UAE. The first of its kind survey in the UAE on Social Media and consumer behaviour shows that a large majority of customers are actively seeking and searching product information online and through social media platforms.
The survey findings were conducted by market research firm YouGovSiraj, through their online Omnibus service during February 2010. It covered a sample size of more than 750 people across the Emirates and included multiple income groups, ages, nationality groups, etc.
70% of the sample group stated that they would look for online reviews before making a purchase decision, while over 80% of them said that they would look for the website of the seller.
When asked about the growing demographic of online customers and the use of Social Media Marketing, Akanksha Goel, Chief Enthusiast at Socialize, a social media training house, said, “Most companies in the region are aware of the importance of including social media in their overall media relations and marketing plan, but lack the know-how to successfully create buzz online.
The hospitality sector however, has been an early adopter of social media marketing and use tools like Twitter and Facebook proactively.”
“Government institutions too are jumping onto the social media marketing bandwagon with DIFC using professional social media training to supplement their marketing efforts.”
Interaction levels with corporate bodies online are still rising where 41% of the respondents said they interact with their favourite brands through platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn, while 65% said they would more likely to interact with emails sent to their inboxes.
“This kind of research is important because it gives us numbers behind what we know to be a growing trend. The figures show us that businesses cannot afford to dismiss social media.
We are also able to see which platforms are popular, which is very useful for companies deciding which social media to focus on. “,” said Joanna Longworth, chief marketing officer, YouGov Siraj.
"The bottom line is that Social Media Marketing is something that firms can not afford to ignore if they want to stay ahead of their competition," said Bhavishya Kanjhan, Intelligence Officer for Socialize. "You may choose to ignore it, but your competition will not. Sooner or later you would have to look into creating an active online entity."