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How to Optimize your Social Media Presence for the Emerging Brazilian market

Brazil has become the one to watch on the social media scene. Optimising your social media presence in Brazil can help you reach more people.

Recently dubbed ‘The social media capital of the Universe’ by the Wall Street Journal, Brazil has become the one to watch on the social media scene. Everyone from the emerging middle class to the indigenous tribes of the Amazon is busy using social media, without exaggeration.

Current social media trends in Brazil

An estimated 78 million people now use Facebook in South America’s most populous country, the equivalent of 79% of internet users. The average time spent on Facebook among Brazilians increased 208% last year, by comparison, global use declined by 2% during the same period. The recent spotlight put on Brazil through the World Cup also meant an increase in its use, sparking debate largely through sites such as Twitter, which has 41.2 million Brazilian tweeters and counting, making Brazil the second biggest user in the world. It is also the largest market outside the US for YouTube.

Social media potential for businesses

Brazil is currently far behind on the social media marketing front, it accounts for just 10.6% of the advertising market. However, some companies have already tapped into the potential of the social media platform in Brazil to roaring success. Johnnie Walker, for example, released an advert in Brazil that depicts a sleeping giant rising above Rio de Janeiro, the video sparked an online trend on social media with the hashtag "#ogiganteacordou,” which translates to, "The giant woke up.” The video ad on YouTube now has over 100,000 views.

Social media traffic amongst Brazilians is often at its heaviest during football matches and telenovelas, the South American equivalent of British soap operas. This has not gone unnoticed by many of the companies who have already latched onto the Brazilian market. A study found that 81% of social networkers used the sites to research new products, and with 77% having a positive attitude toward shopping and buying on social networks, the Brazilian market is one not to miss. So how to input your British business into this immensely prospective emerging market?


1. Tweet in Brazilian Portuguese

Needless to say people like to access content in their native language, but more importantly in Brazil, it would be easy to make the mistake of using a European Portuguese translator. It’s essential that the correct language is used, in this case, Brazilian Portuguese is a must, especially as it’s over 99% of the population’s native language. As you may or may not be aware, the difference between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese is extensive, in fact, many Brazilians find European Portuguese difficult to follow.

There are significant differences in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Brazilian Portuguese has absorbed many words from the languages of African slaves, from European languages such as French and Italian, and from the indigenous languages of Brazil, such as Tupí and Guaraní. An example of this is the word for pineapple: in Portugal, it’s ananas, whereas, in Brazil, it’s abacaxi, which comes from Tupí.


Grammatically, for example, in Brazilian Portuguese, a number of letters such as "c" and "p" that have become silent are not written, while they are still written though not pronounced in European Portuguese. In Brazil, you use the gerund to describe something you are doing right now, whereas, in Portugal, you use the infinitive. Here’s an example, using the sentence “I am working.”

Brazil: Estou trabalhando.

Portuguese: Estou a trabalhar.

There are a number of other spelling differences, including the replacement of "ó" and "é" with "ô" and "ê" in many Brazilian Portuguese words.

2. Localize your content

Another important factor is localization-adapting your content so it’s suitable and more attractive to the specific market. Interestingly, Less than 17% of Facebook users in Brazil aged 26 and older (a demographic estimated to represent 54% of Facebook’s user base in Brazil) said they enjoyed humorous content posted on brand pages, which was perceived to be the most frequently used engagement effort on the social site. However, 94% favored the idea of receiving customer assistance via social networking sites. It’s information as such which makes it essential to customize content through localization.

3. Give your brand a Brazilian face

Knowledge of the market is vital, as the world’s 6th largest economy’s way of doing business differs immensely from that of the Western world. Issues such as bureaucracy, high taxes, complicated labor legislation, and occasionally infrastructural and linguistic difficulties are factors that make it important to do your research before entering the Brazilian market. Inflexibility in adapting to the business culture of Brazil can hinder a business’s potential at the first hurdle. Brazil requires the same products and services as any other market across the globe, but you will have to adapt to local market specifics and may well have to give your brand a Brazilian face.


Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever’s Brazilian vice-president Joao Campo says, “There are common themes that resonate well with Brazilians - family life, happiness, optimism, and pride at being from Brazil. Brazilians are natural optimists, and notoriously upbeat, and the way brands engage with them must reflect this.” Before the World Cup, the total estimated spend on development was around £600 billion much of which is yet to be invested in preparation for the Olympics in 2016. The development will focus on the country’s energy generation and distribution system, roads, railroads, ports, and airports as well as stadiums.

Other sectors of the Brazilian market that have experienced higher than average growth, include air transportation, telecoms, oil and gas, and mining. Its ten most imported products are crude oil, vehicles, liquid oils, auto parts, drugs and medicine, Naptha, electronic components, bituminous coal, reception and transmission parts, and potassium chloride.

Given all of this potential, the importance of your content is considerable. If it is accurate and attractive to the unique Brazilian market, the social media platform that’s currently being provided and its potential is one that’s without a doubt worth giving more thought to.

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