Recently, I had a chance to speak with an influential Hispanic player in the digital space, and one who has made a difference in making his voice heard and who has been able to recruit a solid fan base from the bottom up.
In an exclusive interview with Matt Reyes the founder of Twitteros, we will get a chance to learn more about his role as a successful Latino influencer in the online world and how the Hispanic market has grown and become a key player in the marketplace. According to eMarketer there are currently over 26 million Hispanics using the Internet every day, and that number is growing just as fast as the total number of people within this minority, and by the end of 2012, it is estimated that there will be nearly 30 million Hispanics on the Web.
Have you ever heard of Twitteros?
According to Mat Reyes, the term Twitteros is a Spanish adjective that means, “Twitter user”.
Matt is the founder of Twitteros, a social media community hub for Latinos that Twitter, based on the Ning platform that launched in late 2008. The community hosts profiles, music, photos, blogs, forums, and other features.
As he explains: “The whole idea of Twitteros is to connect all Latinos that Twitter. We have so much to say and so much to learn from each other, and this group will only connect us even more!”
In my 1:1 chat with Matt Reyes, he was very open to share with us more about Twitteros and his role as an influencer in the market, so influential that the 2010 US Census partnered with him and his social network to encourage Hispanics to be counted and share the importance of taking part in the act.
Who is Matt Reyes?
I am well-versed and active in bottom-up media, organizations, and theory, I believe in the marketing philosophies of Douglas Rushkoff and Seth Godin. As a follower of these principles, I have helped organizations ranging from major brands to cultural arts institutions define their purpose, create authentic word of mouth, and become innovative.
How big do you think is the Hispanic influence online these days?
It's growing each and every day. We are still yet to be on par with the general market, but influence is much greater among younger communities.
Do you consider yourself part of the generation Y and a web 2.0 junkie with the creation of Twitteros?
Yes, I definitely consider myself a millennial and consider those who join Twitteros millennial-minded.
Do you consider yourself a tech junky?
Yes, of course.
How did the whole idea of creating Twitteros come up?
Basically, I modeled Twitteros after Twitter Moms with the goal of uniting Latino Twitter users and showing their diverse interests. Twitteros is the network for digitally influential Latinos. (His profile reads on Twitter Moms: “I am a fan of Twitter Moms…even though I'm a dude!” From this, we can infer that his approach of creating a community like this moms' hub for Latinos to connect, seems to have certainly worked.
Why a parrot?
A parrot humorously replaces the bird that is famous on Twitter. Matt further explains: “I wanted a character that is Latino and thought the parrot would be a pretty funny take on the Twitter bird!”
How long has it been since you began your online community and how far have you gotten from where you started–traffic, members etc.?
Twitteros hit its 1-year anniversary this past December and we've grown to over 600 strong, influential members (subscriber) who are well-connected on the Internet. We've surpassed 100,000 page views since we began.
How is your audience broken down in terms of geography, US versus Latin-American based members?
The site is mostly Latinos living in the US right now. However, there was a big jump of Chileans who joined after the earthquake. We are also gaining traction in other parts of Latin America.
Are you considering of migrating your community to any other platform—Face book?
For the time being, Twitteros is based solely on Twitter and allows users to show their extended presence to their blog/websites. There is a Facebook page, but that is mostly for those who want to keep up with the blog posts that users post daily.
Are you still a one man show or do you have bloggers who write for Twitteros?
Fortunately, the members help keep the website vibrant and full of content, especially when important issues come up.
What's your influence with this year's census and Latinos?
Twitteros is currently an Official Partner with ‘Voto Latino’ to reach out to digitally influential Latinos to get a complete, accurate count in the 2010 Census.
Have brands also reached out to you to help them get a WOM in the Hispanic community using Twitteros as the platform for it?
Yes, we've had some support from @southwestair and @tmobile. We did a great campaign with T-Mobile during the Latin Grammys.
Where do you see Twitteros a year from now?
A year from now, I see Twitteros connecting even more Latinos with their varied interests both in the US and in Latin America. 60% of tweets are in a language other than English.
What do you like most about social media and what do you foresee in the future of digital space?
Social media is only as good as the apps and open-source development that come from it. Content is nice (and key), but the tools are where the magic happens.
With the direction Mobile technology is gone in recent year, are you thinking of integrating your community to mobile in the near future?
We are already connected. If you visit Twitteros on an iPhone, you can see the iPhone version of the site. (But, still no phone or Android application for Twitteros though).
Matt Reyes is one of those people who had a vision to connect Latinos online and his hard work and perseverance has paid off, his influence in the digital space among Latinos has certainly resonated in this community. This is a growing community who is very interested in following the latest trends in technology and innovation, shopping online and connecting with people online. Like Matt, there are many other influential young Latinos who have made their mark in the space, by creating an ecosystem that is necessary and useful for people among a specific community to connect and share their ideas and passions with each other.
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