Saturday, April 18, 2009

What Latin America businesses can learn from Ashton Kutcher

LOS ANGELES - MARCH 22:  Actors Ashton Kutcher...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
This early Saturday, aproximately at 1:30 a.m., Ashton Kutcher, Hollywood actor know by his participation in “That’s 70s Show” and for being married with Demi Moore, passed the 1 million followers mark in Twitter.

All started on Monday 13th, when Ashton, noticing that his account was very close to the 1 million followers, decided to challenge CNN in the quest of being the first with that number of people reading his updates.

Ashton asked people who already followed him to RT his intentions, and promised to give away 100,000 dollars, that will be used to buy 10,000 mosquito bed nets bought for Malaria No More (this organization seeks to eradicate malaria in the world). This race generated a lot of attention on the news and entertainment shows in the world.

This attention grew even more when Larry King, host of CNN's "Larry King Live", answered him in YouTube that they will "burry him".

Even if some people say that Kutcher was being help by electronic boards in Atlanta, Pennsylvania, Detroid and Cincinnati promoting his cause, calling him a cheater, he managed to get close to 200,000 followers first announcing his goal on Internet and then the mainstream media started to show his interest in the race.

What has any of this have to do with businesses in Latin America? Well, I believe a thing like this, noticing how much can people be involve in a Social Media campaign, should probe them that they can get a lot of people eyes on them if they do things right.

Not only personalities like Ellen Degeneres or Oprah Winfrey can get something from Social Media, also businesses or political parties.

Of course, companies have to thing very well how will they aproach to Social Media, starting with what kind of presence they want to have, in what site (choosing from My Space, Facebook, Twitter, Hi5, among others).

A good example of a company using the power of Social Media was the case of Burger King, that launched an application in Facebook that allowed his users to 'unfriend' 10 people of their lists in exchange for a Whopper.

In Latin America business can't grasp yet that it is possible to generate loyalty to a brand using social networks. In Mexico, for example, there are 24.7 millions of users of Internet, and 5.1. of them use social networks. This socioeconomic level of this people goes from middle to rich class.

I don't think they should take this as a fad, but they should start to build a presence for their brand, and I hope business in Latin America can understand that, studying the best way to use Social Media for their benefit, they can built a connection with their consumers, as Ashton and other Hollywod stars are doing.

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