With 36 million users, Facebook is the most popular social media channel in Egypt, and it is dominated by these top five industries as far as fan base and engagement: services, FMCG foods, retail, e-commerce and electronics sectorAccording to global social media analytics company Socialbakers, these top five industries have the highest total number of local fans, according to data the company collected by evaluating the largest 200 pages in Egypt by fan count in October 2017.
In general, companies resort to Facebook as an alternative, but soon to be traditional, marketing tool, in order to raise brand awareness, cultivate a community and boost conversions, according to Kareem Gamroor, managing director at Peace Cake Productions, a content creation and production company.
As the most popular social media channel in Egypt, Facebook makes it easier for companies to measure engagement and acquire insights while gaining low-cost exposure and wider reach, explains Muhammad Mansour, business development manager at The Planet digital creative agency.
When looking at the services sector — which includes agencies, housing, mail and shipping, transportation and wellness — online marketplace OLX Egypt tops the list of Egyptian pages with the most fans, exceeding 3.5 million. It is closely followed by Enas Omar Beauty Center and employment and youth empowering platform iCareer.
Everyone says they want go viral, but not everyone needs that.
“It is important for these companies to appear like they are active and constantly around for consumers. They focus more on interactions and there is always something new coming up,” Gamroor says.
The FMCG foods sector is topped by three snack brands, namely potato chips products Zeego and Lion, and chocolate wafer bar KitKat. Each product’s Facebook page has close to 3 million fans.
“The challenge for companies in that sector is that they always need to stay on the top of people’s minds. They want to be tied to a certain sentiment. With bigger companies, it is not just about pushing sales [through Facebook], but about maintaining the brand’s sentiment in people’s minds,” Gamroor elaborates.
The food and beverage sector in general tries to maintain its presence on social media.
“Given the rise in franchising and traffic on our streets, people resort to being online all the time,” says Salma Hamdy, account director at The Planet. As a consumer, she uses online platforms to check for food delivery menus and where to get food from.
“Local products are growing because imported products have become expensive. Local brands want to prove that they are just as good as the imported ones that people cannot necessarily afford now,” Mansour says.
The retail sector, which consists of auto dealerships, beauty and drug stores, electronics, fashion retailers, hypermarkets, supermarkets and sporting goods, has also found its niche on Facebook.
Ceramics and porcelain retailer Mazloum has just under 3 million fans, and is followed by electric hardware retailer B.Tech and the former’s competitor Aba Al Dahab.
Since Facebook has made it easier to target certain audiences at certain times, companies in the retail sector can “get on people’s high moods and reach them at the most appropriate times,” Gamroor says.
The e-commerce sector is the industry that has truly “found life on social media,” he adds.
Online shops Souq, Jumia and Fashion Jumia dominate the sphere, with Souq.com having over 5.6 million fans. Jumia follows with almost half that amount, while Fashion Jumia Egypt enjoys a total of 2.9 million fans.
“Having these brands online makes it easier, especially with the recent price hikes, for consumers to compare products and prices,” Mansour says.
Hamdy adds that going to the mall and moving from one shop to another requires the luxury of time and patience, which not many people have nowadays given their busy schedules and traffic.
Electronics have also built quite a presence on Facebook, topped by Samsung Egypt with a whooping 8.6 million fans, Huawei Mobile with 5.8 million and Unionaire with 3 million. This industry saw the social medium as a way to make things more convenient for consumers, also as a means to compare prices and gadget features online.
Although it seems like being on Facebook is essential, a company or brand’s presence on the platform needs to be channeled and strategized.
Facebook allows brands to talk to consumers, instead of talking at them through newspapers and billboards, opening the space for more engagement while making it all more convenient for consumers.
“A lot of companies need to remember why they are on Facebook and what their goal is,” Gamroor warns. “Everyone says they want to go viral, but not everyone needs that.”