Mobile Social Networks raising the bar in South America.
Posted by Alirio Pirela on February 14th 2010 @ 4:15 am
South America has a future, in my opinion, to lead the social media space with mobile Internet applications. Due to the amount of smart phones and competitive prices hitting the market it will rapidly raise the number of active users on social networks. North Americans have adopted social media primarily through their computers, but it wasn’t until recent introductions of the iPhone, and the smart Nokia’s and Blackberry’s that they really started to network and create social media in a mobile manner.
South American’s have substantial access to mobile networks than to terrestrial Internet connections. Mobile handsets in South America are more advanced than other countries and their data plans are more reasonable. Social networks are an emerging trend for this region via mobile devices and they will be an important force and community in the social media space. And because of the lack of fixed infrastructure, the mobile phone is often the only point of access for internet-based services such as social networks. The availability of affordable mobile data service packages is essential to drive the growing social networking market to the mobile space in this region.
South America has 132,385,340 Internet users as of Feb 07/09, with a 34.0 % Penetration Rate (World Internet Stats), and according to data from Comscore the use of social networks sites alone in South America has increased by 33% in the past 12 months. Bringing the total number of users to over 53,000,000 visitors to social networks sites. (There were just over 40,000,000 last year.). A recent search shows that a hundreds of business are now actively using the twitter. (Twellow for Chile, Twellow for Colombia).
I think Facebook will pass all of the other social networks used in South America within the next few months. Even in Brazil where Orkut has a large portion of the population using it, Facebook has gone from almost zero market penetration to over 1,000,000 users in 13 months.
As South Americans continue to populate social networks and become adept at using social media tools they will have an inexpensive and effective way to reach markets globally. Through Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube channels and dozens of other social media tools (that are free) Latin American brands and companies can begin to build some really social connections with prior markets that were hard to get. If you want to establish connections and business in the region these tools provide the same opportunity. With social media, it is now possible to be in contact, keep our brand and personal message always present in a very local feeling relationship anywhere in the world.
When marketing into any international territory using social media it’s not only enough to just post on a blog, or twitter content. Think about regional cultures, business protocol and expected levels of formality as well. Find a local partner in the region (or with previous experience) and get their feedback on how your social content may need to be adapted; and take their advice.