her district and the lack of internet accessibility are considered [25] , then this number is not low at all. According to Twitterholic.com, Turres is ranked 1st in their location on twitterholic [figure 3] (Followers in Puerto Montt which has the largest population of the cities that conformed district # 57 with 225,008 peole). [26]

Figure 3

Twitterholic

Turres tweets have a  way to invite her followers for a two way communication that possess a human protective/family oriented voice that interacts with the audience, in other words a true open door conversation. Some example of these tweets are:

I am going to Calbuco on my way to Maullin to give housing subsides. I hope that people have their sweet home soon. (Casita is used as a way to add love/sentiment to the description in Spanish). Voy de Calbuco camino a Maullin a una entrega de subsidios. Ojala que la gente tenga luego su casita!!! 08/14/09

Congratulations to all the children of the world. I hope that each child would have happiness today and every day. It would be a different world. Felicidades a todos los ninos del mundo. Ojala que cada uno tuviera alegria hoy y cada dia. Sería un mundo distinto. 08/09/09

We presented a Project to reinstate the death penalty for child rapists with good results? Presentamos proyecto que repone la pena de muerte para violadores de ninos con resultado de muerte! 08/05/09

Thank you friends for all your best wishes and love!!! Gracias amigos por sus buenos deseos y su carino!!!!!! 08/04/09

I asked ULA for an audit because salaries are not been paid to teachers and there are no resources for the second semester. Pedí que se realice auditoría a la ULA porque no se les paga sueldos a los profesores a honorarios, ni hay recursos para el 2° semestre. 07/19/09

THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT.  Another day has begun… I must continue working with enthusiasm. MUCHÍSIMAS GRACIAS A TODOS POR SU APOYO. Comienza otro día y… a seguir trabajando con ganas!! 06/04/09

Friday and Saturday, congress with UDA in Punta de Tralca.  Dear kids and husband: I will miss you a lot. Viernes y sábado, congreso de la UDI en Punta de Tralca. Hijitos y maridito: los extrañaré mucho. 05/15/09

I’m learning to use twitter. Aprendiendo a usar mi twitter. 5/6/08

Turres writes her tweets using a protective/loving vocabulary, but when it is needed to send a strong message, she does it like when she tweeted about the death penalty to child rapists and asked the UDI for an audit.  Turres tweets project a welcoming loving woman, but also a very strong leader with a strong voice in pro of the children and the poor.  None of Turres tweets invite people to support her on her campaign; instead she provides information about who she is and what are her priorities on her tweets.  This is important, because people must have a full trust in their leaders. In this aspect, Twitter presents a challenging platform in which 140 characters can make someone go to the point in two ways, one having an empty voice and the other by providing a human touch.  It is only on the choice of words and this can be a difficult task for many, especially if they do not really mean it.  For Turres’ tweets is not a problem, they flow with her unique human tone.


Media: How Is Twitter Used In This Sector?

As family structures continues to change and the current economy forces many people in Latin America to work two jobs or extra hours, it creates time restrains for many Latinos who used to read the newspaper print version, but now with more limits in time, being able to only read those news that interest them without spending time searching for the, has facilitate the old ritual of reading the news.  Twitter is a platform that offers exactly that, short headlines of the most relevant news with links to the full story facilitate the news experience for Latinos that can receive them on their computer or mobile while they ride the metro or the bus to get to their jobs or where ever they need to go (for example, in Argentina 36% of the population use public transportation and in Brazil 32%) [5]

Twitter is an excellent tool to receive the latest news headlines that can be read in short periods of times.  As more news organizations in Latino America adopt the use of this microblog tool, people will have more access to the latest news without having to spend hours reading a newspaper or watching/listening to TV or radio news.

Now twitter presents a platform that not only offers the headlines of the latest news, it also allows the audience to participate; they can share, comment or debate the news and they can do it while they ride the bus, cook, or taking a break by using their cell phones or PCs. The audience now can be informed from a world catastrophe to which soccer team won.

