Global Report: Social marketing in the Middle East and North Africa
09 Jan 2015
With 1000heads offices located in places as far flung as Sydney, New York, London – and indeed Dubai – we’re lucky to be able to cultivate a globally rounded view of social media marketing. Today we hear from Yazeed Khalaf, one of our team working with clients in the Middle East and North Africa, who takes a brief look at how social and digital marketing has developed in the region.
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As with the rest of the world, the importance of social media in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has seen a steady rise to the point where it is a now a key factor in both people’s personal lives and the way businesses choose to engage with their audience. In 2014 however, it wasn’t just a growth in the social and digital marketing space that was notable, but a clear step change in how companies in the MENA region are approaching and investing in campaigns on social media representing a new level of maturity in the market.
To highlight this trend, I’ve outlined two examples of how companies and organisations in the MENA region positioned themselves using social and digital media to achieve improved results.
THE POWER OF THE COMMUNITY
At the end of 2013, Dubai was successful in its bid to host #Expo 2020 AKA The World Expo, and a direct descendant of 1851’s Great Exhibition. In looking to both secure the bid and kickstart interest in the lengthy run-up to the Expo, the Dubai bid team saw real value in social and digital media. Dubai dominated social channels, compared to competing cities and at the time of the bid, its Facebook page had an impressive 854K fans while its Twitter followers exceeded 94K (and has many more of both now) and among the four candidate cities, Dubai amassed 45% of the total number of Twitter mentions related to the Expo.
With an increasing number of locations seeking to host global events, the power of social media will become more and more important in which candidates receive those events, how the events are perceived by the wider public and indeed the overall success of the event when they actually happen. Dubai’s Expo 2020 campaign is a great case study as such and shows a sophistication of thinking that is a credit to the region.
After Egypt suffered a disappointing 6-1 loss to Ghana in qualifications for the 2014 World Cup, tournament sponsor Coca-Cola had to rethink their strategy to reaching football fans in Egypt. Their solution? To embrace the negative side of this situation and turn it into something positive. In doing so they ended up with this comic ‘EPIC FAIL’ ad starring Egypt international Wael Gomaa.
The ad resulted in over 2.5 million views on Youtube, but it didn’t stop there. Twitter also played an important role in the World Cup campaign by engaging with users on a daily basis to extend the tone of the campaign throughout the tournament and offer Egyptians a chance to go to the World Cup, even if the players weren’t…
The confidence to activate integrated campaigns like this in social and digital media is another shift in the region that has fully matured over 2014 and something we’ve long worked towards, and are excited to be part of.