How to Make Your Ramadan Social Media Campaign Stand Out


Although social media has the ability to connect people from all four corners of the globe, every country has its own behavioural quirks, etiquettes and of course high and low seasons. And for us, living at the heart of the MENA region – one of our peak times is the holy month of Ramadan.

The busiest marketing period in the Muslim world, brands in every industry have always strived to be a part of the Ramadan conversation. These days, as brands attempt to fight their way through the clutter to convey their messages, the battleground for such activity is social media.

Up until a few years ago, this was still a relatively untapped niche. However more recently, it has become increasingly saturated and more challenging to engage with your audience, with traditional messaging no longer having the impact it once did.

So how do you capture your audience’s attention and pique their interest during Ramadan, given their social media feeds are cluttered with the same old messages?

One strategy I noticed has gained popularity during the holy month is the use of music and an emphasis on storytelling in videos. There was also an increase in celebrity cameos. Did any particular campaign grab your attention?

This was also the first Ramadan following the launch of Instagram Stories, with myself and many in our industry keeping a watchful eye on how brands, influencers and users responded to this new addition and the possibilities it provides.

One thing we learned is some brands are utilising Instagram Stories in a similar way to Snapchat – as a reel in for articles. Other brands are using it to seed teaser campaigns. Due to the nature of my work, I can never be biased about any platform – but it was evident that Instagram Stories became a key contributor to the social media landscape this Ramadan – garnering up to 250 million stories each day around the world.

And this begs the question – how will the advent of Instagram Stories shape future campaigns? In 2016 – we worked on a Ramadan campaign for the NAS Sports Ramadan Event under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE. The objective was simple: how do you bring fitness back into the lives (and minds) of people during the holy month? 

Our campaign was built around live, front-seat coverage through live video and photo editing, sports commentary and Snapchat stories, with the objective of attracting a larger audience both online and offline.

And the numbers were impressive. We created over 3,000 posts, achieved over 1.9 million impressions across all channels and reached 65,964 users. By the end of the month – all of the client’s social platforms had an increased following of close to 25%. So considering the advent of the most recent changes in live coverage, had Instagram Stories been available back then – we would have surely expanded our reach across the digisphere.

Next year, I’m predicting a Stories battle, with brands vigorously competing for their audience’s attention. So in preparation for Ramadan 2018, I leave you with two very important pieces of advice:

  1. It’s never too early to start planning for your next Ramadan campaign. 
  2. Focus on understanding the social behaviours of your followers and tailor a campaign that talks to them directly.

 

Heba Al Nabulsi is Alsayegh Media’s Head of Social Media – Semi Government Sector. One of the agency’s original staff members, she won the ‘Best Social Media Campaign – Travel, Leisure and Retail’ at the Internet Awards Middle East 2012 for her work with Global Village, Dubai.  Heba hashtags everything in her life, with #JustSaying being a particular favourite.