11. Eye Of Riyadh
This city news and marketing portal cleverly hooks its local community with useful content – from jobs and events to news and government announcements.
It sure helps to be in Riyadh, which – with a population of over five million – is the largest city in Saudi Arabia. For local info, Eye Of Riyadh is one of the first ports of call, hence the site’s impressive social media engagement and content sharing figures.
12. Sony Middle East
As the highest ranked tech company on our list, Japanese electronics firm Sony has tapped into the region’s taste for gadgets – running hot previews, tips and competitions on social media, including ‘Ramadan Surprises’ and ‘The DJ Challenge’. With intense competition in the TV, laptop and gaming market from Apple, Lenovo and Samsung, Sony is successfully utilising online media to grapple for a share of the region’s wallets.
13. Ana Zahra
Anazahra.com reaches out to modern Arab women with fashion tips, celebrity news and a sense of interactive community. Launched in 2012, the portal features popular editors, contributors, bloggers and some of the most influential personalities from the Arab world. The site attracts an average of 622,000 unique visitors and seven million page views daily.
14. Just Falafel
This fast-growing UAE falafel chain owes much of its success to social media. Recently, Just Falafel’s ‘Help Us Help You’ campaign was launched in January 2012, tying together social media, creative arts and academic support through an innovative initiative via its Facebook page.
The firm’s social media channels have seen hundreds of thousands of fans view the brand’s personal and humorous online videos and corporate clips.
Based in Dubai and broadcast to 21 countries, Fatafeat is the first 24-hour free-to-air cuisine television channel. Fatafeat’s programming features foodie menus and celebrity cooks, while the channel’s Facebook page allows readers to share recipe tips and watch the chefs in action on YouTube.
Kuwait’s largest telco is a pioneer in social media. The firm even celebrated International Social Media Day in June this year by gathering social media enthusiasts and entrepreneurs for face-to-face interaction and engagement with the Zain brand. The brand also recently held an ‘Instagram Daily Challenge’ where readers are encouraged to upload their social media photos each day to a new theme.
17. Blackberry Middle East
It’s been a bumpy time for Canadian smartphone maker, RIM. In the last full financial year, the firm made a net profit of $1.2 billion, markedly down from $3.4 billion in the previous year. BlackBerry lost significant share to other smartphones in 2011, which means the company has re-energised its focus on multi-million dollar marketing campaigns, competitions and online communities.
18. Saudi Tourism
With a population of over 27 million, Saudi Arabians love to travel domestically. The homebodies spent over $22.5 billion travelling their turf last year, visiting cultural hotspots such as Mecca and Medina. The Saudi Tourism information portal taps into this local market, as well as the Kingdom’s growing international visitor profile with pictorial teasers and lively debates on Facebook and YouTube.
19. Carnegie Mellon University
The prestigious US-founded Carnegie Mellon University opened its Qatar campus in 2004. The university has the advantage of leveraging its international campus base of more than 12,000 students, 90,000 alumni and 5,000 staff to boost its social media community. The school’s regular educational YouTube videos have proved to be a global hit.
As one of the largest pay TV networks in the MENA region, OSN uses its large subscriber base to tap into Western, Arabic and Filipino communities with regular entertainment listings updates and previews. OSN’s Facebook page gives users the chance to share their views on the latest ‘Suits’ series or box office films.