Facebook shared insights and data from Facebook IQ research that examines Ramadan across MENA, showing how consumers across the region are making decisions during the month of Ramadan, with mobile technology playing a key role.
Ramadan is a time to connect with family, faith and friends and encourages people to be more social. Like many things in our lives, Ramadan has been influenced by the rise of new technology – especially mobile technology. Last year, it was discovered that conversations around Ramadan are growing. In comparison to 2016’s seven-week discussion period, conversations about Ramadan started early this year and are expected to last for nine weeks on Facebook amongst UAE’s 8.4 million monthly active users. This trend continues to grow and can be split into three distinct phases.
Phase 1 – Discovery and Inspiration (4 weeks pre-Ramadan)
The pre-Ramadan phase is all about discovery, which is hugely important in a world where people are spending more time on mobile apps than browsers. Fashion is one area where people start planning early. 47% of people surveyed in the UAE begin planning their clothing purchases in the month before Ramadan. Clothing purchases are 1.63x more likely to be planned than impulse buys.
When it comes to Ramadan, Instagram is a place of imagination, artistry and creative power. Where Facebook is often about the more practical aspects of Ramadan – advice, offers, conversation – Instagram is where Ramadan fashion and gifting is put on display. In fact, people talk about fashion 7x more times on Instagram than on Facebook.
Phase 2 – Mobile and Visual (3-4 weeks of Ramadan)
The second phase is about connecting via mobile and visual. During Ramadan, people are most often to be found on their smartphone, posting and sharing images and videos.
Ramadan is a mobile-first month in the UAE, especially for young people, with people sharing Ramadan experiences via mobile, images and video. 4.84x more mobile conversations taking place during Ramadan compared to Non-Ramadan months in the MENA region. Moreover, watching television is among the most popular pastimes during Ramadan, as families gather together to watch specially commissioned shows. But the TV is no longer the only screen in today’s living room. 71% of Facebook users in the UAE say they’re on Facebook while watching TV, with that number rising to 77% for Instagram.
Phase 3 – Shopping decisions for Eid (1 week)
The final phase is all about last minute opportunities at Eid. People are looking for last-minute gifting and travel opportunities. 70% of people in the UAE say they rely on Facebook for gift ideas. Although shopping continues to happen throughout the day, 3 am seems to be the time where usage peaks on Facebook during Ramadan and the optimal time for advertisers to gain the consumer’s attention. Moreover, travel is an essential ingredient for millions during Ramadan. Whether it’s taking advantage of the long weekend at Eid, there are over 20m interactions with content related to either going on or planning a journey in the UAE and KSA take place on Facebook. Planning travel tends to take place from the months of August-September.
Tips for brands to maximize interactions with people during Ramadan:
1.Facebook is where decisions are made – Whether it’s travel transactions and late night shopping or discussing the challenges of Ramadan fasting and health and fitness, Facebook is where people come to make decisions or seek advice. As well as reaching a broad audience, consider the tools and solutions that can drive specific actions. And think about the peak time to engage your audience.
2.Inspire on Instagram – The creative nature of Instagram makes it the perfect place to inspire. Compared to Facebook, Instagram sees a higher concentration of conversations around Iftar, desserts and recipe ideas, as well as fashion, cars and home. While Facebook shows Ramadan as it is; Instagram shows the Ramadan that could be.
3.Trailer Your TV Show on Facebook- With over 100m hours of video watched every day, Facebook has become a powerful mobile video platform. And our research shows that video ads on Facebook act as a ‘trailer’ for TV, increasing brand metrics like recall and awareness. With conversations about Ramadan TV beginning at the end of April, it’s crucial that broadcasters tap into this audience to trailer their TV premieres. And thanks to our Reach & Frequency pricing, you won’t pay any more to reach your audience during Ramadan than any other time of the year.
4.Tell Stories with Instagram – More than 150 million Instagrammers use Instagram Stories daily. And people are highly engaged with businesses. In fact, one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. Stories are a great way to capture people’s attention and imagination, and it’s now possible to place sponsored content in the Stories section of Instagram’s homepage.
5.Make it Meaningful – In a mobile world, we have more opportunities than ever to reach people. But there has never been more competition for our attention. Today, relevance is key when it comes to cutting through the noise. That means taking advantage of Facebook’s people-based targeting tools, as well as developing creative that reflects people’s real interests. Start by using our Audience Insights API to find out more about who your customers really are.
6.People Love Local – When it comes to buying food or clothes, most people have a limit on how far they’ll travel to a store. With Facebook’s Local Awareness ads, all businesses can target people within a certain radius of their store, which means your ads will only reach the people who are most likely to take action.
7.Don’t Just Go Big – Go Global – Just a few years ago, most businesses were limited to serving customers on the same street, neighbourhood or region. But with over 1bn people on Facebook connected to a business in another country36, it’s now possible for any business to reach people in a new country. With International Lookalike Audience it’s even possible to target people on Facebook in a new country who share similar characteristics to your current customer base, making it easier than ever to find low-cost leads.