Community Casual People Communication Team Friendship Concept

Likes are important but engagement is where it’s at

Joanna Renteria, Social Media Specialist, Brand Strategist and Influencer, Follow Joanna at

Joanna Renteria, Social Media Specialist, Brand Strategist and Influencer. Follow Joanna at

Welcome our new Social Media Specialist and Influencer Joanna Renteria!

Learn more about Joanna.


Likes, likes, likes… it seems as if likes are the main focus of brands aiming at increasing their online presence. More likes, not enough likes, let’s buy some likes.

While “likes” are important, building a social media presence isn’t all about the likes.

Let me explain.

Yes, “likes” equal engagement, but they’re also a very lazy way of engaging. On Instagram, it has become so easy to double-tap on an image and hand over someone a like or a follow, but how much time does it take someone to actually comment, tag or share a post or picture from your news feed? Taking that time to do so means SOMETHING, it means that followers are intrigued and connected to your brand.


It was about two years ago, I was sitting at a conference, listening to start-up CEOs talk about their sites and apps, the idea behind them, and it was then that I first heard and understood community in terms of web and social media.

“Web and social media is all about building communities. You want to create a space where others can connect, share, and identify with.”

I then understood why Facebook was such a success and why I was spending so much time on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest daily.

Group of Multi-Ethnic People Holding Sign Poles with a Symbol of Like

So while I was working in newsrooms, specializing in building social media accounts for them, I then understood why these brands weren’t as successful and why they wouldn’t be as successful until they changed their way of thinking, their way of working.

Hear me out.

For many, many years, media worked one way… we had producers and then we had consumers. Journalists, TV, newspapers, radio… they would work on producing content for their audiences (everyone else), their consumers. In order to get your information, you would tune in on a certain time and just listen or watch. You read your morning paper, and while you probably had something to say about what was being shared, there wasn’t much you could do.

Now back to 2015. We have social media networks, communities, where one can tweet at pretty much anyone with an account instantly. We have the freedom to create a blog, share any article, produce viral content. Content is no longer being produced or consumed one way but many.

While major media outlets may have a big following on social media, their level of engagement (RT, SHARES, COMMENTS) doesn’t always reflect their following. Why? It’s a one way street: Lack of interaction.

See, it isn’t about buying likes or getting tons of likes/followers overnight. It’s about BUILDING a community.

Bloggers, my obsession with bloggers… fashion bloggers mostly. Why? Because they’re KILLING IT. K-I-L-L-I-N-G IT!

Bloggers, more like influencers. Individuals now have their own communities on IG, Facebook, Pinterest, or their own personal sites. They’ve managed to create spaces where others can learn about trends, destinations, airlines, shoes, clothes, gyms, food. They produce and share content; they ask their followers for suggestions and sometimes even create videos/entries upon requests.

Community Casual People Communication Team Friendship ConceptTop bloggers are consistent, available, and welcoming… and present on more than one social media network (but not all, don’t get too excited now).

So yes, likes are important… but engagement is more. Building a community should be your goal, and in order to do so you must be willing to spend time on paying attention to your audience.

Listen and engage.


See the original post at Joanna’s blog here.

Hispanicize 2015 influencers

Exciting Hispanicize 2015 welcomes!

Hispanicize 2015 influencers

Although this is the sixth year that Hispanicize Week convokes all major Latina and Latino bloggers, journalists, marketers, entertainers and techies, this is the most exciting year because will be there. We will be covering the event as well as keeping you posted on our Twitter @LIBizus and Facebook pages and our YouTube channel. Watch out, Miami, here we come!


As much as I have heard about the event curated by the Latina Mom Bloggers network, the re-imagined digital influencers’ platform of Hispanicize 2015 is the largest and most comprehensive yet ever assembled to empower multicultural vloggers, bloggers and other digital influencers.

A partnership between Latina Mom Bloggers network, Being Latino, Hispanicize Wire and the Hispanic PR Blog, Hispanicize 2015 is expected to gather more than 2100 most influential Latino media, communicators and entertainers over five days in Miami, Florida on March 16-20, 2015.

We are working on a media strategic partnership with Hispanicize Wire –you will see their feed really soon! –, and we are trying to tie up some information exchange and other perks with them. We have also been invited to participate at some panels –we’ll announce it if all happens and is confirmed.

“Our agenda, speakers and sponsors reflect a massive expansion that provides Latina digital influencers with exceptional professional development, networking opportunities with hundreds of multicultural-focused brands and agencies, VIP treatment, and entertainment that is unparalleled,” said Manny Ruiz (@papiblogger), founder and creative director of the sixth annual Hispanicize 2015.

