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Social media a potent tool for SMBs

Ciaran Quilty EMEA Director copy

Sunaina Rana / Emirates Business

Having one of the fastest developing digital markets in the world, with an average of 120 million active Facebook users and 363,000 active Twitter users, UAE is offering corporates a potent tool in the guise of online social networking forums for unrivalled branding exercises.
As per the social media brand report, $1,048 average online spending has been reported by UAE consumers annually, whereas the Emirates firms spend upto an average of AED50,000 annually.
“This region is adopting latest trends in technology sector very fast. The quick adaptation is not only contributing to achieve the budding entrepreneurial ambitions, but also to the future of the region’s growth. The Emirates has more than 5.7 million Facebook users, and 51 percent of them are connected to a Small or Medium Business (SMB),” said Ciaran Quilty, EMEA Director SMB, Facebook.
During the recently-held Middle East’s largest technology, digital and entertainment event, STEP Conference 2016, Quilty presented a keynote on communication and social media’s potential to contribute towards the success of new flourishing small businesses.
In 2013, 58 percent of companies in the Middle East claimed to plan an increase their digital market budgets, of which 52 percent planned a budget increase of at least 20 percent.
Facebook, earlier this year, had announced that over 50 million SMBs around the globe have been using its services as their domain, as the Facebook page provide free and easy platform to use. The Facebook page also enables them to work on their mobile.
According to the report, the consumers are communicating with pages more, with an average of 2.5 billion comments on them every month.
“With more than 120 million people accessing Facebook across Middle East, it’s crucial that SMBs have an online presence. And we believe Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms for businesses large and small,” added Quilty.
An average of 60 percent of companies in the region make use of off-site social media and SEO (search engine optimisation) tools, whereas 98 percent of consumers in the Middle East are using Facebook as compared to 82 percent of companies in the region.
To boost the sales and measurable results the small businesses have been moving towards advertising on Facebook. Considering the other forms of advertising which includes – print, TV, radio – may result in expensive and hard to measure, whereas, Facebook ads help one keep a track and also reach the exact customers. As per the report the Facebook ads supports small businesses in reaching their target audience – resulting in a controlled finances and great outcome.
With the increasing number of Facebook user every month, the social media is a prime platform for the SMBs to connect to
their consumers and grow their businesses.

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