‘Life on Demand’ shows impact of social media in the Middle East

July 16, 2013 3:53 pm

The marketing agency compiled their report titled Life on Demand after surveying 2, 042 web users of varying ages within Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Researchers anticipate the numbers to grow.

As many as 61% of respondents say they have more than two social media accounts and 60% state that they visit a social network daily.

“Social media is gaining popularity – at [an] incredible speed – here in the Middle East,” says Jamil Zablah, Managing Director of Performics MENA. “It has redefined communication and reconfigured many aspects of our lives including our daily activities, how we conduct business and how we engage with each other.”

“The study indicates that people in the Middle East are quickly embracing social media and its ability to keep us increasingly connected, as well as make life happen ‘on demand’.”

Flocking to Twitter

Today’s social media platforms boast distinct characteristics and, according to the survey, people across the Middle East are currently joining Twitter faster than any other social media networks.

The emergence of social media has also inevitably created paradigm shifts in relationships and has revolutionised the ways in which individuals stay in contact with one another.

In fact, the study found that most respondents prefer to interact with each other via social media channels to other modes of communication: 64 per cent prefer talking to distant friends on social networks; 51 per cent favour social media platforms to talk to close friends; 52 per cent are more comfortable engaging with people online than in person; and, 51 per cent would choose social networks over telephone conversations.

Regarding online activities in general, the analysis showed that most participants log on to the Internet to use search tools, for research projects and access to entertainment. As for the nature of their posts on social media channels, 50 per cent share jokes, cartoons or memes, and 49 per cent write status updates.

Half of the respondents also post religious content on their social media accounts, while the younger males, in particular, use them to share pictures and user videos.

In this day and age, online consumer behaviour can be tracked, monitored and measured due to social media platforms- and this is helpful in gauging reactions to brands and products.

Liking Facebook

The Life on Demand survey revealed that more than 30 per cent of the respondents ‘like’ a brand on Facebook because they are regular customers, want to know about new offerings, require insider knowledge or are searching for recent company and brand posts. Furthermore, on average, people ‘like’ a total of five brands.

“With constant exposure to consumer trends, brands now have unprecedented access to a wealth of data – further reducing the possibility of disconnect with the target audience,” added Zablah.
“In effect, this is essential as real-time data exchange can help maximise consumer engagement.”

When asked, ‘how likely are you to engage with each of the following types of posts when they come from a brand you ‘like’?’ 70 per cent of participants went with pictures, 58 per cent chose videos, 52 per cent opted for jokes, cartoons or memes, 52 per cent selected status updates, and, 50 per cent veered towards links to articles.
“This ground-breaking study by Performics provides critical insight into social media behaviour in the Middle East today,” explained Zablah.

“These findings can be used to help brands effectively, cultivate consumer engagement, create successful multi-channel initiatives and interact across various customer touch points.”