Social media can have a dramatic impact on job hunting  and entrepreneurship in the MENA region , according to a study by Dubai School of Government's Governance and Innovation Program and SAP.
Focusing on Arab youth, the survey found that 70 per cent of respondents believed social media can help youth find jobs. Seventy five per cent of viewed it as an essential channel to the virtual job market and 76 per cent hailed its networking capabilities. Furthermore, 84 per cent stated they could garner entrepreneurial skills by being social media-savvy.
Social media was also found to have a notable positive effect within the workplace. 85 per cent claimed it paved the way for more customer satisfaction, 86 per cent said it stoked inter-agency collaboration and 85 per cent described it as a powerful conduit for innovation. 78 per cent also praised social media's ability to generate more trust among the workforce.
"This ground-breaking research offers insight into new horizons for economic empowerment of the Arab youth. It is essential for policy makers and businesses to understand this emerging phenomenon and its impact on their societies and markets," said Fadi Salem, Director of the Governance and Innovation Program, DSG.
The study, which examined the effectiveness of social media in promoting social advancement, job creation  and business growth across the Arab region, collated data from close to 5,000 respondents in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon, Oman, Egypt and Jordan.
"SAP already knows that social media is a hugely important tool for businesses , whether it is mining data to gather market sentiment or being inspired to innovate new methods of communication," said Sam Alkharrat, Managing Director, SAP MENA.
"Up-skilling local talent is fundamental to our success in the region, and these findings vividly describe the importance of social media in attracting and retaining the brightest and best youngsters. Businesses need to be attuned to these trends and the unconnected and technologically naïve are bound to lose out."