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Chatting with the man behind Dubai City Pass

Vali 'Shekson' talks about social media, creativity and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

December 11, 2012 1:31 by

What are three things that a brand HAS to do to be successful on Social Media?

Let’s see…firstly, you must be accessible. Reply to questions and comments. Re-tweet tweets that mention your company, brand or organization. Interact with people!

Secondly, you must be consistent! You absolutely must remain on the radar, so daily social media activity is absolutely essential. But at the same time, don’t be overwhelming. We’ve all “unfollowed” a Twitter user who feels compelled to tweet 20 times per hour. It’s annoying. This is one area where common sense comes into play.

Thirdly, I believe you must provide some sort of value to the people! People aren’t going to follow you, like you or pin you if you don’t provide value. Value comes in many forms. It’s tips and information. It’s humor. It’s special offers and discounts. If 9 out of 10 tweets are purely promotional in nature, that’s going to leave a bad impression. Social media is not the place for aggressive marketing techniques.

Having been included in Top 100 Arabs on Twitter in terms of influence I have to ask you. Do you think active/influential people on Social Media have any kind of social responsibility of spreading certain messages?

Absolutely. Each person has a cause or organization that’s close to their heart. Pick a cause and support it! And this isn’t just for entrepreneurs or the most successful, influential individuals out there – everyone should do this! Advocate! Donate! Do something positive for the world! It’s not only the “right thing to do;” studies prove time and time again that people are more apt to support a company, brand, organization or individual if they make a concerted effort to help others in some way, shape or form.

How is the e-commerce industry in Dubai/UAE currently? How can it be better and what do you see in the foreseeable future?

The e-commerce industry in Dubai is thriving, but I see lots of room for development and improvement. Dubai has really come into its own in recent years, especially when it comes to tourism, but I see more and more development in this area and I expect we’ll continue to see lots of growth! This will bring lots of improvement, as more competition means better prices for consumers and companies work to offer higher quality products and services.

What do you love and hate most about being an Entrepreneur?

That’s a difficult question, as I love so many things about being an entrepreneur! Most of all, I love the feeling of accomplishment and achievement. It’s wonderful to give birth to an idea – there’s that excitement. The possibilities! Then, you nurture that idea as it comes to life on the drawing board. You continue to nurture and grow that idea until it ultimately becomes a reality. There’s something really wonderful about that development process. It’s a wonderful moment when you realize: “I did this. This was my idea. My dream. And it’s real.


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