Social Media Strategy Trends for B2B Marketing in Dubai UAE

Social media marketing can be extremely effective in B2C and B2B marketing, but only if your social media strategy takes into account the latest social media trends. In this article, I’ll tell you about the latest trends in social media strategy and what you need to know about each of the major social media sites that businesses in Dubai UAE should use for B2C and B2B marketing. This will help you decide which social media sites your business should use for marketing, and in what way.

One of the first questions that many clients ask me about social media strategy is “Which social media sites should my business use for marketing?” The simplest and the most accurate answer to this question is always that your business should be on the social media sites that your customers and potential customers spend time on.

However, I understand that answer is disappointingly vague, so here are some general rules of thumb of social media strategy for B2C and B2B marketing for businesses in Dubai UAE:

If you’re a B2C company in the UAE that sells to consumers, you should probably use Facebook (see warning below), Twitter, Instagram, and maybe Google+ and Pinterest.

If you’re a B2B company in Dubai selling to other companies, you should probably use LinkedIn, SlideShare, Facebook, Twitter, and maybe Google+.

All B2C and B2B companies with physical locations absolutely must get listed on Google Maps.

Now, let’s dive into a bit more detail. Here are the percentage of social media users in the UAE that use each network in 2014 :

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Here’s what you need to know about marketing your business on each of the major social media networks:

Social Media Strategy for Facebook Marketing

About half of UAE residents use Facebook at least once a month, making it the most popular social media network in the UAE. 66% of Facebook users in the UAE prefer English content, while 9% prefer Arabic content and 24% percent prefer content in other languages.

However, Facebook is less of a no-brainer for brands than it used to be. That’s because Facebook recently reduced the organic reach of pages to a shockingly low 2% percent average to reduce the clutter in users’ newsfeeds. (In case you don’t know, “organic reach” is the percentage of people who have liked your Facebook page who see your posts in their newsfeed.) Experts are speculating that organic reach may hit 0% percent within the next year.

Many brands have angrily left Facebook since they have to “pay to play” now. Should yours? Probably not, but go in with your eyes open. Facebook is definitely no longer a smart place to build your primary community of fans (see Law #5). However, paid Facebook ads can be an excellent lead generation tool if you know how to use Facebook’s new ad targeting tools.

Just be careful, because most marketers even in the UAE do not know how to use Facebook’s new ad targeting tools. That’s a huge problem, because as the infamous Veritasum YouTube video “Facebook Fraud” demonstrated, using the old targeting tools only can waste your ad budget on fake likes that actually hurt your page.

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Since this video came out, Facebook has introduced a variety of new targeting tools that make Facebook ads a much more powerful and cost-effective way to generate leads. I’m planning to write a post about how to use those targeting tools soon.

Social Media Strategy for Twitter

Twitter’s popularity in the MENA region is growing rapidly. In the UAE, about 6% of social media users prefer Twitter. Twitter generally generates fewer leads and sales than the other major networks, but it’s a great place to interact with your fans, make announcements, and showcase your expertise.

 

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Twitter is especially beneficial for MENA brands that tweet in Arabic. That’s because engagement amongst the Arabic-tweeting community is relatively higher than the English-tweeting community, which is much older and larger (remember that engagement is inversely proportional to mass).

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Social Media Strategy for Google+

The future of Google+ is uncertain as of late 2016. Although Google+ has a small but extremely passionate user base, it has never achieved mainstream adoption as a social network. A few months ago, the head of the Google+ project at Google resigned and his engineers got reassigned to the Android division. Google CEO Sergey Brin recently publicly said he never should have been involved in creating a social network because he’s “not very social”. As a result, some analysts are predicting that Google is about to kill Google+.

However, these predictions are premature and may turn out to be just hysteria. According to Google+ expert Martin Shervington of PlusYourBusiness.com, Google+ will survive and thrive because it is now the social layer to all of Google’s products like Google Search, Gmail, YouTube. It also offers unique and powerful SEO benefits in Google Search.

So should you use Google+? If you care about getting found on Google (which you probably do), yes. If you don’t, then wait and see what the future holds for Google+ first.

Social Media Strategy for Google Maps

Google Maps is not a social network, but it’s integrated with Google+, and it’s so important that I have to mention it. Google Maps is an app that gives you directions and helps you discover local businesses. According to Google Trends, the number of people in the UAE who use Google Maps is exploding. Many Western expats like me use it every day to find our way around Dubai. But Google Maps users can only find businesses that have created a listing on Google Maps. So if you’re not listed, people can’t discover or find your business.

