In the year 2022, we are certain that it is not enough for brands to build their image by just focusing on the quality of their product or service. Brands ought to focus on building a relationship with their target audience. It is important to tune into social media conversations to identify the latest conversational trends. One of the biggest highlights in the MENA region is football tournaments.
The popularity of the sport presents an opportunity for brands to engage with their audience. However, it is key to be aware of the latest trends based on data, rather than just assumptions. Social media listening will help you create relevant content that will resonate with your audience; this is a primer factor that would motivate them to choose one brand over the other.
Using the Crowd Analyzer tool, we looked into a total of 23M social media activity during the FIFA Arab Cup tournament from 30th of November till 20th of December to identify the key metrics that should be used to identify behavior and engagement patterns in an engaging sport such as football. Those metrics are translated into audience insights that can be used to fuel up your marketing strategy into the right direction.
1. Identify what interests the audience
One of the highlights of the last month of 2021 was the FIFA Arab football tournament.; there was a high level of excitement among Arab fans. But this piece of information is not enough to get a full understanding of consumer engagement. It is important to stay ahead of the game by tracking what people are talking about. Analyzing user content goes beyond who won the match. Some matches will gain more popularity than others; it was no surprise that the final match between Tunisia and Algeria was the one with the highest mentions at 2.9M.
For the teams involved in the Arab cup, the winning team gained the highest mentions at 21% while the engagement rate was at 47%. On the other hand, for the Egyptian team, the mentions were at 13% only, while their engagement rate was the highest at 48%. In a way, this could be a missed opportunity for brands. Brands should always focus on which content is the most engaging.
2. Find out who are your audience
Football events are quite popular among the MENA audience; it involves some sort of unity and competition. Fans exist in the digital space that is why it is essential to pay attention to the type of audience driving the conversation. Social media users engaged at 39% in football related conversations. However, for brands to create content that would appeal to the consumers, they need to understand their demographics. During the FIFA Arab cup, the most active country was Egypt at 28%, followed by KSA at 24%. The dominant language was Arabic at 87%.
Another point to consider is males are much more active at 65% when it comes to football. So football is an opportunity to build a relationship with a male consumer more than a female, which will be less likely to interact with your brand in this context.
The popularity of the spot makes it a great opportunity for brands to connect with their audience. It is crucial to monitor the activity of your brand to stay on top of the level of interactions received. This can play a major role in how you expand your content strategy. Ooredoo received up to a million interactions; this is related to their decision to use a popular influencer, such as Mohamad Adnan, in their promotional content. This strategy needs to always be supported with data to guarantee a positive reaction from your audience. Using the wrong influencer for your brand can lead to a crisis that can be avoided by paying attention to online trends and audience behavior.
4. Listen to how they communicate
Building engagement among the audience requires understanding where they are on social media and how they communicate. It is no surprise that based on our analysis, we found that users interact with visuals: videos received 54% engagement rate, followed by photos at 39%. Links and texts only received 5%. This indicates the necessity of visuals in social media; the rise of videos is only growing with more options such as Instagram Reels and TikTok. Different social media platforms are focusing on the usage of video; it is time for brands to utilize videos as well.
Another key factor to consider in engagement is which channel is mostly used depending on the interests of your audience. Based on the data, we found that Facebook by far is the leading platform by 54%, followed by YouTube at 37% and Instagram is as low as 6%. So in sports, Facebook and YouTube are the two platforms worth focusing on for your strategy to reach out to a wider range of audience.
So as shown above the sports world causes quite some noise on social media; it is where fans interact with each other and cheer for their team. With social media listening, those brands can turn the noise into valuable insights, competitive intelligence, and sponsorship engagement. This could be what you need to hit a home run in your social media strategy for 2022; it is all about creating content that is appealing to consumers is the ultimate goal.