The unprecedented use of social media in the Middle East has seen people get addicted to their phone – even more than their partner – and so, of course, brands want to make the most of it by targeting audiences where they spend the most time i.e. social media.
But, targeting them alone isn’t enough. One of the many reasons digital media – social, in particular – is favored over other forms of advertising, is its ability to offer marketers a two-way communication channel. Marketers not only need to reach the right people at the right time but also to engage them.
Enter Engage, the annual conference by social media management and tracking company, Socialbakers.
The Dubai edition of the conference was held in Dubai last month bringing together clients and agencies with speakers such as Careem’s global head of community and social Ihab Ahmed; Havas Media’s head of strategy Alejandro Fischer; Leo Burnett MEA’s director of digital and social Guido Mercati; and Alghanim Electronics’ senior manager of marketing services and insights Ghina Abbas.
This year the focus was on social media content and here are 8 things you need to know:
1. Although 56% create enough content, only 9% are ‘highly effective’
The majority of companies (41%) are “somewhat effective” but only 9% are highly effective at creating high-quality content.
2. The biggest challenge for content creation is…
Resources. 30% find resources to be the biggest content creation challenge followed by time, consistency and expertise at roughly the same level.
3. But, there are also other challenges such as…
Algorithms and saturation. According to Alejandro Fischer, head of strategy at Havas Media Middle East, 60% of content provided by brands is irrelevant. And as Ihab Ahmed, global head of community and social at Careem pointed out, social media algorithms make the delivery of relevant content harder.
So, what do you do?
4. Posting more content gets you higher reach and awareness
Despite the likes of Facebook recommending quality over quantity, Socialbakers’ chief of strategy, Moses Velasco asserted that brands that post more frequently than their competitors gain higher awareness and engagement.
5. Follow this roadmap
According to Ghina Abbas, senior manager – marketing services Alghanim Electronics, first, identify your business goal. And then,
1. Set measurable, attainable and consistent KPIs relevant to each channel and audience
2. Invest in automated tools and benchmarking measures that compare between similar retailers and industry/country benchmarks
3. Invest in content – specifically user-generated content
4. Optimize spending on each channel and do not neglect “influencer marketing”
6. Use technology
Almost half use technology to scale their content in the form of content creation and optimization software (48%) or for organizational purposes (43%).
7. But don’t rely on it completely…
Emotional content gets the most engagement, added Fischer. He compared two ads within the same product category that ran during the same time period for the same target audience. The ad with the human story saw 310,000 interactions while the one with the stock photo got 36,000 interactions – that’s 210% more interaction! Pro tip: Instagram is the social media platform that users engage with brands on the most.
8. And finally, get engaged
You don’t have to put a ring on it but it’s worth knowing that adding interactive features in social media content – from Facebook’s carousel format to Instagram Stories’ poll option – improves engagement by 35%.