ISSUE NO. 60 03/21/12

Unilever's migration of its ViveMejor website/magazine to the social media space is noteworthy for its momentum. Launched in 2007, ViveMejor, which means "live better" in Spanish, was Unilever's way to speak to Latinas about food, beauty and home. By 2010, Unilever morphed the branded content initiative into a two-way conversation by launching Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. Today, ViveMejor has more than 150,000 Facebook fans, making it one of the largest Spanish-language communities on Facebook for U.S. Hispanics and the largest by a CPG. Its Twitter account has 14,000 followers and more than 121,000 video views on YouTube. 

In a recent interview with ClickZ, Unilever's multicultural marketing director, Russel Lilley, offers a look at why ViveMejor has translated so well to social media. At the most basic level, it's working because Hispanics are comfortable with social media and, in fact, use it even more than their non-Hispanic counterparts. In addition, bilingual and bicultural experts who are familiar with Hispanics as shoppers and community members develop the content. They make sure it's customized to what's relevant and interesting to the Hispanic community. Also, Unilever follows best practices by actively participating in the online conversation, by creating exclusive content and by connecting with Latinas both on- and offline through multiple touchpoints (e.g., mass media, digital, social media, in-store events).

Lilley provided the following example to illustrate how all the elements can come together:
"We rely on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to provide consumers with in-store event locations, times and dates to help drive customers to our retail events. We also have implemented an event locator on our Facebook fan page that allows our Facebook community to search for a Vivemejor event located near them. Additionally, our engaged audience on Twitter interact with our @Vivemejor handle that provides real-time updates when we are at retailer events. Through these efforts we are able to measure incremental sales as a result of added digital elements." 


Unilever has done a number of things right in order to engage its Hispanic shoppers, from developing culture-appropriate content to leveraging this valuable segment's comfort with social media. All of which goes back to the basics: if you start with consumer insights, you will find the best way to talk with your shopper. Ensure your efforts to engage shoppers likewise build on insights gleaned from research. Also, be aware of the temptation to lump more than one segment together. The more carefully your shopper segments are parsed, the more precisely your efforts will engage your target.

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"Joe Kutchera: How to Friend 100,000 Latinas on Facebook," Fox News Latino, 2/6/12

"How Unilever Connects With Hispanics on Facebook," ClickZ, 2/28/12
Hispanic shoppers, Unilever, Vivemejor

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