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Reintroducing Social Saudis

Over the past two years, Saudis have changed their behavior in the way they interact, connect and engage on social media platforms. The latest 2015 industry report from The Online Project emphasizes the up-to-date changes in Social Saudis in comparison to the 2013 report.

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Reintroducing Social Saudis

  1. 1. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 2Presented by The Online Project Introduction The world of social media has evolved at a prodigious pace, where two years seem longer in duration considering all the changes that took place. One of the countries that is still being impacted by the viral effects of virtual communities is Saudi Arabia. With Saudi Arabia still being one of the most active countries in the Middle East on social, it is no surprise for Saudi users to change their platform preference considering all the changes that has came to them. For instance, Keek was noticeably successful among Saudi users in 2013, but even with the platform’s prosperity, the number of active users stopped growing in the past year. On the other hand with the gaining popularity of Snapchat and Instagram worldwide, Saudi users have also joined the trend of “Snapping” and “Instagramming”. Life for many Saudis is an ecosystem of apps, with Twitter being at the top. The country’s market differs from others by being the most active on social, having the highest penetration of the micro blog. Saudi Arabia accounts for 40% of Twitter users in the Arab region, with 5.4 million users tweeting more than 210 milliontweetspermonth.[1] However,aTwitterrepresentativehas recently announced that the number of Twitter users exceeded 9 million, making the platform grow with a rate of 80% from the numbers shared in our 2013 report. 1 http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/saudi-arabia-social-media-prompts-culture-change/1349552
  2. 2. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 3Presented by The Online Project Saudi Arabia embodies opportunities for businesses aiming to target and reach the vast population of social Saudis, in order for the massive potential that the country provides to be utilized; the progression of change regarding social media needs to be thoughtfully considered, adapted and studied regularly to achieve optimal results. In our previous report we established a clear perception about the behavior of the Saudi user on social networks, by focusing on understanding the users to aid us in having a solid foundation to build our report. But now with all the changes that have occurred, a new report is inevitable to give emphasize to the importanceofstayingup-todate. Shiftingthefocusofourreport from, getting to know Social Saudis to, reintroducing them.
  3. 3. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 4Presented by The Online Project The Average Saudi Social User Inorderforresultstobeobtainedforanyreport,amethodused ingatheringinformationmustbeimplemented. Inourprevious report we succeeded in identifying the behavior of Saudis on social media, by developing a group of ‘personas’. The concept of personas was constructed to be a representation of different users on different social platforms, by mapping out similar traits and characteristics. Therefore, we were able to acquire more insights about the different behavioral patterns that were driven by social media. To study the change that has affected the users; thus the personas, proceeding with the same method was evident. Allowing us to humanize our data and form a better understanding regarding our audience.
  4. 4. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 5Presented by The Online Project
  5. 5. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 6Presented by The Online Project Data Facebook • 11 million active users by mid 2015. 3.2 million Of which are expats. • 79% of the users are male, 21% are female. • Facebook English interface is as popular as the Arabic interface. However, in terms of engagement, Arabic remained the top used/ written language • 48% of the Saudi users are Android users and only 11% are iOS users. • The average Saudi user posts around 10 times a week. • Saudis mostly engage between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily. Thursday is the most active day of the week. • 9% of Saudis refer to Facebook to connect with their brands through asking a question. 87% of these questions are written in Arabic.
  6. 6. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 7Presented by The Online Project Twitter • 9 million active users by mid 2015 • 27% of the users have no written bio, and 16% have the default egg photo set as their profile picture. • On average, the Saudi user tweets 5 times a day. • 47% of the questions asked are get answered within an average response time of 3:47 minutes. • For every 6 Facebook videos posted, there are 8 YouTube links shared on facebook. Engagement received per Facebook video is two times the engagement received per a YouTube link.
  7. 7. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 8Presented by The Online Project Instagram • 8.8 million active users by mid 2015. • The average Instagram user follows 511 users and has 288 followers. • On average, the Saudi user posts around 12 posts a week. • Thursdays are the most active days. 6 – 9 p.m. is the most active time of the day. • Instagram shared posts are divided equally between photo and video posts. However, 73% of the engagement goes to video posts. • Saturday is the most active day of the week. 9 p.m. till midnight is the most active time of the day. • Text tweets receive the highest engagement among all other tweets. • 87% of what is posted on twitter is re-tweets.
  8. 8. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 9Presented by The Online Project Youtube • Average subscribers per channel is 606,872 • Average views per video is 105,900 • Top 30 channels in Saudi post twice a month. • Top 30 channels’ average video duration is 4:13 minutes.