Newspapers in Latin America are looking for innovative ways to keep their readers informed and some have enter to the “conversation” with their audience by using social media tools.  There are many news papers that are using Twitter in Latin America, but there are some among others that have engaged in a true conversation using Twitter. For this purpose newspapers that are using Twitter from Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Brazil where studied.

El_Universal_Mx

One good example of this new conversation model using Twitter, is El Universal de Mexico that incorporated Twitter to its online version since October 09, 2008, by creating @el_universal_mx.  Currently they have 12,052 followers.

The tweets from el_universal_mx is a great example of an “open conversation” with its readers, for example they ask their readers for their opinion on certain subjects like “How do you like the way that Mexico played during the first half” during a the Soccer World Cup game between Mexico and the United States. In addition el_universal_mx also enhances the engagement with its readers by providing polls or contest. For example there was a recent contest in which the winners (14) would win a financial education book package.  Participants had to answered three questions correctly and then send them to el_universal_mx via e-mail. The job of engagement that el_universal_mx used went beyond posting the contest. They explained the rules and the process, and the questions had to do with the subject matter of the price.

Another point in the conversation is to answer Direct Messages (DM), Re-Tweet (RT) and the Hashtag #. This is a model that el_universal_mx implements across it tweets [figure 4,5,6]. For example during the Swine flu event, they used the hashtags #H1N1 and #Influenza.  They also have engaged in bigger/international conversations like when President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in Honduras, they used #Honduras or during the Iranian election conflict when they used #iran.  El_universal_mx stated that in terms of the usage of a hashtag, they use it only when the news becomes a trending topic due to the importance of the issue, then they sign the notes with the appropriate hashtag.

Figure 4-DMs

Figure 5-RTs

Figure 6- Hashtags

The effort that el_universal_mx makes to provide quality to their tweets reflects not only on the number of followers, but also on the time they spend in the Twitter account.  According to the el_universal_mx, they spend anywhere from five to nine hours depending on the events happening a particular day. For example, during the last election in Mexico on July 5, 2009, they spent almost thirteen hours in Twitter in order to provide the most current and relevant information about the elections (see questionnaire).

El_Universal_Mx found out about twitter through friends and social media readings. Their decision to participate in the Twitter community was based on the fact that Twitters was a growing tool in the Internet and the hope that this represented for their organization as they could become the most followed organization in the Spanish media. The implementation of Twitter was easy since the director of the newspaper supported the decision. However, due to the existence of various fake accounts, it was difficult for people to identify the official account of el_universal_mx, but the diffusion they gave to through their website made it possible to accomplish the task.

The effort of el_universal_mx goes beyond the implementation of one social media tool, they have also incorporated other tools such as Facebook, blogs, and videos. According to el_universal_mx, out of all the newspapers in Mexico, El Universal is the one that has been the most preoccupied to satisfy the needs of their readers in regards to the online content.  They offer a no charge service, updated 24 hours a day and directly serve their followers. They do not tweet any advertisement to keep the conversation as a true one except when they have a contest in which they have to disclose the brand of the prize.

Perhaps the success of their Twitter account has to do with the format they follow from a manual they have developed. They limit their number of tweets to avoid at all cost to be seeing or perceived as a spam. Also because the people selected to tweet was a self choice which it is important, the person who tweets need not only to know how to use Twitter, but to enjoy it and know how to engage in a true conversation.  Not everyone is capable of accomplish this task. Twitters have to be able to listen and respond to the needs of the readers.  This is the priority of el_universal_mx and should be the priority to all media organizations. [figure 7]

Figure 7Engagement Tweets

Figure 8 Conversational Tweets

Diario UNO (Argentina)

Another great example to follow is a local newspaper in Mendoza Argentina called Diario UNO. They were funded back in 1993. Diario UNO adopted this name because they want to involve their readers, in other words, readers and newspaper should be ONE which is the English translation of UNO.

