The impact of Facebook on marketing in Brazil

Direct Line: latest Pet Step viral ad fails to impress
Direct Line: latest Pet Step viral ad fails to impress

Social media, and Facebook in particular, is having a big influence on marketing and life in Brazil, writes Juliana Barbiero, chief marketing officer, Just-Eat Brazil.

Brazil has the second highest number of Facebook fans in the world, behind only the United States. Any company interested in our market cannot disregard social networks when developing its marketing strategy.

Here in Brazil, it felt like we were in a race - we created dozens of different types of content every week and we acquired fans as if there were no tomorrow; we did every thing for a share or a like. But as with many brands using Facebook, I had doubts on how effective engagement in Facebook was and how this could be translated into real business results.

Moreover, there was a sense that "what happened in Facebook, stayed in Facebook". It was about social games, funny pictures and video sharing, participating in promotions, but the attempts at social commerce and offers were not really picking up. It was more about football matches, holidays, welcoming weekends and being sorry about mondays.

The status quo was that the 'real and serious stuff' was something to be displayed on traditional media – for us down here, mainly on TV.

Overall the status quo was that the "real and serious stuff" was something to be displayed on traditional media – for us down here, mainly on TV.  On social networks, we could see a lot of sofa-ctivism - people getting involved in causes that would require from them nothing more than a click, a like, a share. 

When the buzz around the recent Brazilian protests started with thousands of shares and likes, for the first few days I was very suspicious. Brazilians are known as pacifists. Usually we are part of the group of  "deixa disso", a brazilian saying we use when in a middle of conflict to make peace and get people relaxed somehow.

I remembered previous attempts at some sort of political movement on social networks and thought, well, one more online claim that will never go offline, people will share it like crazy, a couple of thousand will go hit the streets for a day, it will show on TV news and all will be forgotten in a couple of weeks.

But this time was different. TV news decided to take a side - the government and the police - while thousands would tell a completely different story online. People got really angry and felt manipulated by the traditional media and went more and more online to pursue ofthe truth – as traditional media was not to be trusted, social networking was people like you telling their side of the story.

Also, while some would be talking about the wonders of the Confederations Cup, the population was suffering with the effects of rising inflation and the increase in public transportation fares. This was the trigger to get hundreds of thousands of people on the streets, finally leaving Facebook and becoming really engaged with something that matters. 

I cannot see any better example for not only the use of first and second screen together, but for how they collapsed. Moreover, it's a great example of the second screen making the so-called first really change. There are exciting moments in Brazil and media in general to come.

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