Ten million new users from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) joined Facebook in 2012, up 29 percent from last year. In terms of new Facebook MENA users, Libya, Iraq and Qatar appear to be the three fastest growing countries, respectively growing by 86 percent, 81 percent, and 115 percent, according to a report from social media analysts socialbakers.
Egypt saw the most absolute growth 2.5 million new users in 2012 and is also the region’s most penetrated nation with 17 million Facebook users (the country’s population is approximately 90 million).
“Overall, this region shows a healthy adoption of Facebook, which is now a key social media platform,” the report states, “Based on the region’s industry statistics, brands in almost all types of businesses have some social media presence. The biggest is the Media industry with an average page size reaching nearly half a million, followed by e-commerce, airlines and fast moving consumer goods. Quite understandably, alcohol brands have the fewest number of fans in MENA countries. However, electronics and telecom dominate the category as having the largest number of brands with open walls to allow customers and users to interact and ask questions.”
Social Branding and Facebook MENA Users
Most notably of interest for content marketers is the industry brand page rankings from the report. The analysis provides insights into which industries are most popular in the region and which brands have benefited from Facebook marketing campaigns and social engagement. Also, it’s important to note that the report delivers marketers a rare year-end look at a region that is currently in a state of sociopolitical change and economic diversification.
Media, ecommerce, and airlines dominate the top three with the most fans. Beauty, automotive, telecom and electronic industries are in the median, while alcohol is discussed much less (this is because of strict rules concerning alcohol advertising within most of the region).
The top brand with the highest engagement rate in Jordan was Royal Jordanian Airlines, while Egyptian mobile carrier Mobinil, Emirates Airline, Vodafone Egypt and Samsung Egypt were among the “fastest moving” Facebook MENA brands. Regional airline Oman Air and dairy producer Almarai had two of the most successful media campaigns of the year, garnering nearly 78,000 and 12,000 likes, respectively.
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