They joined the Twitter community on May 27, 2009 and start the conversation in Twitter the same day. Their first tweet was to provide important news about local gas stations running out of Natural Compress Gas and from that day on, their tweets are not only informative, but have a human conversation that works both ways, they give and they offer. For example, soccer in Argentina is a very important sport and Diario Uno offers live update of soccer games without URL links, only pure up dates one good example of this is a recent soccer game between Argentina and Russia in which they where tweeting up dates about the score. (see figure 9 red tweets). Another example is the way they tweet they headlines, their tweets are not copy and paste from their headline on their website, they are written in an engagement unique way like open questions for the news, some examples are like “Anyone uses Facebook to find love?” and they offered a link to an article that talk about a research in Canada on how about 95% of the internet users their “ex” (see figure 9 blue tweet) or when they asked their followers if they knew what a mortgage was (see figure 10).

Figure 9

Figure 10

Some ways Diario Uno have to thank their followers is not only to offer them the most recent and relevant news, but to offer them the chance to win prices like every Thursday their followers can win free tickets to go to the movies, of course the followers have to agree to receive information and promotions (see figure 11)

Figure 11

In addition, as part of the conversation they use RT, DMs and hashtags (see figure 12, 13 ,14).

Figure 12-DMs

Figure 13- Hashtags

Diario UNO has used Twitter to enhance the job they do in their online newspaper in which they have a blog/comment model to each of their news.  They also use other social media tools like Facebook and Mobile.  It needs to be said that Diario UNO let their online readers right away that they are in Twitter and Facebook, and via mobile. Most of the other news papers have this information either hidden or the reader has to scroll down to find it.  In addition, all of their news can be linked to the different social media venues and have a comment section (see figure 14).

Figure 14

How do they do it? Mendoza is a small province in Argentina and for a newspaper to do this great work on Twitter is great news for readers.  This is a great model to follow for other newspapers in Latin America that are thinking to start using Twitter. Diario UNO is using Twitter in a way that it shows they truly care for their readers and what they have to say. The best example to show their interest for their readers is in their Twitter profile background in which they included a question “Why don’t we chat for a moment, huh? (See figure 15)

Figure 15

La Tercera and El Mercurio (Chile)

There are other news papers in Latin America that are doing a good gob in Twitter. For example in Chile there are two newspapers that are using social media to engage with their readers. La Tercera and El Mercurio with their online version e-mol. Both newspapers use twitter to share their most relevant news headlines and links to their webpage. Both have incorporated social media into their business plan and both have had a great response from their readers. La Tercera has gained 3,313 followers since they first started to use Twitter back in April of 2007 and Emol that has gained 1705 followers since they first launched Twitter back in August of 2008.

OGlobal (Brazil)

Another newspaper using Twitter in Latin America is Oglobal from Brazil. OGlobal is using Twitter since April 09, 2007.  Back 100 tweets, they have not opened a door for a conversation with their followers in Twitter. It is true that short headlines is a way to provide a fast glimpse on the most relevant news, but when is the only service offer to followers it may affect their Twitter traffic. The number of followers they have seems very low for a country with almost 192 million people.

Retail: How Is Twitter Used In This Sector?

In the past years the role of the Latino women was very different than today’s.  Before the vast majority of Latino women used to stay home, however, this practice has been change with the years and with this the use of technology has become more important to facilitate the many roles that Latino women has to play; professional, mother, wife, daughter etc. Retail plays an important aspect of this, because women can buy on line or keep themselves informed on the latest sales that their favorite retail stores offer.  [7,8]

Twitter is a tool that facilitates the time restrain that many women have due to their multiple roles and also it makes it easier for men to help, as shopping on line or check social media is not a women’s thing. The fact that Twitter limits its messages to 140 characters only, makes it viable in terms of time limitations that Latino families are facing now as both parents work. [2,3,4,5]

