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The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide for Ramadan

The Get Web Services Online (GWSO) is a Social Media and Digital Marketing Agency in the Pakistan and UK, launched a report that highlighted the behavioral trends of consumers in several Muslim countries during the holy month of Ramadan.

Shahraz Khan, CEO of Get Web Services Online said: “Having discovered that social media consumption and user habits significantly change during the holy month, we set out to study the outlying variable of this change to isolate the driving forces. We monitored thousands of tweets and Facebook posts in ten countries to study the user behavior.

Instead of looking at their social media platforms first thing in the morning when they wake up or get into work, our results show that during Ramadan, people are most active on Twitter early evening at approximately 6 pm, just before they break their fast. Therefore, if brands wish to take advantage of this spike in audience, should also consider posts that include content tailored to specific audiences that is entertaining or value-adding.”

The study observed Facebook and Twitter activity in ten different countries – Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, KSA and the UAE. It analyzed levels of engagement, sentiment, perception and the time of their interaction.

The Studies revealed:

  • An increased use of social media platforms by 30 per cent during the holy month of Ramadan.
  • Furthermore, it reported that there was a shift in the time of the day during which users engage with social media communities. Users were now using social media later in the day.
  • Their engagement with brands was seen to be hugely multiplied during Ramadan providing businesses with the ideal window to communicate with customers.

What topics do people discuss most during Ramadan?

From your experiences in Ramadan, do you notice a certain change in social media trends. Maybe a few of them are revolving around the same topic. The similarities in culture that bring people together that revolve around good thoughts help us as digital marketers focus on specific areas of interest year after year.

Because the entire course of people’s daily lives change during this holy month, there is more time for people to relax. Last year was different than usual, as people stayed up to watch the 2014 World Cup matches. However, since there is no World Cup happening this year, your audience now falls back on its two original themes.

1) Feel-Good initiatives:

This refers to topics that aim to highlight the goodness of people. During Ramadan, there is a huge increase in people who promote people’s acts of kindness. This includes everything from wishing everyone Ramadan Kareem to spreading the news about a new Ramadan marketing campaign to sharing a video of a person doing a good deed on camera.

2) TV Series (Arabic Dramas):

TV is still an integral part of Arab culture, and Ramadan is certainly no different from that. Traditionally, families across the Arab World watch Arab soap operas on TV right after they finish Iftar. Most satellite channels broadcast their programs late at night because they are very much aware that they can potentially attract a very large audience. Check out OSN’s Ramadan commercial promoting the TV series on their network; even if you don’t speak Arabic, you can feel the drama in the music and the scenes they show.

(For the record, there is an English version of the commercial, as well. It is less dramatic, but that just emphasizes how OSN distinguishes their English-speaking audience from the native Arabic speakers who watch their programs.)

Connect your audience to your brand with popular Ramadan themes:

Similar to how nonprofits promote their good causes on social media and how the top Arab dramas appear on TV channels at night, brands and marketers who connect their social media posts with what their audience feels passionate about during Ramadan will progressively see their social media channels grow this month.

Here are some of the top offers that recommend maximizing your interaction with consumers during Ramadan,

Recognize that Ramadan is a unique time in the Muslim world both online and offline. As a result, lessons you have learnt about your communities during the year may not apply during the holy month so adapt your marketing campaign to the recommended timings to make the most out of your advertising campaign.

Align your publishing times with your audience and maximize engagement:

Optimize your content mix as user interests’ shift during the holy month. Adapt your content accordingly to stay relevant and build stronger relationships with your audience. Increase your advertising support budgets during Ramadan. The holy month enjoys higher organic engagement rates so your budget can push your content further in Ramadan.

Implement integrated marketing campaigns by interlacing social media usage increase in-line with TV, radio, and print consumption to deliver higher multiplier effects in Ramadan. This is a joyous month of reflection and spending more quality time with family and friends. However, this is also a special time for a different reason… particularly for all you digital marketers out there.

As a digital marketer, you are hungry for information about your customers. You are aware that Ramadan is a great opportunity to attract more customers because of the huge increase in social media usage we consistently see during this holy month. However, you may need some reassurance for when to post on your respective social media platforms, what your customers discuss and how that information can ultimately enhance your brand during the holy month of Ramadan.

After researching the topic, we have answered some of the questions for you.

Best time to post on social media during Ramadan?

Last year, we discussed the changes in social media user behavior in the Arab region and our need to adapt to how our target audience engages on their respective social media platforms. One of the biggest factors people take into account is:

When are your customers online?

Several sources conclude that both Facebook and Twitter engagement vastly increase after Iftar and before Suhour. Although true, each country in the region has an optimal time to post and each target audience should be treated differently because of that.

To give an example of how different things can be within the MENA region, let’s take a deeper look at two different countries:

  • Pakistan’s activity on Facebook skyrockets at around 6:00 PM and people are most active on Twitter between 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Facebook activity peaks later in the night: between 10:00 and 11:00 PM; the best time to tweet is even later than that (between midnight and 2:00 AM).
  • UAE’s activity on Facebook at around 7:00 PM and people are most active on Twitter between 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

When and where your audience appears on social media?

Just like any digital marketing strategy, it’s always good to consider which social media platforms your audience is on and when they prefer to browse and interact on them… especially at a time like Ramadan when people generally have more free time.

Conclusion:

In order to optimize social media marketing best practices for brand engagement during Ramadan, your digital marketing strategy needs to adapt to your audience’s changed behavior. When taking these habits into account, brands and marketers will have a deep understanding of their target audience with regards to their characteristics, preferences and lifestyle.

About Shahmeer Khan

About shahmeer khan — I've been working in digital marketing for almost a decade, specializing in web analytics, SEO and inbound marketing strategy. I currently own and operate GetWebServicesOnline.Com, a New York based web services agency. Connect with me on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or Instagram.

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