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P.R. companies lag behind rest of LatAm in social media use

SOCIAL Media mapPuerto Rican companies are still lagging well behind countries throughout Latin America in terms of fully incorporating social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and Google Plus — into their ongoing communications strategies, Burson-Marsteller’s “Latin America Social Media Check-up 2013” revealed.

Despite the apparent lag behind the likes of social media powerhouses Venezuela and Brazil, the public relations and communications firm’s report showed that the percentage of Puerto Rico companies with Facebook pages more than quadrupled to 24 percent in 2012, from 5 percent in 2010.

Meanwhile, local companies using Twitter as a way to communicate with their customers and consumers also grew over the two-year period to 12 percent in 2012 from 5 percent in 2012.

Regionally speaking, 65 percent of companies in Latin America are now active on at least one social media platform, marking an increase of 16 percentage points since 2010 when the first “Latin America Social Media Study” was conducted.

Facebook maintained its popularity, and the study showed an increase of 11 percentage points in the use of the platform since 2010. However, Twitter now rivals Facebook as the platform of choice. More than half of the companies (53 percent) examined have at least one Twitter account, an increase of 21 percentage points from the previous study.

“This year’s study not only shows the rising presence of companies on social media platforms, but also a significant increase in their engagement with stakeholders through these channels,” said Ramiro Prudencio, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Latin America.

“More than half of corporate accounts engage with followers through @mentions or retweets, and the number of likes per company Facebook pages grew exponentially,” he said. “Rather than pushing content, companies are establishing dialogues with their audiences. This two-way method of communication is fairly new in the region.”

In addition to increasing their use of social media platforms, companies are also creating specific profiles for each of their brands, allowing them to engage with target audiences in one or even multiple markets, the study further showed.

“There is evidence that companies are creating content to meet the needs of each of their stakeholders,” said Cely Carmo, lead digital strategist for Latin America. “The usage of social media is becoming more strategic, and both content and language need to be platform and audience specific.”

Other key findings of the study include:

  • The average number of followers per corporate Twitter account was higher in Brazil (66,958) and Mexico (43,017) than any other market.
  • The percentage of companies with Facebook pages more than doubled in Argentina (48 percent in 2012 v. 20 percent in 2010), Brazil (52 percent in 2012 v. 16 percent in 2010), and Peru (52 percent in 2012 v. 25 percent in 2010)
  • Companies in Peru are most responsive to Facebook fans, averaging 27 responses to fans’ posts per corporate page in one week of data collection.
  • Nearly one-third of companies (30 percent) are actively sharing content on YouTube.
  • 40 percent of companies in Brazil, 32 percent of companies in Mexico and 40 percent of companies in Peru are on Google Plus.
Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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