MARKETING 101 FOR THE NEW AGE
The communication experts at Qanect discuss how smartphones affect social media marketing in Qatar?
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