Has Social Media become the latest Marketing Channel?!

Has Social Media become the latest Marketing Channel?!

Social Media has been growing rapidly worldwide and has become such a contagious topic to speak about in the Middle East. Early this year, the ArabNet 2010 Conference in Beirut addressed Social Media as one of its topics for the conference, where a study showed that “70 percent of the population in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates use social networking sites, with 15 percent of the users accessing these sites at least once a day.”

Measured PR, an Analytical view on Public Relations in the Middle East published a report on Social Media in the MENA Area, where the report attempts to look at the coverage of social media in print media in the MENA region with a focus on Twitter and Facebook. A statistic shows that a “A total of 3,586 clippings were categorized and classified, covering the period of April 1, 2010 to July 31, 2010.”

A graph in the report shows that the MENA Area from April to July, on Facebook, Twitter and general social media, where both Twitter and Facebook seemed to decline in traffic between May and June, and then boom right back again! With no war zones in the region with lots of manslaughter I wonder why the drop in the numbers, but personally seem to think that it’s a time where many of the youth in the region are going through final examinations in high schools, universities and even post-graduate studies, perhaps that was the result in the decline?!

In a comparison on the topic tackled down in the MENA region, news and politics seemed to be so highly ranked on facebook and twitter, followed by business, and lifestyle. The figure above is a screen shot from the report, showing the numbers on those platforms in regards to the topics discussed between April and July. The report also showed that the UAE is the most active country online when it comes to Social Media, 1,109 market penetrations on Facebook and 614 on twitter, where as Jordan only has 26 market penetrations on Facebook and only 15 on twitter. The UAE is followed by Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

In another report/blog post, Carrington Malin of SPOT ON PUBLIC RELATIONS wrote in July about the “Media consumption & habits of MENA Internet users”, where his survey clearly shows that “Internet connectivity has become pervasive amongst many of our key target audiences and is now a significant part of their daily lives.” The Survey’s Key Findings show that MENA Internet users now spend more time browsing the Internet than they do watching TV:

So where do we stand in terms of Social Media in the MENA Region?! I have so many thoughts that I intend on sharing, but for the time being I’d rather sit back and do some more reading on the topic.

If there is anything I am looking forward to, it’s actually listening to Alexander McNabb from SPOT PR who will be speaking at the upcoming Arab Social Media Forum in December! I wonder what he’s thoughts are on this matter!


Director of Digital Marketing Strategy by Day, Blogger by Night. Mother to my lovely Hana and a food addict.


  1. hey, thanks for the research, but can you point out the data source for each of the diagrams?

    Plus does this mean all of who read the newspapers are also online users? Is this data based on the internet user penetration onto the offline media?

    I for one, read digital copies of everything. I have never subscribed to a daily newspaper nor have I ever read a local magazine, as most of the content is already available online and thus lack originality.

    • Dear Saleorfail

      thanks for your comments!

      The first diagram, the table is from (Measured PR) in a report published on Social Media in the MENA Area! The second diagram is from (SPOT ON Public Relations), published in a blog post by Carrington Malin, on “Media consumption & habits of MENA Internet users”.

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