Ramadan is officially here.
This is a joyous month of reflection and spending more quality time with family and friends. However, this is also a special time for a different reason… particularly for all you digital marketers out there.
You are hungry.
No, not the type of hungry your target audience is while fasting.
As a digital marketer, you are hungry for information about your customers. You are aware that Ramadan is a great opportunity to attract more customers because of the huge increase in social media usage we consistently see during this holy month. However, you may need some reassurance for when to post on your respective social media platforms, what your customers discuss and how that information can ultimately enhance your brand during the holy month of Ramadan.
After researching the topic, we have answered those questions for you.
When is the best time to post on social media during Ramadan?
Last year, we discussed the changes in social media user behaviour in the Arab region and our need to adapt to how our target audience engages on their respective social media platforms.
One of the biggest factors people take into account is: “When are your customers online?”
Several sources conclude that both Facebook and Twitter engagement vastly increase after Iftar and before Suhour. Although true, each country in the region has an optimal time to post and each target audience should be treated differently because of that.
To give an example of how different things can be within the MENA region, let’s take a deeper look at two different countries:
- UAE’s activity on Facebook skyrockets at around 7:00 PM and people are most active on Twitter between 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.
- Saudi Arabia’s Facebook activity peaks later in the night: between 10:00 and 11:00 PM; the best time to tweet is even later than that (between midnight and 2:00 AM).
(These stats were retrieved from The Online Project. To find out the optimal times to post in other Arab countries, check out their Facebook study here and their Twitter study here.)
Know when and where your audience appears on social media:
Just like any digital marketing strategy, it’s always good to consider which social media platforms your audience is on and when they prefer to browse and interact on them… especially at a time like Ramadan when people generally have more free time.
What topics do people discuss most during Ramadan?
From your experiences in Ramadan, do you notice a certain change in social media trends? Maybe a few themes revolving around the same topic?
The similarities in culture that bring people together that revolve around good thoughts help us as digital marketers focus on specific areas of interest year after year. Because the entire course of people’s daily lives change during this holy month, there is more time for people to relax.
Last year was different than usual, as people stayed up to watch the 2014 World Cup matches. However, since there is no World Cup happening this year, your audience now falls back on its two original themes:
1) ‘Feel-Good’ Initiatives
This refers to topics that aim to highlight the goodness of people. During Ramadan, there is a huge increase in people who promote people’s acts of kindness. This includes everything from wishing everyone #RamadanKareem to spreading the news about a new Ramadan campaign to sharing a video of a person doing a good deed on camera.
2) TV Series (Arabic Dramas)
TV is still an integral part of Arab culture, and Ramadan is certainly no different from that. Traditionally, families across the Arab World watch Arab soap operas on TV right after they finish Iftar. Most satellite channels broadcast their programmes late at night because they are very much aware that they can potentially attract a very large audience.
Connect your audience to your brand with popular Ramadan themes:
Similar to how nonprofits promote their good causes on social media and how the top Arab dramas appear on TV channels at night, brands and marketers who connect their social media posts with what their audience feels passionate about during Ramadan will progressively see their social media channels grow this month.
In order to optimise social media best practices for brand engagement during Ramadan, your digital marketing strategy needs to adapt to your audience’s changed behaviour. When taking these habits into account, brands and marketers will have a deep understanding of their target audience with regards to their characteristics, preferences and lifestyle.