Causing a Twitter storm in the Middle East
As more than 90 per cent of corporations worldwide use social media, experts on Saturday predicted spending on advertisements through the platform would boom in Jordan and the region.
They said spending is expected to increase in the next few years as companies start to become more aware of the importance of social media platforms, which provide interaction and engagement with a wide audience across the world.
Speaking at a session during the 3rd Arab Social Media Forum, experts said businesses that use social media witnessed a 74 per cent increase in the volume of traffic on their website.
“Social media has started to take a share of corporate budgets for media campaigns and media planning,” noted Firas Steitiyeh, product manager at the Online Project, a social media agency.
“Businesses need to have a presence on social media platforms and I expect the trend of relying on these platforms to rise in the near future,” Steitiyeh said.
Rafah Al Khatib, CEO of Reach Holdings, shared similar thoughts.
“In 2012, corporations in Jordan and in the region allocated a small percentage of their budgets to advertising in social media, but we see a trend that they are relying on these platforms more than before,” Khatib said at the session.
“In 2013 and the years to come, I predict a huge demand on social media. There are about 110 million Internet users in the Middle East, an overwhelming majority of whom use social media networks,” she added.
In Jordan, where Internet penetration reached 63 per cent by the end of September, there are some 2.517 million Facebook users and more than 50,000 Twitter users.
Hazem Abu Lughod, co-founder of Prodigi, said social media platforms are the fastest growing in the region in terms of subscriber base.
“Social media platforms complement the offline presence [physical headquarters] of any business,” noted Abu Lughod, whose firm is a social networking and marketing agency.
Participants at the forum, which attracted marketing and IT experts from Jordan, the region and Europe, discussed several issues, including social versus traditional media, and using the platform for social good.