The use of social media in the Middle East – what’s the best platform?

Seven Media - The use of social media in the Middle East

Two of Seven’s more experienced (older) PR professionals have been in the UK to get to grips with social media through a series of training sessions – and the way it is influencing their attitude to social media strategy is shaping Seven’s approach.

Looking at the use of Arabic language to tell a global brand story in the Middle East, there is no doubt Twitter has huge power. Short and sharp soundbites with great content to really cut through the noise and get directly to the target audience. But, on more local and lifestyle-based stories it has little effect. Yes, government and corporate communications campaigns that require an authoritative voice do need Twitter, but the impact seems to be growing less over time. Twitter is also very expensive to promote your content, compared to the other major channels.

On Instagram, the visual approach works well but can you really tell a serious story on Instagram? The majority of big businesses say no and it for that reason it is only part of the mix. There is also an increasing reluctance to have a separate regional page on Insta, as brands aim for global strategies. But with the right, powerful content, visual campaigns can grab the Instagram audience.

So where does Facebook fit in? For an audience in middle-age and with families it is the go-to – but when you add in Arabic to the mix it is not so clear.

And therein lies the puzzle for communications professionals. Bring them in from different regions across the globe and put them into a room together and it is clear that not only is the relevance of each social media platform changing, it is becoming more diverse country-by-county, making it a more complex process than ever before.

And that’s why you need Seven, one of the best social media agencies in Dubai, to help you.

Coca-Cola Arena Dubai – a powerful integrated PR and social media launch campaign

Seven Media - Coca Cola Arena - a powerful integrated PR and social media launch campaign

The launch of the incredible Coca-Cola Arena Dubai is the perfect example of a modern PR campaign that ticks all the boxes when it comes to communication in the region.

From a classic media launch event with print, digital radio and TV reporting live to ongoing social media influencer buzz – it showed that if the story is powerful enough it can run for weeks.

The Seven team were right at the heart of the launch and emerged with a really positive outlook on the state of the media landscape in 2019.

The quality and scale of breaking news reporting was first class, in-depth features looked at the impact of the arena on the local and regional economy and the crossover into entertainment media went global.

Social media content was also brilliant – with influencers at the launch delivering live reports and a range of innovative communication techniques.

There are some who worry about media in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Middle East but if this integrated PR and social media campaign proved anything it is that we are really in a state of progress – you just need to look a little deeper into what is really happening.

Seven Media is a leading PR and social media agency in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, offering both standalone social media campaigns and fully integrated PR and social media campaigns, as well as Seven Studios, the most creative and bold video production team in the region.

Know your audience!

Seven Media - Know your audience

The rise of digital and the decline of print media is nothing new – but the effect it is having on the GCC media landscape is evolving on almost a monthly basis.

In the past a classic PR campaign in Dubai and Abu Dhabi would cover the major media platforms in the two cities with a nod to generating coverage in key markets such as Saudi Arabia.

But is that really how people consume stories these days?

Increasingly, people in Dubai will take in elements of local media, dip into stories from across the GCC and also consume all sorts of information on social media. The same applies to the large markets right across the GCC.

The challenge in Middle East PR, more than ever, is taking a story and knowing as accurately as possible who the target market is and what the touchpoint for that story will be.

Content and a good old-fashioned strong story will always be at the heart of what a PR agency does, but everyone has to avoid speaking to either the wrong people, or in the worst case scenario nobody at all.

At Seven that is a challenge we take on and solve daily – and as ever the proof is always in the positive effect your PR campaign has on the bottom line.

When Seven becomes the story…

Seven Media - When Seven becomes the story

The case of a missing gorilla in Dubai helped propel a homegrown UAE PR agency to two major honours at the Middle East PR awards. Seven Media landed Digital Campaign of the Year for the story of Gorgeous George, a lifesize plastic gorilla that went missing from the famous Barasti Bar. The viral story was followed by more than a million people over the course of two days, from the first official missing report to his safe return. At the PRCA ceremony Seven also won Agency of the Year, the showpiece award of the night, for the second year running.

Matt Slater, owner of the agency, said: “The success of Seven Media is built on the creativity and storytelling of every single person in the company. “Digital campaigns that go big need to be driven by traditional and social media and with George the missing gorilla we hit that sweet spot. “Winning agency of the year for the second year running is an incredible achievement for the team who are as talented, dedicated and determined group of people you will see anywhere in media.”

Seven was recognised by the PRCA for their work in a total of eight areas, from major sport such as F1 and English Premier League football to entertainment campaigns for Novo Cinemas and across a wide range of business and lifestyle work.

Matt, who founded Seven with business partner Gregg Fray, added: “Myself and Gregg have been involved with media in the Middle East for more than a decade. “The whole media community is changing and improving all the time and it is great that Seven is at the heart of that.”

Seven Media are fast becoming one of the best social media agencies in Dubai.