Key highlights of the 2015 Latina Digital Influencers Showcase include:

The Launch of the Tecla Awards

Created to recognize excellence in Latino blogging, micro-blogging and social media/digital marketing, this national awards program kicks off Hispanicize 2015 on March 16. The red carpet awards gala and concert is expected to bring top digital influencers, brands, agencies and celebrities.

An Array of Sessions with Top Latina YouTubers, Instagrammers and Viners

Among this year’s top Latino YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Vine superstars that will share their tips and tricks for social media success are @DulceCandy , LeJuan James, @SunKissAlba, Jorge Narvaez and more! DulceCandy will play a very special role as she will be the first ever Latina digital influencer to receive the prestigious Latinovator Award.

Deep Dives into Producing Quality Videos, Instagram, Vine and Podcasting

As part of this year’s advanced level sessions, the Latina Digital Influencers Showcase will feature practical, how-to content on producing and monetizing YouTube videos, Instagram, Vine, photography, podcasting and more! An engaging Instagram and Vine Tour of Miami will feature a $1,000 Instagram and Vine contest courtesy of a major brand!

Increased Presence of Multicultural Brands and Agencies

Hispanicize 2015 is widely considered the most indispensible event for U.S. Hispanic brands and agencies in the U.S.-Hispanic market and one of the biggest perks of the event has always been its ability to bring hundreds of these marketers together with the digital influencers they want to work with. This year’s growing roster of brand sponsors and non-sponsors will easily surpass last year’s record setting numbers.

400 Free, Full VIP Access Badges for Digital Influencers

In an unprecedented move one major sponsor will shortly reveal their role in providing 400 free, full-access passes to digital influencers who have been consistently active for more than nine months. Digital influencers can sign up in advance for these passes here. Latino Day

Kathy Cano-Murillo Crafty Chica blogger

Kathy Cano-Murillo Crafty Chica blogger

Hispanicize and Latina Mom Bloggers have partnered with and Kathy Cano-Murillo of Crafty Chica to curate a full day of the most practical and popular sessions produced for the conferences. In addition to presenting these sessions with their top trainers, will also offer digital influencers and other attendees four full days of one-on-one tech help at their Happiness Bar. Several sessions will also be hosted in Spanish.

VIP Treatment

Latina digital influencers have always been the pampered VIP guests of Hispanicize and this year is no different. Among the special programs planned for them are: the Digital Influencers Pre-Treat (March 16), the Digital Influencers Yacht Party (March 18) and the Closing Night Concert Bash in South Beach (March 20)!

Access to Hispanic Marketing, Entertainment, Journalist and Tech Entrepreneur sessions

One of the most popular aspects of the Hispanicize event is that Hispanicize lets everybody from multiple industries attend each other’s sessions, programs and event. This democratic form of super, multi-industry networking is a Hispanicize standard that greatly benefits digital influencers seeking their ROI for attending.

An Inspiring Speakers’ Roster

65 digital influencers in 25 sessions

Business Building and Monetization Workshops include

– What the Brands and Agencies Really Want and Need from Digital Influencers

– 50 Shades of Green: The Many Ways to Monetize Your Blogs, Vlogs and Social Media Channels

– Protect Your Work! A Legal Primer on Copyright Law for Digital Content Creators

– The Finance Side of Your Blog and How to Make Smart Tax Choices”

How-To Content Creation Workshops

Susana G Baumann from with Ramon De Leon at LATISM 2014

Susana G Baumann from with social media influencer Ramon De Leon at LATISM 2014

– Get Rolling with Your YouTube and Facebook Videos

– Clever Ways to Create Branded Stories

– Mastering Instagram: An Advanced Course

– Vine It Like a Rock Star!

– The Next Level to Pinterest

– An Introduction to Podcasting

Web Tech Sessions

In addition to four sessions, Hispanicize will host SEO and LinkedIn sessions with subject matter experts.

Meet the Viral Influencers Sessions

This year we will feature several with top viral influencers. Among those sessions will be:

– Meet the Viral Video Latinos of YouTube and Facebook

– Meet the Stars of Instagram Latino

– Meet the Nation’s Top Latino Viners

– Meet the Latina Fashion and Lifestyle Bloggers

– The Evolving Influence of Latina Mom Bloggers


Hispanicize 2015 is a partnership of the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), Hispanicize and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).