Editor’s note: Marta Villanueva is president at market research firm NuThinking, San Antonio. This is an edited version of a post that was originally published under the title, “Lost in translation? 8 best practices for conducting online research with Hispanics.”  

Online research with Hispanics can provide you with breadth and depth in consumer understanding. This thriving community forms a veritable goldmine for online research for several reasons: frequent smartphone use, security issues in Latin America and a particular affinity for social media. According to Pew Hispanic Research, Hispanic adults report going online "frequently," so they are often plugged in. If you want to get the most out of working with this demographic, you need to first delve into the intersection of culture and technology. 

Both are critical elements to consider when catering to a Hispanic audience. Use the principles below to achieve the greatest success when conducting online research with this demographic.

2. Empower respondents to express both positive and negative feedback. Hispanics can tend to provide responses that are both overly optimistic and socially acceptable. For example, when asking participants to use a 5-point scale (5 being the most positive) to rate marketing materials, you’ll receive plenty of 5 and 4 ratings. An experienced moderator will effectively compensate for this tendency (i.e., forced choices, trade-off techniques, projective techniques, etc.). Probing is critical to understanding the true significance behind their responses. Through probing, you may learn that a 4 rating means they are not overly impressed. 

3. Consider respondent language preferences for optimal interactions. Screening for identification to culture, language, acculturation and other cultural filters is key to determining the best way to segment U.S. Hispanic sessions. You should ideally separate the sessions based on ...