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Crowd Analyzer’s ‘State of Social Media 2020’ report reveals evolving consumer behaviours in Middle East

Data on top social media trends plays valuable role in shaping marketing strategies amid COVID-19

Crowd Analyzer, the Dubai-based data intelligence provider and social media listening platform, launched its ‘State of Social Media 2020’ report targeting brands and industry professionals that are keen to meaningfully engage with audiences on social media.

The annual report covers Egypt, Saudi Arabia (KSA), the UAE and Kuwait, offering insights on key social media platforms in these markets, including their popularity, breakdown of platform users in 2020 as well as their habits and interests. In addition, it provides a deep dive into five major industries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, specifically telecommunications, e-commerce, banking and finance, ride hailing and automotive. These insights highlight best practices for reaching target audiences, indicating that amid current COVID-19 disruptions, businesses can significantly benefit from a strong understanding of consumer behavior and favored content, supporting marketeers in building agile strategies for a stronger brand. In doing so, they are set to redefine 2020 as the year of digital transformation.

Speaking on the report, Ahmed Saad, CEO and Co-founder of Crowd Analyzer, said: “In the context of the current uncertainties, and as part of our wider efforts to identify the most effective solutions to the issues we face, this year’s report aims to empower businesses, marketeers and industry professionals to leverage the available insights and dig deeper into key platform data to recalibrate their brand content and customer outreach strategies. There is no doubt that for the foreseeable future, data and insights will form the foundation of any successful business while shaping our understanding of emerging trends. In doing so, data serves as a vital tool for effective communication with customers.”

The report examined multiple platforms and found that the most popular social media platform in the UAE is Facebook with eight million users. It also found that English is the preferred language for social media users in the country across all platforms, including Facebook. This comes as no surprise since the number of online expats are the highest among the selected countries. It is interesting to note that the most viewed page by Facebook users in the UAE is the TV news channel, Sky News Arabia.

For marketeers, this data reveals that developing winning content strategies is mostly dependent on understanding your target audience interests, behavior, habits and preferences. To ensure greater reach and engagement, businesses today must be aware of changing interests and preferences on social media platforms.

Data on social media consumption in KSA reveals that Twitter is the preferred platform for social media users in the country. There has been a significant increase in Twitter usage from 2019 to 2020, surging from 11 million to 14 million Saudi users. The vast majority of online content from Saudi Arabia is published in Arabic across all platforms, with the exception of Facebook, which has more content generated and shared in English.

The report also unveiled interesting facts on social media usage across other regional markets. For instance, Egypt is the most active nation in the region on Facebook compared to monitored countries. The report pointed out that Twitter is gaining uptake among Egyptians and plays an important role in shaping the country’s cultural and media landscape. Most tweets revolve around TV, music, and fashion.

In Kuwait, more than half of the country’s population is on Facebook – it counts 2.7 million active users from a general population of four million. Notably, English users outnumbered their Arabic counterparts by more than one million. Instagram, specifically Instagram for Business is gaining popularity in Kuwait. Users upload personal photographs to the main platform while Instagram for Business supports marketing initiatives.

Furthermore, the report analyzed the top performing industries in 2019. The telecommunications industry was the most talked-about sector across all social media platforms compared to the monitored industries, accounting for 37.7 million interactions out of the total 131.6 million recorded interactions. The banking and finance industry accounted for 30 million activities, while the automotive industry followed with 29.4 million activities and the e-commerce industry with 26.3 million activities. The ride-hailing sector came in last with only 8.2 million interactions.

Crowd Analyzer is a data intelligence provider that is principally engaged in Arabic social media monitoring. The company was founded in 2014 by Ahmed Saad and Bahaa Galal and launched commercially in 2016. Employing more than 60 people in its Dubai headquarters, Riyadh branch, and Cairo branch, Crowd Analyzer uses groundbreaking technology including proprietary machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing. As well as monitoring all social media platforms, Crowd Analyzer also covers news, blogs and various forums in order to procure a comprehensive and exhaustive range of analytical content that anyone with a vested interest or stake in the media industries can benefit from.