While social media sites are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, there is one region in particular where social media has nearly unlimited growth potential. That region is the Middle East and although there has been much concern surrounding the use of social networks for protest demonstrations, social media sites provide great opportunities for businesses of the region. In the Middle East the number of social media users has already doubled in the past year. Now, the question is whether businesses of the region will take advantage of social networks and use them as a brand building tool.

Almost sixty percent of firms in the Middle East have some sort of social media presence designed to build relationships with their potential customers or clients. This number is expected to rise as many companies want to incorporate social media into their advertising strategies. Many local businesses have realized social media allows much more than basic advertising, it also creates personal interaction with actual consumers. In the Gulf region’s biggest technology exhibition, there was a section entirely dedicated to digital marketing and how to use social media to boost your business. This shows the growing importance of social media in business marketing strategies of the region.

Local and regional companies are not the only businesses using social media in the Middle East. Many foreign companies that are trying to start business operations in the Middle East are also using social networks as a crucial part of their marketing strategies. This is happening in many countries throughout the Middle East including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. Despite this enthusiasm in social media and digital marketing, only about four percent of all Middle Eastern advertising spending goes towards digital campaigns. However, this may change as an increasing number of international companies and local businesses integrate social media to their marketing plans in the Middle East over the next years.

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