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April 28, 2007

Social Media Marketing - Spanish, French, & German Social Networking Sites & Online Communities

By Li Evans

I've got this thirst for knowledge about the Latino Search Marketing industry.  I've been reading all the books I can get my hands on about this industry, and anytime I can hear Nacho Hernandez speak, or read things he's written I'm right there.  A recent piece (not by Nacho) I've read really got me to thinking beyond just pure search marketing for clients into social media marketing for Bi-Lingual or Multi-Lingual speaking audiences.

I started digging around to see what I could come up with for Social Media opportunities for multi-lingual (aka sites other than those in English) members.  To my surprise there's a growing number of sites that cater to these audiences.  Even beyond Spanish, there's been pushes for accommodating the French and German speaking audiences too.

  • Orkut.com - Orkut is probably the most famous of all the social media sites that are popular in non-English speaking countries.  Between being owned by Google and the legal issues in Brazil, Orkut's popularity skyrocketed a year ago.  Not much has been recently publicized about Orkut, but it still is thriving.  Orkut was originally designed in English, but is extremely popular in Brazil, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
  • Elhood ElHood.com - ElHood is a Spanish social network that connects Spanish speaking musicians with audiences, fans and potential producers/employers.  Although it has a very MySpace feel to it, it's aesthetic appeal is "smother" and "classier".  Totally in Spanish.
  • Piczo.com - Although it started in English, Piczo has done a massive push into the Spanish, French and German speaking social networking market.  Piczo makes photo sharing easy - just like Flickr, however it also promotes the social networking part of picture sharing by allowing users to easily create their own pages with drag and drop features. 
  • Quepasa.com - Quepasa is a Bi-Lingual social network that puts a primary focus on the "portal" appeal of the site.  You can watch Latin American TV online, focus on fashion or sports and converse with friends from the U.S., Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela and other Spanish speaking countries.  You can choose to view the site in English or Spanish.
  • MiGente.com - MiGente is a Latino social network.  There tag line is "The Power of Latinos", however, this site is completely in English.  Compared to ElHood and Quepasa, the network has a long way to go, but it does cater specifically to the Latino audience. 
  • Vostu.com - Vostu is a social network very similar in nature to Facebook, however, it's completely in Spanish.  It's a relatively young social network startup, however, it already has over 150,000 members.  Pinning some of its hopes on the whole "gossip" being part of Latino teenagers, it even has an anonymous gossip message board.
  • Mygrito MyGrito.com - MyGrito is a bilingual online community that let's you "meet your friends' friends."  Very "MySpace" in feel, but the focus is clearly on the bilingual aspect of the site.
  • MySpace in Spanish - MySpace, just launched a Spanish version of their site.  Basically, it's MySpace's site, just now in Spanish for Spanish speaking members.
  • MiMun2.com - MiMun2 prides itself in being the Fastest Growing Latino Social Network.  The creators certainly have a great sense of humor when you read about exactly why MiMun was created (here's a hint, they think MySpace sucks).  From claiming Jennifer Lopez & Spok as their official spokespeople, there's definitely a different feel to this site.  This site is a mix of English and Spanish.
  • StudiVZ.net - StudiVZ is a German social network that, like Vostu, is very much like Facebook.  In January, this burgeoning site was acquired by Holtzbrinck group, the German publishing giant.  It's focus is upon German college students and is completely in German.
  • Jubiide Jubii - Jubii is Lycos attempt at a social networking community, which features a "social community to make friends, chat with them, share photos and have fun – all on a virtual island world."  Jubii has both French and German social networking sites, however in some other countries in Europe Jubbi is Lycos' version of their search engine.
  • Buchpfade.de - Buchpfade is a German social networking site that focuses in on it's community's love of books.  It lists new books, popular books and even drives content discussion on "tags".

As I come across more, I'll add them to the list here!  If you know of any feel free to drop a line to smg -a-t- searchmarketinggurusDOTcom or drop a comment here.


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Just wanted to note that we are actually a bilingual site. Our users can experience elHood completely in English if they prefer; they can select the language on the top left.

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