Social Media – Opportunities Down South?
Recently studies have shown that social media is “trending” in Latin America. One that has been receiving a great deal of attention is entitled “Latin American Governments Need to ‘Friend’ Social Media and Technology.” This report, released by the Committee on Foreign Relations for the United States Senate, indicates that Latin American citizens are amongst the heaviest users of social networking sites in the world. As the title suggests, the report is geared toward governments in the region and encourages them to use the growing power of social to their advantage. It seems to me that businesses and students of commerce should take note as well.
I follow someone on Twitter that goes by the handle “thisIsChile,” and he/she consistently tweets useful and informative content about Chile every single day. What’s more, it is clear that whoever is doing the tweeting has an impeccably firm grasp of the English language and is likely from North America originally. The purpose of this Twitter account is to disperse information that will increase tourism in Chile. The point is, social media is creating jobs and with the explosion in usage Latin America is experiencing there is sure to be plenty of opportunity. Chile’s national tourism service, Sernatur, has indicated that by 2020 it hopes for tourism to be the third largest sector of Chile’s GDP. Surely there are more opportunities waiting to be taken advantage of by those interested in Latin America who have any kind of knowledge about the power of social media.
Lately I have noticed that many of my classmates and peers are being hired as “Social Media Consultants.” Companies seem to be hiring a great deal of college-age people that have grown up with social media in their lives and are more familiar with how it works. They do so in an effort to increase their online presence, broaden their customer base through online exposure, and create more personal and interactive relationships with customers. The same trend is surely beginning in countries like Brazil, Chile, and Argentina where social media plays a huge role in people’s day-to-day communications.
The difference in Latin America is that companies have less experience in the realm of social media and there is less information on the subject. That being said, what’s to stop any young professional who is interested in Latin America and knows Spanish from approaching any of tbe hundreds of major companies down south that have no online presence and suggesting they adopt a social media campaign. Really, you tell me! I’m honestly interested in receiving some feedback and would love to hear some more thoughts on the subject.