According to a recent survey by YouGov and dudu.com, B2B interactions on social networking sites in the GCC are set to increase in 2013. The survey revealed that 35 per cent of internet users in the GCC use social networking sites for business purposes, of which KSA represents the highest at 43 per cent. As an increasing number of internet users utilise social media to interact with and reach out to brands, and timely responses encourage users to seek out their favourite brands and engage in a conversation.
Alibek Issaev, founder and owner, Dudu.com said, “B2B interactions on social networking sites have a different approach than B2C and can be utilised to generate awareness, build thought leadership and strengthen the brand.”
Dudu.com conducted the survey to understand the behaviour of internet users in the GCC. As brands begin to explore the potential of their presence on social networking sites, the efforts to maintain a constant channel of communication are visible across the board.
“Communication is personalised, responses are immediate and content shared is tailor-made to suit their target audience,” Issaev added.
93 per cent of users in GCC using social networking sites for business purposes find it effective and useful. Kuwait represents the highest in this category at 96 per cent. 16 per cent of users in the GCC use social networking sites to discuss products, services and brands. KSA and Bahrain represent 19 per cent in this category individually. Furthermore, 55 per cent of users on social networking sites in GCC are bilingual, 20 per cent trilingual and 9 per cent quadrilingual.
The study was based on a sample of 2,632 respondents from the GCC, 32 per cent of which were locals and 68 per cent expats. The respondents to the survey are professionals at mainly supervisory and medium to senior managerial levels, and work in various fields including: education and academia (11 per cent), banking and finance (9 per cent), government and civil service (6 per cent), advertising, marketing and public relations (5 per cent), IT (5 per cent), oil, gas and petrochemicals (5 per cent).
Other highlights from the survey found that 62 per cent of users in the region use social networking sites to stay in touch with real life friends. 39 per cent use it for connecting with new people, of which 32 per cent use it for connecting with new people from different cultural backgrounds. Only 30 per cent use it to share videos and photos.