Government Social Media Conference - June2011

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Ongoing sociopolitical unrest in several Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
countries underscores the value of social media and government
engagement with the region’s young Arab citizens. The massive Arab youth
population -- rightly described as a youth bulge -- can be a boon if properly
tapped by state institutions and government agencies. These institutions
and agencies can capture the minds and hearts of the young Arab adult
population through clever, effective and efficient use of social networking.
To coincide with the Government Social Media Conference taking place
in Dubai on June 7-8, 2011, ThinkMedia Labs and Youngberry teamed
up to answer a fundamental question:
“What would young Arab citizens love or hate about the social
media presence of their respective governments?”

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Government Social Media Conference - June2011

  1. 1.      Love-hate networking“What young Arab citizens would love or hate about the socialmedia presence of governments?”June 2011Report Authors:Ayman Itani, ThinkMedia LabsTarek Kassar, Youngberry Page  1  of  8    
  2. 2.      Introduction:Ongoing sociopolitical unrest in several Middle East and North Africa (MENA)countries underscores the value of social media and governmentengagement with the region’s young Arab citizens. The massive Arab youthpopulation -- rightly described as a youth bulge -- can be a boon if properlytapped by state institutions and government agencies. These institutionsand agencies can capture the minds and hearts of the young Arab adultpopulation through clever, effective and efficient use of social networking.To coincide with the Government Social Media Conference taking placein Dubai on June 7-8, 2011, ThinkMedia Labs and Youngberry teamedup to answer a fundamental question:“What would young Arab citizens love or hate about the socialmedia presence of their respective governments?” Page  2  of  8    
  3. 3.      About ThinkMedia Labs:ThinkMedia Labs is a premier digital and social media boutique agencybased in Beirut. It aims to help enterprises and international brandstargeting Lebanon, the Gulf and the MENA region thrive by drawing onInternet platforms to digitally capture their customers and audiences. Ithelps businesses link to the digital world and creates plans for building,developing, and engaging communities and reshapes the way businessesconnect with new customers and audiences through user engagementcampaigns and Internet marketing.About Youngberry:Youngberry is a youth research and marketing agency that connects brandswith young people in the MENA region through sports, music, fashion,gaming, entrepreneurship programs and other interests. This connectioncould be at the workplace, the shopping mall, sports club, school orcampus.Methodology:Professional market researchers with more than eight years of experienceprepared the survey questions. The survey applied an online quantitativemethod using Youngberry’s powerhouse surveying network,YouthObserver℠. The 309 survey respondents are between 12 and 29years of age. They are all Arab citizens and residents of the MENA regionand Arabic-speaking. They all claim an active Facebook account as well.The survey was conducted in May 2011. Page  3  of  8    
  4. 4.      Used Keywords (based on Wikipedia):Love-hate Relationship: This term means interpersonal relationshipinvolving alternating emotions of love and hate. It usually occurs whenpeople have completely lost the intimacy within a loving relationship yet stillhold some passion for, or perhaps some commitment to, each other. In thisreport, we meant it to be the relationship between governmentorganizations and young Arab citizens.Social Networks: This term means an online service, platform, or site thatfocuses on building and registering social networks or social relationsamong people. The survey questions distinctively targeted Facebook socialnetwork users.Government: This term refers to a particular group of people, stateinstitutions and government agencies that control a state at a given time,and the manner in which the arms of government are structured.Young Arab Citizen: This term refers to young Arab nationals who residein the MENA region and are between 12 and 29 years of age. Page  4  of  8    
  5. 5.      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  5  of  8    
  6. 6.      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  6  of  8    
  7. 7.      Findings and AnalysisLOVE:77% of young Arab citizens love finding you on social networks; most ofthem would press “Like” on your Facebook Page. Hence, creating yourpresence on social networks is a vital and recommended step.HATE:19% of young Arab citizens who know that you are on social networks willnot press “Like” on your Facebook Page. Don’t worry; you have the majoritythat you can start winning first.LOVE:43% of young Arab citizens would like to show you their support. Be therefor them.HATE:3% of young Arab citizens could criticize your service on your page.Endorse their constructive criticism deliberately. Page  7  of  8    
  8. 8.      LOVE:86% of young Arab citizens love to see you communicating where they arepresent. They’d love to read more about your services and get to know yourlatest news and events. Be a storyteller, not a news aggregator.HATE:68% of young Arab citizens leave your Facebook Page if you are not activeand not listening to their conversations. This is something you hate too, butyou should always speak in their tone, update them on your news andevents, listen to their conversations, and engage them if necessary.LOVE:75% of young Arab citizens are willing to support you and not criticize youon your page. If you are still thinking of bad publicity and controlling thismessage, you are safer than on Facebook pages of companies or brands. Page  8  of  8    

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