The impact of social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis has been felt across industries and sectors, with technology and social media playing a critical role in connecting people, communities and businesses.
In essence, this is even more pertinent given the imminent start of Ramadan. Amid this difficult period, it has become even more important to connect with your customers, maintain open lines of communication and keep them informed at this challenging time.
To better understand how to create meaningful connections during Ramadan, Facebook IQ, Facebook’s insights and research division in partnership with Kantar, has unveiled findings of a study conducted during Ramadan 2019 that looks into user behaviour and purchase decisions in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt.
The study was conducted online across nine countries, engaging with over 7,000 respondents, including 2,780 from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The research revealed that while many of Ramadan’s moments happen in person, values and traditions are equally expressed online.
To help marketers join the conversation in meaningful ways, such as by highlighting the values of Ramadan and sharing content that’s truly relevant to people’s needs during this holy month, here are some tips:
Be where it matters
Many communities that observe Ramadan use Facebook’s family of apps throughout this period.
96% of survey respondents in the UAE say they use at least one Facebook platform—often to connect with their community and loved ones. That number is 85% in Saudi Arabia and 95% in Egypt.
This year, as Ramadan takes place in the midst of COVID-19, people are going to rely on technology and digital platforms even more to connect with the people and brands they care about.
Meet them on the platforms they use most and share useful information to help them during this busy time. Browse Facebook’s Ramadan success stories to find inspiration.
Maintain customer communication
The research shows that 95.2% of Ramadan observers in UAE use mobile, similar stat is for Saudi Arabia where 92.6% use mobile and in Egypt, it is 76%.
77.7% of them in the UAE use mobile while watching TV, making it imperative for marketers to consider omnichannel strategies. In Saudi Arabia, it is 70% while in Egypt it is 76%.
In light of this new landscape, focus on business continuity and maintain ongoing dialogue with customers. This could mean proactively answering customer inquiries, responding to changes in consumption scenarios or marketing the most relevant products.
For more on this, visit Facebook’s COVID-19 Business Resource Hub for tools on how to get through these unexpected challenges.
Tell meaningful stories while showing support to COVID-19 efforts
Given the religious importance of Ramadan, it’s important to speak to the core values of the season while balancing promotional messages.
Be respectful and connect with your audience authentically and consider use of motifs and symbols. This could mean giving back to society, taking a stance on an issue that matters to Ramadan observers, being of service to those affected by COVID-19 or simply avoiding cliches.
Also Read: Content Marketing – The Middle Eastern Story
“The living room is now a digital experience, with more people multi-screening than ever before, and mobile proving to be an integral part of people’s communication. As businesses pivot to ensure their engagement remains relevant, they must explore new ways of connecting with audiences and build communities who will champion their brands,” said Ramez Shehadi, Managing Director, MENA at Facebook.
“With COVID-19 creating barriers for physical engagement, we continue to work with businesses to create community first engagement and provide them with the support they need to get through this period.”
The research is based on “Ramadan 2019: A time for reflection, connection and inspiration”, a consumer research by Kantar, commissioned by Facebook IQ.
Read more Ramadan insights and marketing recommendations at SHAREDbyFacebook