The Multi-Faceted Internet Journey of Spanish-Speaking Consumers

Spanish-speaking consumers use the internet—and especially the internet on their smartphones—in greater numbers than the overall population. That they use the internet to gather information should not surprise you, but the ways in which they use it, may. Internet use patterns among Spanish-speaking consumers is worth paying attention to because, if your small law firm or solo practice wants to attract new clients, the 43 million people who told the U.S. Census Bureau that they speak primarily Spanish at home is a vitally important market.

The guide titled, “New Horizons: How to Market Your Law Firm to Spanish-Speakers and Win Their Business” examines how Spanish-speaking consumers behave online in-depth. This post provides a condensed version of the guide’s findings.

When it comes to researching and hiring an attorney, data from the U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey shows how Spanish-speaking consumers use the internet during three distinct phases.

Getting Started: Early in their researching process, Spanish-speaking consumers are looking for nuts-and-bolts information. They want to learn more about what help is available and their options. At this stage, content that’s too lengthy or complicated won’t be of interest. The desire for factual and no-frills information is one reason why online directories—streamlined listings of names, phone numbers, addresses and websites—are so popular. Forty-eight percent of Spanish-speaking consumers reported using Abogado.com or FindLaw.com (which is 10 percent higher than the general population) but only 13 percent said they used a general, non-legal review site, like Google’s Local Guides.

What does this mean for your firm? A directory listing on Abogado.com is a wise investment. These listings solidly position you in front of Spanish-speaking consumers, right where they expect and want to see you.

Moving Beyond the Basics: Once a Spanish-speaking consumer has found a few small law firms or solo attorneys that seem like good options, they will likely turn to social media to add color and depth to their initial impression. According to the U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey, 45 percent of Spanish-speaking consumers used social media to find an attorney online, which is 20 percent higher than the general population. This means that when a Spanish-speaking consumer wants to vet and learn more about you and your firm, they will very likely visit your firm’s Facebook page or your personal Twitter feed. Basic information was sufficient earlier in the hiring journey, but now, a Spanish-speaking consumer wants to know what it’s like to work with you.

What does this mean for your firm? Your social media presence needs to provide real and additional value to prospective Spanish-speaking clients. Use your firm’s LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts to discuss issues and topics that are important to your community and target markets. Facebook advertising is a cost-effective way to expand your firm’s reach locally. A blog post on a relevant topic is also an excellent way to connect with Spanish-speaking consumers.

A Pause before Commitment: An interesting behavioral pattern of many Spanish-speaking consumers is that, while quick to gather preliminary information, many pause to reflect before they make a hiring decision. Thirty percent of Spanish-speaking consumers reviewed the information of three or more attorneys before making a hiring decision while only 19 percent of all respondents did the same. If your firm is still in the running at this point, you can’t afford to trip at the finish line. When viewed against the backdrop of competitor firms, your firm’s content must be engaging and accessible. That means a mobile-adaptive website is indispensable. When a Spanish-speaking consumer decides to hire you, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to act.

What does this mean for your firm? No ifs, ands or buts about it—your website must be mobile-responsive. Your website needs to have a click-to-call feature and needs to be viewed on a tablet or smartphone.

To be successful in reaching Spanish-speaking consumers, your law firm’s marketing plan must be holistic and comprehensive. It must include a directory listing, and if you can invest further in social media and a mobile-adaptive website, you’ll be well-situated to serve a growing clientele.

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