Also the use of mobile technology in this case cell phones is the technology that has reach critical mass in most of Latin America and the fact that Twitter can be access through text message service or through mobiles that have internet accessibility facilitates the use of Twitter in this part of the world. [2,3,4,5]

Not many retail stores are participating in Latin America, however as more retail stores implement this tools as part of their business model, it will be important to know how to implemented, how to avoid sounding like adds and sounding more like humans as they enter to the big “conversation” with their consumers.  There are two big retail stores that can serve as a great example for many retail stores to join the Twitter community, Jumbo which has stores in Argentina and Chile and Falabella which has stores in Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

Jumbo (Chile)

Jumbo can serve as a great example of this for many retails to come. Currently Jumbo has stores in Chile and Argentina.  On April 14, 2009, Jumbo created @jumbotienda to maintain their consumers informed about their latest offers. However, with time this model change and currently they not only offer information about their sales, they offer much more.  They offer a human voice that allows a flowing conversation between Jumbo and their audience.  . Currently they have 809 of followers.

Jumbo uses Twitter to provide short conversational messages and links to latest recipes, information about their products, their new and future projects and to a list of new/sale products. They take the time to say great their audience, to suggest a cup of coffee in the morning, to drive carefully or simply to comment about the weather (see figure 20)

Figure 20-Engagement tweets

Jumbo also provides information to their customers about certain terms like organic products (see figure 21) or provide incentives for the customer such as games, recipes, contest etc. It is a very innovative way to do it using Twitter.  It engages their followers as they can read or share their recipes or interact in their contest or games. According to Mobile Internet User Experience in Latin America research it states that people like prefer to establish contact with people, but if an inviting entertaining environment is provided then the interaction is easier. [5] See some examples of inviting entertaining tweets on figure 21.

Figure 21

Waiting for Questionnaire to add more.

Falabella (Argentina and Chile)

Falabella Argentina and Chile have recently started to use Twitter. Argentina only last month on July 27 and Chile back on May 27, 2009. They do a great marketing job in their tweets, some of them include greetings. This model works great when the offers are very good, which is the case of Falabella. They offer extraordinary prices online, which can make it easy for people to shop online versus in the store, especially if you can pick up your merchandise at the store or have it deliver to your door the same day.

Falabella complements the use of Twitter with other social media tools and their website. They still the new kids on the block in regards to Twitter, but the fact that they have started to Tweet and that some of their tweets include greetings is a good sign.

The use of Twitter in the retail business is very new in Latin America, but Jumbo and Falabella can be a good model to follow for other retail business to join the twitter community in Latin America.  See figure 22 for some of their tweets.

Figure 22

Falabella Argentina

Falabella Chile

Methodology

The areas of politics, media and retail were selected for the Latin American sector as these are the areas in which Twitter has grown the most.  The criteria I used, was based first to find out if they were also using other social media tools or only Twitter.  This was important because even though Twitter is an important tool without the other social media tools it will be difficult for a complete conversation.  For example Jumbo exchanges recipes, but Twitter is not the platform to post the entire recipe, therefore a blog or a tool like Facebook are needed.

1. Use of other social media to complement Twitter.

2. First to use Twitter in their areas and countries.

3. Using Twitter as a conversation and not marketing only, in the case of newspapers and radio, they provide headlines to any news, but all their news have blogs/comment section for the audience to comment or asks questions.

4. They have to be housed in Latin America or their main audience is the Latino community.

5. Be currently active in Twitter.

6. Be well recognized in their area of business (have years of experience in the business area)

References:

References

(1)Twitter Facts: http://twitterfacts.blogspot.com/2007/08/first-state-of-twitosphere-in-brazil.html

(2) Mobile Penetration in Chile and Argentina: http://www.budde.com.au/Research/2008-Latin-America-Telecoms-Mobile-and-Broadband-in-Southern-Cone.html

(3)Mexico and Brazil: http://www.chinaccm.com/4S/4S16/4S1605/news/20090723/094007.asp and

Burkart, P. (2006, 2006 Annual Meeting). Does Access Ride on a Wireless Web?: eMexico and Mexican Wireless Telephony. Conference Papers — International Communication Association, Retrieved February 6, 2009, from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.

