Guide to Arab social media influencers

Is it worth the buzz?

Imagine yourself receiving giveaways and gifts from all sorts of brands in exchange for posting about them on your social media platforms. In fact, that’s mainly what an Arab social media influencer does for a living. The rise of social media influencers worldwide is a phenomenon worthy of consideration. Especially with the enormous increase in the number of social media users in the Arab world. The domination of Arab social media influencers shot up in a short time. And the question for small businesses is, “do I need one?”

According to The Arab social media report, today around 39% of the Arab world’s population use social media. On average, Facebook reports 55% of Arabic users, while 72% of all tweets in the region are now in Arabic. This contributed to the rise of Arab social media influencers. Consequently, businesses are competing over hiring them to help reach a wider audience.

According to OMNESmedia survey 14% respondents spend over 8 hours a day on social networks.

 

The social media scene is developing in the MENA region

Dubai has launched the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit four years ago. The Summit draws a large number of international speakers from all over the world especially the most successful marketers. They explore how current trends, technologies, business practices and social media innovation affect the media industry.

In 2016, the UAE established a new club for influencers. The club aims to encourage “innovation and creativity” among Arab social media influencers. As many Arab social media influencers have millions of followers on social media, the club will also give them a chance to boost development and growth in their societies. It would help enhance creativity among youth through their online reach.

Does my business need a social media influencer?

If you already have a business or are about to launch a new one, you would look for a way to market it. Using digital marketing tools like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social media, and Email marketing.

How many times did you see a certain product being reviewed on social media by an influencer before you decided to buy it? Influencer marketing will definitely outline the audience’s sentiment towards your brand.

So, yes, influencer marketing will help leverage the exposure of your company’s product. It can increase revenue as you’ll see interaction with consumers who lean on these reviews to make their purchasing decisions.

Instagram influencer marketing

With 800 million active users, Instagram has become the platform of choice for influencer marketing. 72% of users say they have made fashion, beauty or style-related purchases after seeing something on the app.

Categories of Arab social media influencers

Social media is packed with influencers posting about different subjects. Depending on your preferences you’ll find yourself following a particular category. Below are some examples of the famous Arab social media influencers.

Foody

Ahmed Al Zamel: Besides posting mouth-watering food recipes, he visits restaurants, tries their dishes and reviews them.

Tech

Abd El Aziz El Rasheed: Tweets about new apps, cell phone features and any tech related topic. Moreover, he’s a huge fan of apple products.

Travel

Sherif Fayed: In addition to acting, TV hosting and modelling. He creates unique travel content for touristic destinations and hidden gems worldwide.

Fashion

Rawan Bin Hussain: She represents a perfect mix of beauty and brains. Law student/entrepreneur by day and a fashion model for luxury brands in her free time.

Beauty

Dalal Al Doub: The infamous Kuwaiti fashion and beauty blogger. She has a modest style and a makeup guru.

Fitness

Aly Mazhar: The founder of Befit 360 and one of Nike’s brand ambassadors. He’s a professional fitness instructor who inspires youth with -health related- transformation stories.

Entrepreneurs and Business

Joelle Mardinian: Started off as a TV presenter is now the owner of a beauty salon that has branches all over the MENA region. She has a skin care line and surgery clinics too.

How to select the right influencer for your business

Now that you decided that your brand needs an influencer, how can you find the right one for your business?

  • Set your budget

The rewards of the industry are immense. Influencer marketing isn’t cheap. Meanwhile we can divide influencers into three tiers: Mega influencers, Macro influencers and Micro Influencers. Make sure you set your budget before you start your search. There are websites that can help you with your search like Social Bakers.

The Arab social media influencer and beauty blogger Huda Kattan reportedly earns $18,000 per post, according to HopperHq.com.

  • Search, Search, Search

You can find hundreds even thousands of Arab social media influencer profiles. Firstly, you need to search and categorize them to choose someone right for your business’s profile. This will help you understand the qualities you’re looking for in your influencer partners. Then think of your business’s image and rapport. Finally, search for the influencer who addresses the right audience, using the right tools.

Developing audience personas is a great way to make sure you understand whom you’re trying to reach. Above all, It’s critical to work only with social media influencers whose creative vision aligns with your own.

  • Engagement VS Followers

The influencer can have thousands of followers yet a very low engagement rate. So instead of being fooled by a huge number of followers, you need to pay attention to the engagement rate and type of interactions. You can easily fall for a fraud, as some influencers buy followers and likes. So be careful as some influencers buy followers and likes to make them look more influential than they really are.

Engagement rate can be calculated by dividing the number of likes and comments by the number of followers

  • Rules & Regulations

Before you dive into influencer marketing, it’s important to understand the rules, laws and regulations set for each country. In April 2018, the UAE’s National Media Council announced a new set of regulations governing electronic media in the country. So that the annual fees for ‘influencers’ will be AED 15,000. In order to govern the use of social media for commercial purposes.

  • Demand Results

You should request that the influencer send you detailed reports on the reach and engagement levels of their posts. This is especially important for channels like Snapchat and Instagram Stories, where engagement metrics are out of the public view. So you can measure the outcomes of your campaign.

 

Media influencers can be a double-edged weapon. Some influencers have had major setbacks. Remember that when you choose an influencer they represent your brand. Everything he or she does will affect your brand’s reputation. You need to be discreet and meticulous, but the benefits can be enormous.

 

Start with an online presence

As a small business owner; you need to first establish a solid online presence in the digital world. Your first step should be setting up a website for your business; because where else can people know about your business?

In order to take your business to a professional level and build your online identity; you need to build a website . Consider your website the window to showcase your business. You can use it not only to share information but also to buy and sell your products.

Having an official website is a crucial step to build trust with your customers. Everyone can have a social media account for their business; but at the end of the day who would give their money to a business that has an Instagram account without a trustworthy website?

Image by: Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

Selina Bieber
Based in Istanbul, Selina is part of the GoDaddy EMEA team managing the Turkey and MENA regions to help grow the GoDaddy brand and business. With a background in marketing communications, Selina is passionate about small businesses, the entrepreneurial eco-system and leveraging digital technologies to get ahead of the game. Prior to joining GoDaddy, Selina led the PR activities of Facebook, VeriSign and Euler Hermes in Turkey, and was based in Amsterdam to head up regional media relations across Europe for a natural gas project. Selina is a self-professed foodie and travel addict.