New report finds social media engagement hits annual peak during the holy month presenting brands with a golden opportunity to reach their audiences
Dubai, UAE: The Online Project (TOP), the first and leading social media agency in the Middle East, today launched a report analysing behavior trends of consumers in eight Middle Eastern countries during the Holy Month. The results show that residents of the Middle East use social media platforms 30% more during the Holy month whilst also shifting the time of the day that they engage with social media communities to much later in the day. In addition, engagement with brands is hugely multiplied during Ramadan providing businesses with the ideal window to communicate with customers.
TOP observed Facebook and Twitter activity in nine different countries across the region including: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, KSA and the UAE to provide a general overview of social media trends in the region looking specifically at levels of engagement, sentiment and perception and the timings of their interaction.
History shows that during Ramadan consumer spending spikes and therefore Middle Eastern companies boost their spending on traditional ‘off-line' campaigns by 20% during Ramadan, for example, the four largest telecoms companies spend around $200 million dollars during the month. Armed with this knowledge, brands can ensure that alongside traditional off-line campaigns, social media is utilised to the best advantage, reaching a wider audience that is more open to engagement than at other times during the year.
Zafer Younis, CEO of The Online Project said: “Having discovered that social media consumption and user habits significantly change during the Holy month, we set out to study the outlying variable of this change to isolate the driving forces. We monitored thousands of tweets and Facebook posts in nine countries to study the user behavior. Instead of looking at their social media platforms first thing in the morning when they wake or get into work, our results show that during Ramadan, people are most active on Twitter early evening at approximately 7pm, just before they break their fast.
“Therefore if brands wish to take advantage of this spike in audience, should also consider posts that include content tailored to specific audiences that is entertaining or value-adding.”
Following analysis of the figures, TOP has put together their top five recommendations for making the most of communicating with consumers during Ramadan:
- Recognize that Ramadan is a unique time in the Arab world both online and off and as a result, lessons you have learnt about your communities during the year may not apply during the holy month so adapt your campaign to recommended timings to make the most of the advertising Dollars you have spent.
- Align your publishing times with your audience and maximize engagement
- Optimize your content mix as user interests' shift during the Holy month. Adapt your content accordingly to stay relevant and build stronger relationships with your audience.
- Increase your advertising support budgets during Ramadan. The Holy month enjoys higher organic engagement rates so your budget can push your content further in Ramadan.
- Implement integrated marketing campaigns by interlacing social media usage increase in-line with TV, radio, and print consumption to deliver higher multiplier effects in Ramadan.