Gabriel was our first hire solely focused on growing Linktree in Brazil but there’s a catch – he lives in Australia. We chat to Gabriel about differences between the Brazilian and Australian social media landscape and what he loves most about working at Linktree.
There are three words familiar to just about everyone online: “Come to Brazil!”
The mammoth presence of Brazilian fans in comment sections may have reached meme status, but it also speaks to the country’s incredible appetite for social media.
Not only is Brazil’s population huge in number – at 212 million, it’s the sixth most populous country on earth — but Brazilians are also enthusiastic internet users. Very enthusiastic: “Brazilians spend more than twice the time that Australians spend on social media,” says Gabriel Merheb, Linktree’s Country Manager for Brazil.
Gabriel moved from Brazil to Melbourne in March 2019 to be with his partner. In January 2020 he joined the team at Linktree, after an early career spent working in community management in his homeland.
On the job, Gabriel uses his local expertise to guide how Brazilian users interact with Linktree, looking after everything from social media to strategy and brand partnerships.
Outside of work, he likes to read and go for runs. And despite the move to Australia, Gabriel has retained his country’s passion for soccer: “This is totally mainstream for Brazilians,” he laughs.
So what makes Brazilian social media users unique? And what do international brands need to know about the Brazilian market? We spoke to Gabriel to find out.
“Brazilians spend more than twice the time that Australians spend on social media”
Can you tell me about why Brazil is such a priority for Linktree?
Mainly because Brazil is our second-largest market – just after the US. We have more than 1.5 million users in Brazil and the country is our #1 if we compare Linktree’s penetration according to the population that has access to the Internet.
Also, a significant difference from Brazil if compared to other countries is that only 4-5 percent of the population speaks English. And this is just one of the numerous particularities from Brazil. So Linktree not only needed someone that could understand the market and build the company’s localised strategy, but also that could translate the necessities of our Brazilian users. All of this with a bit of Portuguese.
Wow. So why is Linktree so popular in Brazil?
That’s a good question! Probably because some things go viral quickly in Brazil. We think that maybe an influencer started using Linktree and it just spread.
What’s different about the Brazilian market compared to elsewhere?
One of the main differences is the amount of time that Brazilians spend on the Internet and social media – a lot. It’s a reflection of how much Internet access has been democratised in the last five or ten years in the country as a consequence of the popularisation of smartphones.
And about our users in Brazil, we are seeing loads of small businesses using Linktree: from small shops to entrepreneurs.
What social media platforms are most popular in Brazil?
Well, the third or fourth most used word in the links of our Brazilian users is WhatsApp. Despite not being precisely a social media one, the platform is huge in Brazil — everyone uses it.
Apart from WhatsApp, the most used ones are Instagram and YouTube.
Do brands and content creators around the world need to think about speaking to Brazilian audiences?
Totally! It is a large market and is still expanding in several segments. All big brands that have a presence there have their own localised pages on social media – some of them even have more followers and interactions in Brazil if compared to their countries of origin.
Lastly, can you tell me your favorite thing about working at Linktree?
I think it’s a combination of things, but mainly autonomy — I know what needs to be done but the guys don’t tell me exactly how to do it. And at the same time that I have the freedom to choose how I deliver results, I also feel supported by my leaders.
Also, coming from another country I feel embraced by the company and the people that work there. I think that everyone truly believes in the product and our mission.