Ramadan 2019 on social media and digital marketing

Ramadan is just around the corner, where social media and digital campaigns will be buzzing across the Middle East region. It’s also a key shopping period as well, even though most of the fixation is centered around food.

Given this pivotal time, every social media platform and digital marketing opportunity will be capitalizing on this.

Facebook still reigns supreme

Facebook claims that there are “57.6 million extra hours to capture attention in the Middle East during Ramadan”. There’s plenty of insights shared on their special Insights portal, these numbers will be key for digital marketers out there:

  • People in the Middle East spend 5% more time on Facebook during Ramadan vs any other month.
  • 25-34 year-olds drive 42% of interactions with healthy food topics on Facebook at Ramadan.
  • Facebook saw a 25% increase in conversations about food during the month of Ramadan.
  • and many more.

Given that people observing Ramadan will be up and early for their pre-Fasting meal before the morning prayers, you can expect a significant increase in content consumption on both Facebook and Instagram. This makes it a perfect opportunity to communicate your content at a unique time.

Building on the momentum, Facebook has also launched a dedicated hub ‘Shared by Facebook‘, gathering insights for marketers in the Middle East. It is a community hub that will help inspire Ramadan campaigns.

Hashflags return on Twitter

Remember the special emojis that show up whenever you used ‘#Ramadan‘ (Arabic version as well) on Twitter? Twitter has enabled them just in time before the Fasting period begins.

There’s been a year-on-year increase in the volume of conversation during Ramadan on Twitter. This year shouldn’t be an exception. Some of that could be attributed to overlap with key events (the FIFA World Cup 2014 took place parallel to Ramadan). Don’t expect them to be the catalyst for conversation.

Twitter has officially stated on their official blog that there have been 10M tweets since last month. Saudi Arabia takes the first spot worldwide for the volume of tweets, and the USA has joined the rankings for the first time.

For 2019, Twitter has added three different emojis: a crescent moon, a glass of yoghurt (which is commonly used to break the fast) and a lantern. These new emojis show up based on which hashtag you tweet and will be supported in 7 languages:

  • English
  • Arabic
  • Bahasa
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Hindi
  • and Bengali

Snapchat galore

Given the recent audience numbers for Snapchat from the Global digital Statshot Q2 2019 report, it’s a goldmine for advertisers. Snapchat has always released special geo-filters. Just in 2018, Ramadan was a trending topic in UAE and Saudi Arabia (Source: Snap chatter – May 2018).

One of many Ramadan geofilters on Snapchat

Of course, every Snapchat user will also get a message from ‘Team Snapchat’ containing their special Ramadan greeting. Keep an eye out for that.

Instagram joins in

This was just published on Harpers Bazaar Arabia, where Instagram has unveiled a special Ramadan camera effect ‘Lantern’. It’s the first time they’ve done something for Ramadan, and it incorporates subtle bokeh and crescent shapes that are associated with the Holy Month.

Beyond just the Iftar and Suhoor food photos, there’s a special #MonthForGood campaign launched by Instagram to encourage users to share their acts of kindness.

Video is king on and more

Last year, a good number of mobile games embraced Ramadan in their own way – special tournaments with limited time gifts and even themed challenges with rewards. If you’re still playing Asphalt 7 (iOS and Android), they’ve brought back their annual Ramadan Cup limited event.

Ramadan Cup in Gameloft’s Asphalt 7 (2019)
Ramadan Cup in Gameloft’s Asphalt 7 (2019)

Video consumption and viewing takes a significant leap, especially on YouTube given the number of special heart-warming campaigns but F&B brands. Regional YouTube stars will also be publishing videos as well, tapping into the hearts and minds of those observing Ramadan.

On this special occasion, Think With Google has published a collated Ramadan Digital Marketing cheat sheet that should help with planning your campaigns. As the mood shifts towards stories that resonate with people’s emotions, many brands will be leveraging data-driven insights to fuel their video campaigns.

What are you waiting for? Ramadan Kareem!

Header image credit: “Ramadan Mubarak” by Saima is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Author: Yasser Masood

Think of me as a grassroots community evangelist. Juggling social media while covering technology/digital trends across the Middle East and crossroads of society and culture, while unearthing other perspectives that pique my interests.

One thought

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