  9. 9. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 10Presented by The Online Project Video Case Study YouTube vs. Facebook There is no better way to tell a story than a video and the basis of good content is good story telling, this is one of the reasons why video content has grown rapidly amongst the years, forcing brands and people to grasp its potential from high engagement rates to the number of interactions. Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that proves the importance of video sharing across various platforms, given it being the highest engagement earner even on the famous photo sharing app Instagram. With all of the positive growth behind video content, platforms have also shown greater interest in this type of content, and one of them is Facebook. Facebook has started to adapt to all different types of content, hence leading them to focus on their video products even more. That is why it is important to compare between videos posted on Facebook and videos that are posted on the main video platform YouTube. In order for us to compare video content published in Saudi Arabia, we partnered with Omar Hussein and conducted this study together to compare video content posted on YouTube and Facebook, we chose the “truth be told” show as a method of comparison, due to the consistency of posting on both platforms using Facebook native video product.
  10. 10. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 11Presented by The Online Project “Truth be told” is a social experiment show presented by Omar Hussein that aims to obtain and understand the differentreactionsoftheSaudiArabiancommunitytowards different situations. Omar is currently a communication consultant, he’s also one of the first YouTubers in Saudi Arabia and a part of the founding team of UTURN; a Jeddah-based production company that revolutionized Saudi Arabian news and entertainment, producing shows that have been watched 286 million times on YouTube. Omar used social media as a platform to address the Saudi population, by presenting topics that is not only light-hearted, but relatable to the Saudi audience as well.
  11. 11. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 12Presented by The Online Project Given the data collected, Facebook videos has grown and is still growing at a quick pace allowing the platform’s performance of shared videos to reach the same level as YouTube, however when it comes to searched videos YouTube is still way ahead of Facebook.
  12. 12. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 13Presented by The Online Project Conclusion Based on the data we collected, we have re-identified common behavior trends associated with the typical Saudi Arabian social media user in 2015: • Facebook remained the largest social platform in terms of number of users. However, Twitter growth surpassed Facebook by 25% in the past two years. • Saudis preference towards social entertainment has been changed through emerging platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. • Online video has become a key channel for consuming content on all platforms, especially Facebook and Instagram. • Comedy TV shows and sports are the most popular categories of online watched videos. • While YouTube remained the main video sharing website, Facebook and Instagram’s video growth has shifted the online video scene towards more exposure. Video content is no longer a YouTube exclusive. • Hashtags usage on Instagram is just as popular on Twitter. Most used hashtags on Instagram shows how the platform is gradually turning into a female community
  13. 13. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 14Presented by The Online Project Recommendations • Frequently Study the change in social media and your target audience and adapt accordingly • Monitor what people are talking about on all social platforms • Humanize your brand by being relevant to your audience and more personalized • Focus on the type of content that engages with your audience, for example in Saudi Arabia the most engaging are: Links, videos, photos, and plain text • Due to the ever growing change in social media, new approaches must be sought in order to reach your target audience more effectively • Selecting and optimizing social platforms according to users’ preferences • Utilizing Facebook videos, by posting more video content and knowing when to post • Engaging with your target audience depending on the language frequently used by them • Differentiate between each platform, by knowing what, and when to post
  14. 14. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 15Presented by The Online Project Methodology Data for each channel was retrieved in the following ways: Facebook 1. Using the advertising dashboard - we collected data on the demographics of users in Saudi Arabia, including age, gender and relationship status. 2. Using our in-house developed tool - we tracked comments, likes, shares on Facebook Fan pages in terms of engagement per user (data was generalized due to privacy settings). Pages selected were the most popular pages by local fans in Saudi Arabia according to Socialbakers, from January 2015 till June 2015. Twitter 1. Using our in-house developed tool – we collected data from tweets, profiles and users biography. The analysis included quantitative and qualitative research ranging from most common Tweeting time and content of the tweets. The sample size was 2 M tweets from 0.5 M users, from January 2015 till June 2015.
  15. 15. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 16Presented by The Online Project Instagram 1. Using our in-house developed tool – we collected data from posts and users activities that are geo-tagged in Saudi Arabia. The sample size we analyzed was 1.2 million posts from 321K users from January 2015 till June 2015. Youtube 1. Youtube data is generated manually by the Moderation and Analysis team at The Online Project, for the top 30 YouTube channels in Saudi Arabia according to Socialbakers.
  16. 16. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 17Presented by The Online Project About TOP As the Middle East’s leading digital agency, The Online Project develops and executes digital strategies for Fortune 500 companies and high profile organizations operating in the region.
  17. 17. Reintroducing Social Saudis - How Saudi’s Social Media Behavior changed over the past two years 18Presented by The Online Project Contact Us For general inquiries please email info@theonlineproject.me Amman Tel: +962 6 465 8209 Fax:+96264658206 P.O. Box 840616 Amman 11184 Jordan Dubai Tel: +971 4 420 9064 Fax: +971 4 420 6054 Unit G-06 Building 4 Dubai Media City Dubai, UAE Riyadh Tel: +966 1 463 4462 Fax: +966 1 462 6413 Al Rabiah Building Olaya Riyadh, KSA

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