Marketers should focus on social media campaigns as residents spend more time on social networking platforms during the holy month.

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Residents in the Middle East use social media platforms up to 30 per cent more during Ramadan, according to a new report by social media agency The Online Project (TOP).

The study monitored social media activity across the holy month last year to highlight specific consumer trends.

Zafer Younis, CEO of TOP said: “We monitored thousands of tweets and Facebook posts in nine countries to study user behaviour. Instead of looking at their social media platforms first thing in the morning when they wake up or get into work, our results show that during Ramadan, people are most active on Twitter early evening at approximately 7 pm, just before they break their fast.

“Therefore if brands wish to take advantage of this spike in audience, they should also consider posts that include content tailored to specific audiences that is entertaining or value-adding.”

While most companies in the region boost advertising spends during the holy month by up to 20 per cent on traditional ‘off-line’ campaigns, they should also target social media to create greater engagement with their customers, said TOP.

Based on the study, the company suggests five tips for marketers this Ramadan.

1. Recognise that Ramadan is a unique time in the Arab world both online and offline, and as a result, lessons you have learnt about your communities during the year may not apply during the holy month. So adapt your campaign to make the most of the advertising dollars you have spent.

2. Align your publishing times with your audience and maximise engagement.

3. Optimise your content mix as user interests’ shift during the holy month.

4. Increase your advertising support budgets during Ramadan as the holy month enjoys higher organic engagement rates.

5. Implement integrated marketing campaigns by interlacing social media usage increase in-line with TV, radio, and print consumption to deliver higher multiplier effects.