Only 49 percent of Latin American companies are using at least one of the most popular social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs), compared with 79 percent of companies globally, according to Burson-Marsteller’s 2010 Latin America Social Media Study. The highest proportions of Latin American companies leveraging at least one social media channel are in Mexico (80 percent) and Venezuela (75 percent) and lowest proportions are in Puerto Rico (5 percent) and Argentina (25 percent).
Burson-Marsteller’s global research team analyzed the social media use of the 160 highest-revenue companies in from Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Venezuela. The results were compared with those of Burson-Marsteller’s global social media research released in February 2010.
The Latin America Social Media Study found that Facebook is the most popular social media tool used by companies in the region, with over 39 percent of companies having one or more pages. And stakeholders have an interest in engaging with Latin American businesses on Facebook, as over one-half (55 percent) of the company pages analyzed have comments from “fans.” Mexican and Venezuelan companies in the study were most likely to have comments on their Facebook pages.
Twitter follows Facebook as the second most popular social media website, with 32 percent of Latin American companies maintaining a Twitter account. However, 53 percent of the companies studied had tweets posted about them by stakeholders on Twitter, revealing that many Latin American companies are being talked about on Twitter but have no presence on the social media channel, thus being left out of the conversation. Colombian companies have the biggest gap, where only 29 percent of businesses have a Twitter account, but 86 percent are being mentioned by stakeholders’ tweets.
While fewer Latin American companies are on Twitter than in other regions (32 percent vs. 65 percent globally), the Latin American companies have almost twice the number of followers (2,626 followers vs. 1,489 globally). This shows that Latin American consumers are increasingly willing to participate and interact with businesses via social media.
Latin American organizations’ presence on YouTube is more limited, with only 25 percent of companies in Latin America having an account. Companies in Chile, Brazil and Mexico have the highest participation rates on YouTube. In general, the most popular brands in the region post videos of their advertisements. Brazilian companies have the largest audiences, with an average of 251,195 views of their videos, driven by Petrobras, which has videos of social, environmental and community work.
Corporate blogs are the least popular social media channel for business in both Latin America (11 percent) and across the globe (33 percent). Only Brazilian (37 percent) and Chilean (29 percent) companies have significant proportions of companies with brand-sponsored blogs.