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Twitter: Advertising in the Middle East

Sarah Rassasse, Digital Consultant, Prototype Interactive, explains how Middle Eastern businesses can benefit from advertising on Twitter.

Companies in the Middle East can now promote their products or services on Twitter, following the latest news that the micro blogging site has recently confirmed. This step will surely bring Twitter back to the spotlight. In the past two to three years, we continued to receive – from various clients that come from different industries – a sense of hesitation when it comes to active engagement on the platform due to the fact that it did not allow anyone to advertise or escalate their brand’s name. This resulted in clients not understanding the importance of the platform and perceiving it as just another social media platform.

This, for the longest time, has put Facebook at the forefront as clients in this region like to set certain KPIs in place and measure what their return on investment is. The generic feedback from clients also showed that they thought it is best to use Facebook ads only and drive traffic to its pages, rather than venturing out and looking for other platforms where their customer base might be. Facebook also allowed companies to measure their page’s performance, which gives a company an increased sense of “must-have”. They could also set media budgets in their annual spend that increased the importance of Facebook, a feature that Twitter lacked previously in the region.

Another issue that this new service would eliminate is the fake “organic growth of followers”. We have seen in the past few months multiple attacks on some big brand names, which have accused each other of buying fake followers (fake accounts) and counting them as a huge follower base. This was a long standing argument as these brands had no way of defending or even explaining the sudden rapid growth in their pages.

Now, with the advertising option on Twitter, we will see a lot of brands investing in this new service and will also be glad to see the analytics that they will have access to.

Let’s take a look at exactly what companies can now look forward to.

Promoted Tweets – a service that has been offered in the US for quite some time now. This enables companies to select certain Tweets and promote them in the sense that they will always be visible to their target audience. This is quite important in the sense that a lot of companies release exciting information and want that tweet to remain visible to users who were not necessarily online at the time of its post. The interesting thing with Promoted Tweets is also that it targets people similar to your own target audience, which maximises reach. It is also available on a mobile device, which is definitely a plus as statistics show us that the divide between desktop browsing and mobile browsing has significantly changed nowadays, with more people browsing through their mobile phones.

Promoted Trends carry massive importance as they carry a prominent placement on the site. Day in, day out, users find certain topics that are “hot” every day, and this can assist brands to gain popularity as they can place themselves strategically.

Lastly, we would like to mention that the Promoted Accounts will definitely see an increase within the brands in the region as brands can now invest in this service and gain targeted followers who have an interest in their offering. This should also eliminate the purchase of fake followers, as brands will now monitor their followers’ base and clean out their pages.

What we have also seen in the past 12 months, is the growth of Twitter’s loyal fans that are from the region. This is particularly an interesting observation as it tells us something about how this target audience interacts or behaves online. The local users would rather use Twitter and the likes of Instagram to share their content and reach out to likeminded people as opposed to creating a detailed profile on Facebook.

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