(4) Mobile Twitter Stats: http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/02/study-twitter-users-are-mobile-urban-and-engaged-online.ars

(5)Mobile in Latin America: http://research.nokia.com/files/Otero-LatinAmerica.pdf

(6)Mobile and Public transportation in Latin America: http://cl.nielsen.com/news/pr20060208.shtml

(7)Rol de la mujer latina: http://www.latinpedia.net/Sociedad/mujer/El-rol-de-la-mujer-en-las-sociedades-latinoamericanas-ad950.htm

(8) http://www.slideshare.net/NANPENO/rol-de-la-mujer-1688462

(9) President Manuel Zelaya –Honduras- is ousted: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/07/06/honduras.political.turmoil/index.html

(10) Mexico’s Population: http://www.internetworldstats.com/central.htm

(11) Guadalajara Population: http://www.study-mexico.com/english/2/guadalajara_mexico.cfm

(12) Mexico City Population: http://geografia.laguia2000.com/geografia-de-la-poblacion/mexico-poblacion

(13) Twitter #votonulo Mexico’s federal elections: http://descubreinternet.com.mx/por-que-fue-un-exito-la-campana-por-el-voto-nulo-social-media-y-politica.html

(14) CNN #votonulo Mexico’s federal Elections. http://omcim2009elecciones.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/cnn-mexico-perspectiva-entrevista-con-luis-miguel-martinez/

(15) E-mol/Marco Enriquez Chilean most voted in Tweeterwall: http://www.emol.com/noticias/magazine/detalle/detallenoticias.asp?idnoticia=371448

(16)Brazil 2% of Twitter Population: http://www.sysomos.com/insidetwitter/

(17) Internet use in Latin America: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

(18) Marco Enriquez-Ominami : https://nacla.org/node/6010 and http://as.americas-society.org/article.php?id=1712

(19) National Renewal Party/Chile: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/National_Renewal_(Chile)

(20) Alliance for Chile Coalition: http://www.answers.com/topic/alliance-for-chile

(21) Population and internet penetration in Chile: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats10.htm

(22) Marco Enriquez-Ominami Charismatic/Obama: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h4cTpaDrg8m7NGTo0feGiLI_n9Ew

(23) Pinera latest polls: http://www.patagoniatimes.cl/index.php/20090812875/News/Political-News/CERC-POLL-PINERA-STILL-AHEAD-IN-CHILE-S-PRESIDENTIAL-RACE.html

(24) Marisol Turres Lider: http://diario.elmercurio.cl/detalle/index.asp?id={eaf5dd5c-6eab-4cec-8a5d-e7185c582494}

(25) Internet accessibility in Chile Vs. Mobile: http://www.businesschile.cl/portada.php?w=old&id=713&lan=es

(26)Population on District #57: Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional) http://www.bcn.cl

(27) District #57 cities: http://www.subdene.gov.cl

(28) Twitter and Ophra: http://www.pcworld.com/article/163456/measuring_the_oprah_effect_on_twitter.html and http://www.pcworld.com/article/163291/pssttwitter_has_big_news_and_its_topsecret.html

(29) Nielsen’s Statistics on Twitter:  http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/twitters-tweet-smell-of-success/

(30) Countries that use Twitter Score: http://twitterscore.net/high-scores-by-location

(31) Twitter Traffic around the world: http://blog.twitter.com/2008/02/twitter-web-traffic-around-world.html

Entry filed under: Vertical Draft. Tags: , .

Vertical Draft: Tweeting in Latin America Tweeting in Latin America

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