Many multinational corporations in Dubai know this and have gotten listed on Google Maps. However, there’s just as many small to medium sized businesses that are still not listed on Google Maps, or are listed incorrectly. This is a huge and totally inexcusable missed opportunity to help potential customers discover and get directions to your business!

Listing your business on Google Maps is easy enough that anyone should be able to do it, including your marketing team or any agency or freelance consultant you may hire.

Despite how easy it is to get listed on Google Maps, almost no digital marketing agencies in Dubai use Google Maps for their clients or even for their own businesses. Out of the several dozen marketing agencies I’ve had meetings with in Dubai, only one of them had accurately listed their location on Google Maps. One agency I visited listed itself 11 kilometers away from where their actual location. The rest were not listed at all.

This is really basic. If you do nothing else as a result of reading this book, please make sure someone invests half an hour to list your business on Google Maps. That way, new customers can discover your and get perfectly accurate directions to your business every time.

Social Media Strategy for Instagram

Instagram, owned by Facebook, has a small but growing user base in the UAE. Several luxury fashion and hotel brands in Dubai now use it. It’s a relatively new network, so engagement is still high. Users post images and short videos.b2b marketing dubai uae

Instagram can be an excellent marketing tool if your primary goal is brand building and community engagement. However, if your primary goal is to generate leads for your business, then Instagram may not be for you. That’s because unlike other networks, Instagram does not allow you to insert hyperlinks into your posts. In fact, the only hyperlink you can use on the entire site is the one in your bio.

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Social Media Strategy for Pinterest

Like Instagram, Pinterest is a relatively new social network for sharing visual content like images videos. It’s users are also highly engaged.

Like Instagram, Pinterest allows you to post images and videos. The most important difference between the two networks for marketers is that on Pinterest you can insert hyperlinks anywhere you want: in images, in descriptions, and in comments. That makes it dramatically easier to drive traffic back to your website to generate leads than on Instagram.

Crucially, people go to most social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to socialize, so they’re less likely to pay attention to marketing messages. By contrast, 70% of Pinterest users use the network to get inspired about what to buy. Because of this, people are a lot more open to marketing messages on Pinterest.

Conversions and other statistics demonstrate this. Whereas the average purchase value of leads coming from Facebook is about $80 (300 AED) and $70 (260 AED) from Twitter, on Pinterest it’s $180 (660 AED). Images on Pinterest that include the item’s price get 36% more likes.

Of course, those statistics were gathered in the US. It’s impossible to say for sure how well they predict the behavior of Pinterest users in the UAE.

In fact, reliable usage statistics for Pinterest in the UAE are not available. Whatever the percentage of UAE residents who use it is, it’s probably quite small, maybe as low as 1%. However, that should not necessarily deter you. Law #4 (mass is inversely proportional to engagement) predicts that small but active social media communities will engage with brands much more than on massive networks like Facebook.

My advice is that if you’re a B2C company in the UAE that sells products that look good when photographed (for instance high-end food, hotels, restaurants, tourist services, fashion), you should definitely try Pinterest.

Social Media Strategy for LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. About 15% of UAE social media users are active on LinkedIn. Users of LinkedIn tend to make more money than users of other social networks, and a much higher percentage are business decision makers.

If your company is B2B (sells to other businesses), then you absolutely must be on LinkedIn. Just like on Facebook, there are profiles for individuals and pages for organizations. LinkedIn is a great place to network, showcase your expertise (thought-leadership), and to generate B2B leads.

Social Media Strategy for SlideShare

SlideShare lets you share presentation slides. Engagement on it is relatively quite high. Like LinkedIn, if you’re a B2B company, then you absolutely should be on SlideShare.

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Conclusion

So what networks should your business be on? The ones where your prospects, fans and customers spend their time. But as a general rule of thumb, if you’re a B2C company in the UAE that sells to consumers, you should probably use Facebook (with properly targeted ads), Twitter, Instagram, and maybe Google+ and Pinterest.

If you’re a B2B company in Dubai selling to other companies, you should probably use LinkedIn, SlideShare, Facebook, Twitter, and maybe Google+.

All companies with physical locations absolutely must get listed on Google Maps.

Remember that social media is like a big party online. So don’t kill the buzz with annoying advertising or bad content, add value, and have fun!

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