New media is increasingly important for both social and business lives, digital tools are transforming the way we interact with each other and do business, both locally and on the global stage. Contrary to what some may say, social media is extremely prevalent in the middle east, Facebook has over 164 million active monthly users in the region which is constantly growing, with overall social media use growing faster than the world average. Nearly half of young Arabs say that they get their news from Facebook.
If you don’t actively engage with your audience through social media currently, it’s time to change. Here are our suggestions for your business in 2019.
- Set your social media marketing goals
Do you need to grow your brand awareness, create more sales from visitors or turn customers into advocates? Define your objective, then how you will measure this, e.g. increased followers or more website clicks.
- Define your audience
Create audience profiles, starting with their name, their gender, their age and location. Flesh out their pain points, what problems do they face, what do they enjoy, what do they need from your business that will make their lives easier or more fulfilling? E.g. John is 45 from Bahrain, he has been in business for 5 years and has grown to employ 14 people, however he has very few processes in place and is becoming increasingly worried about legal problems he may face as a result, he doesn’t have the resources or need for a full HR department or full time staff. He is looking for options that are flexible and give him reassurance against any legal action he could face.
- Research your competitors
It’s likely that some of your competition will already be using social media for their business. Conduct a competitor analysis to understand what they are doing well and what holes you see in their current execution that you can improve upon.
- Social audit
Look into what you are currently using in terms of social media. What platforms do you have accounts with? What has worked and not worked in the past? Who is engaging with you currently? How do you compare to your competitors? Are your audience engaging with this platform or others? Can I use this platform to engage with my audience?
- Create and edit
Create new accounts for platforms you deem beneficial, while editing those you currently have but are not suited to where you need to position yourself. Use keywords people are actively searching for. Use correct images for each profile, e.g. Facebook has different sizes to Twitter. Always create a business profile instead of a personal profile, as these are much more search engine friendly.
- Create a calendar
It’s important to know what you will post and when, creating a calendar will keep you accountable. Assign dates and times with content types or titles for the month/year, then schedule your posts accordingly. You also need to create times for engagement with your audience so that you don’t leave people talking alone, social media is social remember.
- Test and adjust
It’s important to constantly test, asses and change your strategy, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Some things work better than expected and some are the opposite, its important to take note of both for future success.
Things change fast in the digital world, always be ready to change with them.