A delightful social media getaway with BPG: 3 key social media points reinforced


3 social media strategies

So get this… Bates Pan Gulf (BPG), one of the largest marketing solutions groups in the MENA region, invited the Emaar crew to attend their company off-site. The off-site was centered all around social media. And since Emaar embraces social media as an extremely important mechanism for engaging their consumers, we were pretty psyched to see what was in store for us.

Other than the terrific hospitable attitude of everyone in the BPG team (Thank you Mr. Avi Bhojani and Arif Ladhbhoy :)) there was also some interesting conversation around key social media strategies and trends. Speakers had been invited from different regions to share their views on social and talk about what they had been doing.

They key thing that I was glad to see reinforced there was that attitudes towards social are changing in this region. No longer is it all about the traditional approach to social which is…”I WANT MORE FANS!!”

Fans are definitely a good thing. But its not the only thing. And with bigger players now entering the market here, I wanted to lay down three key points that must be considered while making a social media strategy.

Build your strategy around engagement not Likes

Comscore and Facebook have reported the power of a like multiple times in the last couple of years.  But they don’t mean get as many likes as you can. Trust me that’s guaranteed. They stress the importance of the value of a like you receive, because through it  you are able to connect to your customer. You are able to understand what they want, account for their needs and improve your offering. In turn you get happy people buying more of what you have to offer, amplifying your brand message and really help you gain more exposure virally.

In any successful social media strategy the buy-in of the people and therefore engagement is necessary. So always ask yourself this when you make a strategy – will people interact and talk about the product in a positive light. Will it be insightful and will others learn from it, rally behind it and amplify it. If not, then chances are you aren’t on the right track.

Monitor through and through

Determing ROI on your efforts is ofcourse required. You’ve got to monitor how you are doing. But please know that Im not asking you to monitor your social media advertising efforts. Any one can tell you the Cost Per Click and the number of impressions your ad unit has received. Im asking you to measure the conversation created by your strategy. That’s when tools become important. And theirs no dearth of good tools out there. Check out this article on a few of them 

It is only by measuring the conversation around your efforts that you can truly conclude whether they were successful or not.


Im sorry I had to use all caps for this last one. The way we’ve started to consume information has changed already. 50% of the facebook traffic in our region gets accessed over a mobile device. This means that for the 50% of those visitors, your normal facebook ads are a waste. They never see them.

While the FB stat is just an example, you have to realize that it highlights an increasingly important trend – Regular access to consume such info will be through a mobile device. There is no doubt about that. I don’t think that laptops and computers will ever go out of style but their use will be more for work or for pure entertainment purposes (like watching tv, downloading, etc). Mobile is here to stay for a while. So think about how you can make sure your strategy leverages on that.  For starters a few key things you can think of are:

–       getting your campaign sites optimized for mobile devices

–       think about strategies that leverage taking photographs and videos; all standard features of the phone

–       building facebook and twitter permissions in your mobile apps

–       leveraging on check-ins as a promotional feature

The above are just a few strategies but they’ll get you going for sure.

Anyways that’s what I have to say about that. In the end, just remember that when it comes to social media, as it is in life… knowing the greatest amount of people doesn’t count the most. Its how these people think about you and talk about you what matters the most.

p.s. If any one from BPG ends up reading this entry…..A big thank you for your hospitality once again.

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