Twitter officially launches Advertising Services in the Middle East

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An example of Twitter's paid Promoted Tweets.
An example of Twitter’s paid Promoted Tweets.

Twitter announced the official launch of Twitter’s business activities in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at a press conference held in Dubai yesterday where they lifted the veil on their plans for the region.

Twitter will work in partnership with Connect Ads, a digital media and technology solutions provider based in Cairo, in MENA to keep companies and brands on the pulse of their consumers through Twitter’s suite of advertising and sales products.

With an active user base of 200 million people and 400 million tweets per day, Twitter has seen a sizzling growth of the messaging platform over the past year, including the region, where Twitter’s user base grew three times in that period. The micro-blogging site offers Arabic speakers the opportunity to tweet in their own language and has gained over the past few years some of very high profile users, including rulers, high government officials, sportsmen, poets, writers, academics and celebrities.

Shailesh Rao, Twitter’s vice president of international operations said: “We are excited to launch Twitter’s Promoted Products in the Arab region, one of Twitter’s fastest-growing regions, and where we continue to see users coming to Twitter to get closer to things they care about. Twitter has selected Connect Ads as our official partner in the Arab region, where they will be an extension of Twitter’s own sales team. This partnership is in line with our strategy which is now focused on building out our international presence.”

Connect Ads, an OTVentures portfolio company, will manage the sales and develop the MENA markets for Twitter and its Promoted Products through a series of education and training programs for agencies and large advertisers. Connect Ads boasts a strong legacy in launching global digital ad products in the region.

Mohamed El Mehairy, managing director of Connect Ads, said: “Brands from a very wide range of industries and sectors in the region can now use Twitter to share and interact with their client base and the public, steer conversations and strengthen their message on Twitter. Twitter is about everything that is buzz-worthy, and companies recognize that they have with Twitter a strong marketing platform that can help create positive sentiment around the brand, support them in reaching a new audience and strengthen brand loyalty.”

Businesses in the region will be able to drive results with Twitter Advertising. Connect Ads will offer the three products in Twitter’s Promoted Products suite to regional brand managers and marketers. These products, which include Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends, are currently available to marketers in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Latin America and from today have also become available for marketers in the MENA region.

Mohamed El Mehairy added: “With Twitter’s Promoted Products Suite, companies can build an engaged follower base that drives business. Equally important, they can also learn a few things about their customers by optimizing for country and interest-specific targeting. They can probably uncover this type of information through market research, albeit at higher expense and with more time and effort. Such gained insights can also help them create more targeted messaging for different markets and customers.”

Pepsi and Saudi telecom operator Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) are among its confirmed clients, the company said.

The growth of social media in the MENA region is the highest in the world, and according to a recent study by Deloitte, Digital media will more than double its share of the Arab world’s advertising market by 2015. Its Arab Media Outlook report said digital is the fastest growing media platform in the region and accounted for four percent of the total advertising spend in 2011. Deloitte expects digital to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35% over the next three years, generating about $580m across the region by 2015.

Though digital advertising is relatively underdeveloped in the region and accounts for only 4% of its total advertising spending, a young, tech-savvy population and rising Internet penetration points to significant potential for growth.

Twitter says the products it promotes typically have an audience response rate of 1 to 3 percent, significantly higher than traditional advertising rate of 0.1 to 0.5 percent.

“The two are interconnected – the rapid growth of our user base with the timing of why we want to help brands connect with that audience,” said Shailesh Rao.

So, in case you are wondering how to get started with advertising on Twitter to engage with your audience and get maximum exposure for your brand or product, here’s a nice article from the guys at Kissmetrics.com –  ‘How to Set Up Twitter Advertising to Build Awareness for Your Business.

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