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Mar, 2021     

Social Media Spend Goes Mainstream

Social media now accounts for almost half of the digital advertising spend in the MENA region. We expect that in 2021, social media ad spend will overtake non-digital/traditional media spending in our region.


1. The rise of digital media

Digital media has been a prominent sector for a while and with consumer preferences becoming more and more digital, the industry has shifted its focus in tandem. 75% of consumers are now starting their pre-purchase journey online with brand platforms, social media and online searches being the go-to channels. At the same time, marketeers are now allocating 70% of total spend on digital media.

2. The rising importance of social media in digital

Within digital media, social has emerged as an important channel of product discovery. Social media now accounts for almost half of the digital advertising spend in the MENA region. We expect that in 2021, social media ad spend will overtake non-digital/traditional media spending in our region. One of the drivers of this are SME’s investing more in this space.

Youtube, Facebook and Instagram are the dominant mediums of product discovery on social media in UAE. We have also seen Tiktok gaining ground rapidly in the region.

3. Social commerce gains adoption

With social media becoming a larger part of the discovery & selection stage, it is expected that this year, the whole consumer purchase journey will begin to move to these channels. Social media channels would provide an end-to-end buying experience on their platform. Chat-based buying or conversational commerce is also expected to grow rapidly. In UAE, already 90% consumers are aware of conversational buying and one-quarter of them have already bought something on the chat-based medium.