AT&T Makes a Facebook Grab for Latinos

AT&T launched a three-pronged online marketing effort aimed at Latinos this month, opening pages on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, as part of a larger strategy to stay competitive in increasingly changing economic and demographic conditions, according to the company.

AT&T said these new platforms were aimed at keeping Latino customers up-to-speed on the company’s offers, but also to meet the media needs of a population that is statistically younger than the rest of the country; the company’s main Facebook page has more than 175,000 fans already, its wireless page AT&T Share has more than 200,000 and the Latino Page launched on December 16 currently has 170.

A brightly-colored Spanish language ad welcomes visitors to the new Page, along with an explanation of the new Latino-specific social networking sites encouraging users to utilize  it for entertainment, news and help with AT&T services.

The Page tries to move traffic to AT&T’s other web sites, specifically the primary Spanish language web site, and an entertainment tab links to a new YouTube AT&T Latino channel featuring popular Spanish speaking celebrities.

AT&T Latino does everything the company’s main Facebook page does — points visitors to the company’s primary web site, maintains an active wall, polls, features the latest deals and offers — but the Page is less than a month old and has a lot of room to grow.

AT&T Latino is very similar to the company’s other Facebook pages in the way it tries to engage users with the company, create an online community and refer them to other AT&T web sites and information. The primary difference is the flavor of this effort, not just the language, but the presentation of more “Latino-looking” ads featuring a different actors and color schemes.

AT&T has a history of catering specifically to the Latino (or Hispanic) market, a perceptive strategy given a recent study showing that the buying power of this group in the U.S. was almost a trillion dollars in 2009, according to a third quarter report released by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.

The Selig report also calculated the buying power of ethnic groups in the U.S. this year, finding that of a nationwide total of $10.7 trillion, the Latino market made up 9.1% of the total with $978 billion. In the next five years the Selig Center projected that ethnic markets would outpace Anglos in buying power —with the Latino market leading the charge, landing a total of $1.3 trillion in buying power by 2014.

Launching an effort to strengthen its online presence with Latinos is, according to AT&T, part of an effort to, “give Spanish-speaking customers access to the content and services they want, whenever and wherever they want it.”