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Twitter unveils key trends shaping the Saudi conversation in 2022

The report highlights emerging opportunities for brands and marketers to connect with audiences in Saudi

Twitter unveils key trends shaping the Saudi conversation in 2022

Twitter’s latest report, developed in partnership with Pulsar & Canvas8, revealed the three trends about to impact the community. Monitored on Twitter in Saudi Arabia, and analysed by cultural and data experts over a two-year period, the following trends, according to twitter,  are a reflection of what’s happening in Saudi Arabia, what people are actually talking about, and echo the national sentiment:

Identity in Transit: What does it mean to be Saudi?

Across Saudi Arabia, people’s sense of self is being defined by societal changes, and their responses are defining that change. Whether it’s conversations about women working, driving, general economic progress, or embracing smart cities, this is showing up as pride in place, openness to new experiences, more gender balance in relationships, a desire to be recognized, and a melding of identity and personal aspirations. Incredible growth is seen in conversations around pride in relation to smart cities and NEOM (+172 per cent), alongside chasing the Saudi dream (+161%), with topics such as Youth Innovation, Dual Income, Family Planning and Size, and Quality of Life predicted to grow.

For brands and marketers this nods to opportunities emerging at the heart of culture-shaping conversations:

● Celebrating the Saudi dream: The idea that Saudi is finally taking its rightful place on the world stage is core to people’s sense of self and tied to the desire to do the same on a personal level. With pride in place at a high, helping consumers celebrate this sentiment is a strong value connection. 

● Being an agent of self-improvement: The desire for success and aligning a brand with this value is a win-win. By enabling people to better themselves and leverage the opportunities in the country, brands will be rewarded with loyalty.

● Champion the individual and not the cause: Brands that celebrate the advancements women have made will find an empathetic audience. However, it’s both more authentic and less controversial when that celebration shows individual examples as opposed to the general laws and edicts that enable them.

Finance Goes Social: A new era of spending

In a country where generosity and unfettered spending were hallmarks of success, frugality is now a hallmark of smart living. Nothing exemplifies this more than the give and take between retailers and customers on the best daily deals as people turned their feeds into personalised deals flyers. Twitter tracked a +49% year-on-year growth in conversation related to offers, competitions, and discounts recorded.

We’re also witnessing a +36% year-on-year increase in conversation around the digital economy and a +595% year-on-year increase in conversation around cryptocurrencies. Whether it’s cryptocurrencies, online retailers, digital banks, or smart cities, people are feeling empowered as conversations around digital marketing, content creation, Saudi digitalization, innovation, remote working and entrepreneurship are predicted to grow.

For brands and marketers, Finance Goes Social is a big shift of behaviours applying across categories with insights showcasing the opportunities to:

● Being the financially smart choice: People aren’t necessarily looking for the cheapest option, but the best price for the option they want. Being consistently fair-minded in terms of providing value will gain loyalty and a following.

● Recognizing customers’ achievements and aspirations: There’s a desire to be a personal success story that emulates the nation’s success story. Embracing your customers’ ambitions and connecting with them at that level will resonate strongly.

● The customer is the best medium: Not exclusive to influencers, Saudis aren’t only looking for deals, but they are also looking for ways to engage their community. Give them something that motivates them to share and discuss, and they will spread the word.

● Showing them the future: Embrace the digital economy and excite people with potential and opportunities. Make crypto accessible by integrating it into your business.

Eco-innovation: Sustainability meets tech

Saudis are interested in environmental issues when aligned with their national identities, such as smart cities, smart cars, large rail constructions, and alternative energy projects. Personal impact, on the other hand, is still in its infancy. There is enthusiasm and support for the government’s projects relating to sustainability, as well as a rediscovery of Saudi Arabia’s natural assets, with a +191% year-on-year increase in mentions of NEOM and The Line Project and a +153% year-on-year increase in mentions of Vision 2030.

However, people aren’t just talking about sustainability in regards to environmental protection or climate change – it’s driving real excitement about the future of Saudi as a nation as well as individual advancement and opportunity. The trend is corroborated by a year-on-year increase in conversation around tech (+49%), electric cars (+55%) and smart cities (+180%). The report also highlighted smart city career opportunities, electric car affordability and charging networks, local tourism and pride in Saudi nature, new tech related to sustainability, cultural/entertainment projects with a sustainable angle, with topics expected to grow.

This is an opportunity for brands to engage people with important issues:

● Being sustainable sets you apart: Initiatives that have a positive effect on Saudi Arabia are both appreciated and engaging, particularly if they are presented in the context of having a local impact.

● Illuminate progress with your use of tech: People are fascinated by the innovative use of technology – it aligns with the national ambition of Saudi. Show your customers how you’re embracing tech. Make the impenetrable seem accessible and open up your business to show the inner workings and create ‘wow’ moments.

● Highlight the opportunities: Helping people connect the dots between sustainability and their ability to benefit from the shift either financially or in terms of status will be an engaging and worthwhile way for brands to have conversations with their customers.

Twitter also further says, “For brands and marketers to truly connect with their audiences, they need to listen to what people on Twitter are saying right now as conversations on Twitter reveal underlying shifts in trends that are shaping consumer behaviour in Saudi Arabia.”