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Regional brands not taking advantage of Twitter


Providing rich and engaging online content for consumers is vital

July 13, 2014 3:13 by

By Nadine Sayegh

Several regional brands are yet to tap into Twitter, since they feel a fast-paced platform cannot add value to existing strategies.

Kippreport speaks with Karim Khalifa, CEO and co-founder of Digital Republic – a digital advertising agency with offices in Cairo and Dubai – to find out why they are mistaken.

Khalifa says: “Service providers, such as telecommunication, banking and aviation brands, should focus, first and foremost, on providing stellar customer support that matches the quality levels of their phone and email support, if not exceeds it. For others, such as FMCG, fashion and beauty, Twitter should be more of a tool that showcases their products in a creative, more engaging manner that appeals to their target demographics, in addition to what they, as brands, stand for.”

While some service providers, such as Etisalat, have tapped into Twitter for customer support and have, so far, been successful, other brands, such as Canon, do not even have a presence on it. Khalifa offers an explanation as to why they may not be too keen on tweeting. “One reason is due to the nature of Twitter’s usage – often a politics-focused tool in the wake of the Arab Spring.”

However, he adds: “Having said that, overall, there is room for brands’ offerings on Twitter to grow and we are already starting to see an upward growth trend. Twitter usage during the 2014 football World Cup is a clear indicator of this.”

Meanwhile, one brand, according to Khalifa, which is actively – and successfully – using Twitter is Emirates Airline. “A successful use of Twitter entails providing a brand’s audience with rich and engaging content, beyond what it usually communicates on its Facebook presence.  Emirates Airline has managed to make an impact on Twitter, with its strong customer support and engaging content relying on its offerings and strong sponsorships.”

He concludes that an alternate way of successfully using Twitter is to use a ‘live marketing’ technique, whereby brands stay relevant by attending important events and tweeting while there.

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