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Arab youth and Governments on Social Networks


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What would young Arab citizens love or hate about the social media presence of their respective governments?

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Arab youth and Governments on Social Networks

  1. 1. Love-HateNetworking“What young Arab citizens would love or hateabout the social media presence of governments?”Released: June 2011Report Authors: Ayman Itani, ThinkMedia Labs Tarek Kassar, Youngberry
  2. 2. Introduction:Ongoing sociopolitical unrest in several Middle East and NorthAfrica (MENA) countries underscores the value of social media andgovernment engagement with the region’s young Arab citizens. Themassive Arab youth population -- rightly described as a youth bulge-- can be a boon if properly tapped by state institutions andgovernment agencies. These institutions and agencies can capturethe minds and hearts of the young Arab adult population throughclever, effective and efficient use of social networking.To coincide with the Government Social Media Conferencetaking place in Dubai on June 7-8, 2011, ThinkMedia Labs andYoungberry teamed up to answer a fundamental question:“What would young Arab citizens love or hate about the socialmedia presence of their respective governments?” Page 2 of 9
  3. 3. About ThinkMedia Labs:ThinkMedia Labs is a premier digital and social media boutiqueagency based in Beirut. It aims to help enterprises and internationalbrands targeting Lebanon, the Gulf and the MENA region thrive bydrawing on Internet platforms to digitally capture their customersand audiences. It helps businesses link to the digital world andcreates plans for building, developing, and engaging communitiesand reshapes the way businesses connect with new customers andaudiences through user engagement campaigns and Internetmarketing.For more information, please visit: http://thinkmedialabs.comAbout Youngberry:Youngberry is a youth research and marketing agency thatconnects brands with young people in the MENA region throughsports, music, fashion, gaming, entrepreneurship programs andother interests. This connection could be at the workplace, theshopping mall, sports club, school or campus.For more information, please visit: Page 3 of 9
  4. 4. Methodology:Professional market researchers with more than eight years ofexperience prepared the survey questions. The survey applied anonline quantitative method using Youngberry’s powerhousesurveying network, YouthObserver℠. The 309 survey respondentsare between 12 and 29 years of age. They are all Arab citizens andresidents of the MENA region and Arabic-speaking. They all claiman active Facebook account as well.The survey was conducted in May 2011. Page 4 of 9
  5. 5. Used Keywords (based on Wikipedia):Love-hate Relationship: This term means interpersonalrelationship involving alternating emotions of love and hate. Itusually occur when people have completely lost the intimacy withina loving relationship yet still hold some passion for, or perhapssome commitment to, each other. In this report, we meant it to bethe relationship between government organizations and young Arabcitizens.Social Networks: This term means an online service, platform, orsite that focuses on building and registering social networks orsocial relations among people. The survey questions distinctivelytargeted Facebook social network users.Government: This term refers to a particular group of people, stateinstitutions and government agencies that control a state at a giventime, and the manner in which the arms of government arestructured.Young Arab Citizen: This term refers to young Arab nationals whoreside in the MENA region and are between 12 and 29 years ofage. Page 5 of 9
  6. 6. Survey ResultsIf you are referred to check a government Facebook Page, would you “Like” it? • 42% Yes, only those of my interest. • 27% Yes, only those with interesting content or campaigns. • 19% No, I’m not interested. • 8% Yes, any government body from my country. • 4% I don’t know.Why would you “Like” a government Facebook Page? • 43% I would like to show my support. • 21% I would like to get news updates of their activities. • 19% I would like to open a conversation with the government body. • 13% I would like to seek a job opportunity in government. • 3% I want to criticize their services. • 1% I have my other reasons / I don’t know.What are you expecting from a government body’s Facebook Page? • 47% I’m expecting they’d listen to our conversation and feedback. • 39% I’m expecting to get more information or news updates. • 14% I’m expecting other activities / I don’t know. Page 6 of 9
  7. 7. Why would you “Unlike” a government body Facebook Page? • 26% If they are not active anymore or have outdated information. • 25% If they are aggregating press releases only. • 17% If they are not listening to our conversations or engaging with us. • 13% If they are sharing information outside my area of interest. • 11% If they are not professionally moderating the conversation. • 8% I would for other reasons / I don’t know.Would you criticize a government body on its Facebook Page? • 38% No, not at all. • 21% No, I would provide a constructive feedback on request. • 16% No, I would advise instead. • 10% Yes, I would criticize or disagree politely. • 9% Yes, I could criticize or be rude if the situation is unbearable. • 6% I don’t think so / I don’t know. Page 7 of 9
  8. 8. Findings and AnalysisLOVE:77% of young Arab citizens love finding you on social networks;most of them would press “Like” on your Facebook Page. Hence,creating your presence on social networks is a vital andrecommended step.HATE:19% of young Arab citizens who know that you are on socialnetworks will not press “Like” on your Facebook Page. Don’t worry;you have the majority that you can start winning first.LOVE:43% of young Arab citizens would like to show you their support.Be there for them.HATE:3% of young Arab citizens could criticize your service on your page.Endorse their constructive criticism deliberately. Page 8 of 9
  9. 9. LOVE:86% of young Arab citizens love to see you communicating wherethey are present. They’d love to read more about your services andget to know your latest news and events. Be a storyteller, not anews aggregator.HATE:68% of young Arab citizens leave your Facebook Page if you arenot active and not listening to their conversations. This is somethingyou hate too, but you should always speak in their tone, updatethem on your news and events, listen to their conversations, andengage them if necessary.LOVE:75% of young Arab citizens are willing to support you and notcriticize you on your page. If you are still thinking of bad publicityand controlling this message, you are safer than on Facebookpages of companies or brands. Page 9 of 9