A copy-paste approach to social media in Spain won’t cut it. For best results, change your language, adjust your timings and switch up your platforms. Find out why here.
Heard of FIGS?
It’s a common acronym in the localization industry that stands for French, Italian, German and Spanish. They get grouped together because France, Italy, Germany and Spain are often the first markets a brand will expand into in Europe. Which means brands regularly ask us to translate their English content into FIGS.
But this can make it easy to forget that each country’s approach to content is different. Even the best web copy will receive fewer clicks in Italy. In Germany, big, brash promotional campaigns will be ineffective.
And taking a one-size-fits-all approach to social media is doomed to disappointment. Especially when it comes to Spain.
It’s the smallest of the four countries by population. But a greater percentage of its population is active on social media than in the other markets. They have more profiles, engage with content more regularly and use social media almost twice as often for work. (See for yourself in the latest country reports for Spain, France, Italy and Germany.)
If your Spanish strategy is the same as in the other markets, you’re missing a trick. Here’s how to get social media in Spain right.
THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA IN SPAIN
Unsurprisingly, social media is most popular with millennials – just under half of Spanish social media users are aged between 25 and 44. More women use social media than men, but the demographic varies according to the platform.
Facebook and Instagram are both more popular with women, whereas LinkedIn skews male. However, both genders are well represented on these sites. Twitter is heavily male (64% vs 36%) whereas Snapchat is dominated by women (73% vs 25%). So before deciding which platforms to build a presence on, check it’s the right one for your target audience.
Spanish brand Desigual have used this demographic data to inform their social strategy. They promote values that particularly appeal to millennial women and champion inclusivity. Their ads regularly show models’ real bodies and celebrate older and diverse women. These messages will resonate well with their audience.
Desigual’s content also points to the importance of video. 93% of Spanish internet users watch videos online each month – and YouTube is the most popular social media site. If you want your message to be heard, video is essential.
Don’t forget about WhatsApp either. It narrowly trails YouTube as the second most popular social media site. 87% of Spanish internet users have an account and spend around five hours per week on it. What’s more, while sites like Facebook remain stagnant or lose users, WhatsApp use keeps growing.
Stuck for ideas? Consider adapting successful strategies from Facebook Messenger, or check out how Hellman’s have used the platform here.
Spanish culture stands apart from its European counterparts.
You’ve probably heard the clichés about siestas and fiestas – the Spanish like to sleep all afternoon and party all night.
There may be some truth in this, but it’s an outdated stereotype. Traditionally, Spaniards would work from 9 am until 2 pm, take a two hour lunch break, then work from 4 pm until 8 pm. They’d often use their breaks to take siestas and keep out of the hot sun.
Now, although 60% of Spanish people say they never nap, the long working day remains. In 2017, Spanish employees worked an average of 1,687 hours. To put that in context, that’s 331 hours (just over eight weeks) more than the Germans.
This has a couple of knock-on effects that are important to note.
One is presenteeism: the Spanish may be at their desks, but that doesn’t mean they’re always working productively. At some point in the working day, they’ll likely browse through their social media – which means B2C brands shouldn’t discount working hours from their strategy. At the same time, B2B brands should think beyond 9–5 when scheduling their posts to account for the longer hours.
Secondly, the Spanish are night owls. They go to bed at midnight, compared to between 10 and 11 pm for France, Germany and Italy.
Timing is everything. Launching a German campaign at 10 pm would be pointless. In Spain, it could make a big impact. Don’t take a blanket approach to content scheduling – adapt your campaign timings to account for Spaniards’ daily routines.
Of course, Spaniards expect social content to be written in perfect Spanish. But they also expect to see the right kind of Spanish. The Spanish spoken in Latin America is different from the language spoken in European Spain. Your readers will know the difference, so you should too. You could consider localizing your content and language for different Spanish regions (e.g. Catalan for Barcelona).
Spanish social media users value content written in a personal tone of voice. Don’t be afraid to champion your brand values either – it will resonate with readers.
It may feel easier to just group Spain together with France, Italy and Germany, but it’s a false economy. Spain is different, and applying a uniform approach will result in wasted effort. Instead, stay relevant by setting your clock to Spanish time, speaking the right language and focusing on the platforms your audience loves.
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