During the past 10 years the Egyptian Urban Development took a very important turn towards building new satellite cities around Cairo. This influenced a new trend in social media usage patterns. These patterns can be clearly seen in the rise of local/micro communities on various social media channels and specially on Facebook.
Consumer behavior and marketing as social sciences sheds the lights on the power of communities, word of mouth, expert advise, opinion leaders and the influence of a group of people on one’s behavior. Thinking about these elements and looking at these communities makes me wonder if marketers should walk away from mainstream media channels to focus on local and micro-communities.
Before jumping to conclusion let me walk you through some of the few examples I see on my daily newsfeed on Facebook of these hyperactive local communities:
- WhatsUp in Sheikh Zayed and 6 October (10,084 very active members)
- WhatsUp in AUC (26,467 very active members)
- Omdet Zayed (around 6,700 active members on the group and more scattered on pages and other more focused communities)
These groups are characterized by very distinct and important elements for any marketer; they are either location specific, which also might easily define income and expenditure levels of consumers within this community. Most of these groups evolved through opinion leaders which is commonly is the credible source of information and community members are very likely to replicate the behaviors and patterns of this opinion leaders.
People share brand experiences, promote “nearby” services and product based on reviews of usage, below are some examples from small business to big brands on the market are being assessed on these groups
Word of mouth and shared experiences are proven by science to be one of the most influential factor on consumer behavior, looking at the way members share their experiences and how that drives the community towards or away from a particular service or a product is simply fascinating.
Personalization, micro targeting allows marketers to speak to the very specific needs of the end consumers unlike mass media and even the traditional targeting methods on social media. Not only these groups and communities can be a great channel for communication but it creates a very intimate CRM platform for those brands who needs to be in touch with customers on a very intimate environment.
Last but not least I think putting some marketing efforts into such communities will not only be of great impact, it is very budget friendly.
Local is the future of global