With so many tutorials, online resources and tips about managing social media, it can be easy to assume that what works for English speaking users applies to an Arab audience as well. Although there are common social media strategies, specific issues need to be taken into consideration when targeting an Arabic speaking audience. Here are some top tips to keep in mind from our very own Arabic speaking social media producer at Advocacy Assembly:
1. Language - Even though Arabic is the spoken language across the MENA region, not all of the countries use the same dialect. If you're targeting a specific country, research how people from that country speak on social media and try to use their way of communication. However, if you're targeting several countries that use different dialects, then you're better off using the formal Arabic (Fosha) to ensure everyone understands what you are promoting.
2. Timing - Remember that not all Arabic speakers live in the Arab world, they are scattered across the globe.This means that you need to consider different time zones when considering the timing of your posts. Try to experiment with different timings to see what works best for your audience - no matter where they are.
3. Content - As with most social media strategies, visual content is key. However in the Middle East “ community issues” is one of the most popular topics among users, this can determine how you approach certain topics so that readers can relate to what you are discussing.
4. Promote other’s content - Because there isn't an abundance of online Arabic content, promoting Arabic resources from people in your field can help boost your followers and increase engagement and collaboration with new organizations.
5. Audience preferences - Learn from your analytics! Just because something is trending on social media in a certain country doesn't mean it will appeal to your entire audience. Each country in the Arab region might have unique requirements in terms of content and topics. It wouldn’t hurt to tailor your posts for certain countries every once in awhile.
This blog was written by Esraa Haidar. Esraa is Advocacy Assembly’s Arabic Social Media Lead. She has produced and hosted “Evening” - a TV show focused on women’s rights. Esraa previously worked at SMEX.org, leading the development of Tasharuk.net. Esraa Blogs at 7ijabi.wordpress.com and is a TEDx Speaker. For more follow Esraa on @esraahaidar.