- Facebook's News Feed for Mobiles Allows Marketers to Reach Audiences in a Single Targeted Strategy -
- Facebook's ArabNet Participation Reaffirms its Commitment to MENA -
Dubai, UAE, June 25, 2013 – With more than 1.1 billion people worldwide using Facebook, the next rapidly developing trend in the social networking revolution is accessibility of social pages via mobile devices, declared Eric Edge, head of marketing communications at Facebook Europe Middle East Africa, during his keynote speech at the ArabNet Digital Summit, held in Dubai from 24-26 June. Facebook's participation at ArabNet is a reaffirmation of the world's most popular social network site's commitment to the MENA region, especially with focus on the exchange of knowledge and interaction with technology pioneers from across the region.
According to Edge, more than 751 million people access Facebook via mobile every month, 60% of whom log in to their Facebook pages daily. This constitutes a new trend where the “next billion Facebook users may never sit at a desktop computer,” he declared.
The Arab World is a major player in the growth of the mobile sector, with 105 mobile phones for every 100 people, making it among the fastest growing in the world. However, Smart Phones are not the only players in this sector; in fact, feature phones still constitute a major share of the region's overall mobile sector. In Egypt, 78% of the overall handsets are feature phones, which makes the need to innovate for the inclusion of all users of feature phones, a priority for Facebook.
The current volume of feature phones in major parts of the Arab World is attributed to the Smart Phones' high cost and data consumption rates, which makes it difficult for low-income mobile owners to be able to afford more sophisticated/smart devices. However, Facebook, believing in the right of everyone to access information and engage with friends and family, is working on utilizing both Smart phones and feature phones to engage all users, regardless of their income or social differentiators.
To this end, Facebook provides a range of options to feature phone owners including the Facebook for Every Phone application and the stripped-down 0.facebook.com service to which free access has been provided on many mobile networks around the world.
As well as extending Facebook access to millions of people, the growth of mobile also extends the power of the service's most powerful marketing tool – News Feed.
According to Edge, Facebook's News Feed is considered the most engaging space on the Internet, allowing users to browse the information most relevant to them. On mobile, the news feed offers a rich, always-on experience that can reach people wherever they are.
Speaking at a panel discussion titled, ‘Social Advertising', Jonathan Labin, head of Facebook in the Middle East Africa region, impressed the power of Facebook to find potential customers: “With over a billion users from around the world, Facebook plays a crucial role in serving as a platform for brands to communicate and engage with their audiences in a focused and easy manner. Our key differentiator is in our 91% accuracy for narrowly targeted campaigns, compared to an industry average of only 27%.”
Labin emphasized that Facebook is not about reaching everybody, but rather it is about reaching all the people who mater to make an advertising/marketing campaign a success. One of Facebook's global success stories comes from the Middle East: ‘Just Falafel', a newly-launched fast-food franchise model that was established with the focus of serving the Arab World's traditional food ‘Falafel'.
In 2012, ‘Just Falafel' initiated a focused advertising campaign, described by the company executives as ‘game changing', with the objective of reaching potential franchisees, in addition to customers. The campaign spent around US$300,000-US$400,000 on their advertising campaign on Facebook and reaped remarkable business opportunities worth US$8 million.
Commenting on this success story, Labin said, “Just Falafel understood precisely their goal and approached Facebook with a clear vision of targeting potential franchisees and customers alike. In turn, Facebook launched Just Falafel's advertising campaign, with focus on the company's objectives and targeting users with the profile outlined earlier in the collaboration. Just Falafel is indeed a success story and as such we have produced a video case study to highlight their major achievement, which is the first in the region.”