As one of the largest holidays being celebrated in the Middle East, the holy month of Ramadan is an important cultural annual event for many in the region due to its religious and cultural importance. It is the time of the year in which families and friends gather for Iftar and Suhoor, spend time in prayer and understanding and celebrate with feasts and family time.
For marketers, it marks a month-long competition and increase in awareness, sales and brand power.
Interesting Facebook Ramadan Report gifographic (found here) that provides us with statistical information. For those with little time, we have provided a condensed version here.
The social media giant that is Facebook has continuously been at the forefront of the Ramadan communications and festivities. Facebook, and its subsidiary Instagram, have been used by Muslim and celebrating online users as one of the main ways to keep in touch with people (4.84x more mobile conversations during the holy month), to get inspired and shop.
There are more than 240 million Facebook users that celebrate the holy month, 86% of them are within the MENA region. While Instagram also enjoys an increase of popularity, the main social media platform being used is Facebook.
There is an annual increase every year during Ramadan in the average usage of Facebook; on a normal day, there are over 1.90 million hours spent on Facebook, however, during the holy month there is a 5% increase in daily usage of time per session spent on the platform. This provides marketers with an extra 57.6 million hours to attract and entertain consumers.
During the night, usage increases by 200% between 2:00 AM and 5:00 AM, making 3:00 AM the peak time to reach to targeted audiences.
The MENA region is the world’s fastest growing video market, and Ramadan increases the demand for video. There is also an 85% increase in Facebook mentions for watching TV globally, compared to the rest of the year.
There are over 100 million hours of video being watched on Facebook every day, and numbers increase during the holy month. This makes it the best time to create and spread video content, from trailers of Ramadan series to fun recipes.
Facebook users also most likely to post 2.1x more photos than the usual status update during this time. Mobile usage of the platform increases as well, making it vital for marketers to ensure content and ads are currently working for mobile applications.
Inspiring through Instagram
While Facebook holds the trophy for being the main platform users use to communicate and discuss what they are doing as well as a place of decision making, Instagram holds a stronger standing as the platform that inspires during the holy month. It has become known as the platform to go to for to be inspired and get creative with.
Marketers can use this to their advantage, those with established Instagram profiles can use their influence to increase brand awareness and inspire users with call-to action captions and links.
Spending in Ramadan increases during the holy month, with most items purchased being planned up to a month in advance; most purchases during the month are 1.63x more likely planned buys rather than impulse bought.
47% of the people surveyed in the UAE stated they began preparing and planning clothing purchases a month before. There is also competition, 57% of UAE users surveyed stated that their families compete to show off their style during the month.
Items are more likely to planned purchases are clothing, gold and jewelry while large items such as furniture are mostly impulse buys.
Tips on reaching the crowd:
Make it local
Ramadan is celebrated by a wide range of countries and regions, it is important to segment your audience and create content tailored to their culture and wants. It is also important to target audience members that are near physical locations, as most do not enjoy moving around as they fast.
The holy month is enjoyed and celebrated as a time of finding meaning through religion and communicating with friends and family. This makes it important to ensure a brand’s message will provide consumers with some kind of meaning, or shares one of the main pillars of the religious holiday (religion, charity, family, etc.) It will also help set the brand apart from others in the same category.
Inspire on Instagram and make decisions with Facebook
With Instagram, brands can inspire consumers with creative and interesting photo and video content. This can be used to lead consumers to Facebook in which consumers will have the ability to make informed decisions about the brand, and whether to purchase an item/service or not from them.
Facebook provides marketers with a broad audience, as well as a wide variety of tools to ensure ads reach the correct audience, enabling marketers to drive decision making in the platform.