MAR­KET­ING 101 FOR THE NEW AGE

The com­mu­ni­ca­tion ex­perts at Qanect dis­cuss how smart­phones af­fect so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing in Qatar?

Qatar Today - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE -

So­cial me­dia is go­ing through ex­cit­ing times with the lat­est trends re­shap­ing its land­scape dra­mat­i­cally. Smart­phone tech­nol­ogy is tar­get­ing users through mul­ti­ple mes­sages av­enues like email, Face­book, Twit­ter, What­sApp, BBM, Line, In­sta­gram, Pin­ter­est and, lately, Snapchat!

2014 has al­ready been an ex­cit­ing year for So­cial Me­dia, with re­cent trends dra­mat­i­cally re­shap­ing the so­cial me­dia land­scape. The rise of the smart­phone means con­sumers are con­stantly tar­geted with mul­ti­ple mes­sages through email, Face­book, Twit­ter, What­sApp, BBM, Line, In­sta­gram, Pin­ter­est and, lately, Snapchat! So how do we break through the noise and en­sure so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing cam­paigns hit their tar­gets and the mes­sages res­onate with au­di­ences?

So­cial me­dia is un­doubt­edly one of the most ef­fi­cient and cost ef­fec­tive means to mar­ket your brand and en­gage both cur­rent and prospec­tive cus­tomers. We have found that the lack of par­tic­i­pa­tion in so­cial me­dia leaves you and your busi­ness out of im­por­tant con­ver­sa­tions hap­pen­ing all around you in real-time, with or with­out your in­put. So­cial me­dia en­ables you to in­crease aware­ness at a low cost when com­pared to tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing and serves as a di­rect and per­sonal line to cus­tomers, while also al­low­ing you to tar­get spe­cific de­mo­graph­ics. More­over, so­cial me­dia not only fa­cil­i­tates quick dis­tri­bu­tion of in­for­ma­tion to an en­gaged au­di­ence, it also serves as a use­ful tool for com­pa­nies and brands to mon- itor cus­tomer feed­back and in­dus­try news.

Through our re­search and in­sight into so­cial me­dia trends, we have seen how the rise of many of the lat­est mo­bile apps, cou­pled with the in­crease of smart­phones is rapidly chang­ing how we con­sume and in­ter­act with in­for­ma­tion on­line. With these so­cial me­dia trends rapidly per­me­at­ing the on­line com­mu­nity of Qatar, we wanted to explore the im­pli­ca­tions of this type of in­for­ma­tion over­load on So­cial Me­dia Mar­ket­ing.

Re­search shows just how im­pact­ful so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing could be in Qatar. 73% of in­ter­net users are on­line daily and spend ap­prox­i­mately two hours per day on so­cial net­work­ing sites. More­over, Qatar has the high­est smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion in the Mid­dle East at 75%. This is one of the top com­put­ing de­vices for surf­ing the In­ter­net, with 86% of users ac­cess­ing the In­ter­net via their smart­phones.

It is also in­ter­est­ing to see that Face­book is on the de­cline amongst Qatari cit­i­zens, with only 36% us­ing the so­cial net­work­ing site, while Twit­ter and In­sta­gram are ris­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. This cor­re­sponds to the in­crease in smart­phone us­age, as peo­ple are turn­ing to apps that place em­pha­sis on snappy, con­cise and image-based con­tent that is suit­able for smaller screens and can

con­vey in­for­ma­tion and emo­tion at a faster pace.

These trends have a huge im­pact on the suc­cess of your So­cial Me­dia Strat­egy. Now is the time to take ac­tion and re­vise your strat­egy to ad­vance your reach and en­gage­ment lev­els. Stud­ies re­veal that pho­to­graphs make up 93% of the most en­gag­ing posts on Face­book. More­over, sta­tis­tics show that smart­phone users share in­for­ma­tion twice as of­ten as desk­top users.

So what do these sta­tis­tics and find­ings mean for so­cial me­dia mar­keters? In­ter­net users have learned to con­sume vast amounts of in­for­ma­tion at in­creas­ingly faster rates, caus­ing the on­line com­mu­nity to seek a new kind of so­cial ex­pe­ri­ence which is ‘in the mo­ment'. This de­mand for in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion, cou­pled with smart­phone growth, needs to be care­fully con­sid­ered in order to con­ceive a com­pelling so­cial me­dia strat­egy.

Firstly, main­tain­ing mean­ing­ful cus­tomer re­la­tion­ships is key to driv­ing in­ter­ac­tion. It is crit­i­cal to main­tain a steady and in­ter­ac­tive on­line pres­ence by mon­i­tor­ing any feed­back you get and re­spond­ing ac­cord­ingly. Es­tab­lish­ing an ef­fi­cient twoway com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem with real-time re­sponses is crit­i­cal to strengthen cus­tomer loy­alty and sat­is­fac­tion.

Se­condly, don't be afraid to em­brace the lat­est trend­ing ap­pli­ca­tions. For ex­am­ple: Vine and In­sta­gram are rapidly pop­u­lar­is­ing mi­cro-video, a grip­ping and en­gag­ing means to sell your brand's story quickly and ef­fec­tively. Video is al­ready favoured in Qatar with 59% of the pop­u­la­tion deem­ing video con­tent to be the most im­por­tant form of entertainment.

Thirdly, the rise of the smart­phone has made it more im­por­tant than ever to limit your char­ac­ters. With both the size of screens and user at­ten­tion spans de­creas­ing, you need to keep your posts short and snappy to keep your cus­tomer in­ter­ested. Sta­tis­tics re­veal that keep­ing your posts below 250 char­ac­ters can get you 60% more en­gage­ment.

Lastly, and most im­por­tantly, pri­ori­tise im­ages over text. Ninety per­cent of in­for­ma­tion trans­ferred to the brain is vis­ual, mak­ing image-based posts more cap­ti­vat­ing for on­line au­di­ences and eas­ier to di­gest. Im­ages also make for bet­ter shar­ing ma­te­rial on­line.

Be­ing present and on­line is the first step for­ward, but in to­day's dig­i­tal en­vi­ron­ment, you need to be ahead of the trends, en­sur­ing that you are lis­ten­ing to your cus­tomers and re­spond­ing to their in­ter­ests in the mo­ment. Users lik­ing, com­ment­ing on and shar­ing your brand's con­tent is very valu­able for grow­ing a fan base, gen­er­at­ing in­ter­est, driv­ing en­gage­ment and, most im­por­tantly, show­ing ROI for your brand

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