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Understanding the new Egypt consumer
While politics is consuming most of the conversations in Egypt, how can brands find a way to connect with the new Egypt consumer. Well, being supportive is a start.
December 14, 2011 3:11 by Precious de Leon
As the world watches Egypt step into a new chapter in its history, media monitoring company Social Eyez has compiled a Buzz Report analysing how the world of Social Media is bearing witness these events.
So are the people saying the Egypt movement is a success or that there’s still a long way to go? Research was conducted on both English and Arabic language and covers the different reactions of Egyptian users on Microblogs, Social Networking Sites, News Websites and Forums. It also includes a Sentiment-Analysis, examples of popular topics (Hashtags, user opinions etc.) and the share of voice.
And here’s what they found:
Because of the second round of elections currently being held, the topic of conversation is strongly focused on voting. Some claim the elections are “dirty” while others are simply persuading everyone to vote.
Meanwhile, there are bloggers who look beyond the elections and are starting to talk about the country’s need for “a new road map, not just elections”.
Overall, the study found that “despite the high controversy concerning the results, a vast majority of users were in favor of participating in the parliamentary elections. Over 75 percent of all monitored social media users in Egypt supported the elections and only 15 percent were opposing it by arguing that elections under the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) were not legitimate.”
Among the two microblogs, about two out of three users supported participation in the elections, only a third was against the vote because of the “unfair” conditions. Interestingly 70 percent continued protests even though they favored the elections.
“I’m against military rule and against the Ganzouri [new] cabinet and I support Tahrir Square and the immediate transfer of power to civilians, but I will participate in the elections.” – Hossam Bahgat, a prominent human rights campaigner.
Overall in the discussion most popular-used Hashtags were #Egypt, #Election and #egyelections. The protesters also used #SCAF, #NOSCAF and #tahrir.
The report found that the Facebook Page with the most discussions about the elections was the fanpage ‘We Are All Khaled Said’ with close to 165,000 ‘Likes’ and over 2,400 ‘People Talking about it’.
Originally this page was founded to honor a 28-year-old Egyptian who was tortured to death at the hands of two police officers. Since its launch this page serves as a common platform for all kind of protests against the regime and is also used as a popular exchange forum during the Egypt elections. The majority of posts were in Arabic language.
The rest of the report also shows popular quotes from Arabic language forums as well as news websites. News sites included Al Dostor (opposition news site), Al Wafd News (liberal news website), Masrawy (independent news site) and Youm7 (independent news site). All of which were pushing for more voters despite being wary of potential corruption or election rigging.
As for the forums, the study found that even niche websites were pushing for more general topics like voting and the need for democracy. These included Fatakat, which is a dedicated forum for women, and Christian Dogma, which is a prominent Christian forum.
The results are divided by the social media types. Most data was captured on Microblogs (71%), fewest on Forums with only 1%.
So what does it all mean for companies (regional and global) and small business owners?
Well, it looks like the full spectrum of the social media community who are involved or interested in Egypt’s evolution is focused on having an election that reflects the real sentiment of the people of Egypt and are fully prepared to take to the streets should this not happen.
Tensions are clearly high and from a business perspective, companies should be seen as supportive and not intrusive.
Carefully threading the balance of communication right now is essential. There are those like Orascom that have received mixed reception of its initiatives as it sparked negative sentiments when it put up a quote from Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi and then positive reviews for its project to disseminate SIM cards to farmers.
But some companies have made it subtle and well-received transition in communication:
Vodafone recently launched its Vodafone Literacy Campaign, which operates under the umbrella of the Vodafone Egypt Foundation and UNESCO, among other partners.
Coca-Cola Egypt’s Make Tomorrow Better
Pepsi’s Express Yourself