Digital Spring: MENA Governments Must Speak the Language of Social Media [REPORT]

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This report, published by Strategy&, reveals the ways in which social media is driving a digital revolution in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The report discusses how regional governments can adapt to and utilize social media to connect with their constituents by creating a social media strategy alongside traditional media channels. By enabling a social media experience that involves e-communication, e-contribution, e-participation, and e-inclusion, MENA governments can make room for progress and collaboration amid a very young population. Better yet, these governments can plug in to the needs of modern constituents.

Download the report to read more about how governments can benefit from the ongoing revolution in digital media and connect more effectively with citizens.

Executive Summary

The MENA region has successfully joined the social media revolution. With a cohort of young adults who are both multilingual and technology-savvy, the region has seen a significant rise in social media applications and networks, whether for social, commercial, or political purposes. The private sector is making diligent use of social media to reach key audiences and improve brand and marketing efforts.

Many regional governments, however, have only recently started to engage their constituents through social media, and this engagement is mostly reactive in nature. Although today’s social media users expect engagement that is transparent, crowd-sourced, and responsive, government engage­ment often tends to be static and slow, and is at times unable to gather user input properly. If governments hope to be heard by their constitu­ents, particularly the one-half to one-third of MENA populations that are under 25 and frequently glued to their mobile phones, they will need to learn the language of social media.

The region’s governments and other public-sector players have an opportunity to catch up with the private sector in this regard but must adopt a three-pronged approach to the challenge. First, they must create a social media strategy integrated with all of their traditional media efforts. Second, they must develop the capabilities to deliver social media services successfully to constituents across many areas. And third, they must ensure that their social media strategy and offering make room for future progress, evolution, and growth in a way that allows for the best possible interaction with constituents.

Key Highlights

  • Greater availability and usage of mobile and high-speed technology, combined with a younger population in the MENA region, is helping individuals and the private sector drive a revolution in digital media through social media.
  • Governments and other public-sector organizations have lagged behind the private sector, leading to a growing gap between what constituents expect in digital media and what governments deliver.
  • To close the gap, governments need to adopt a three-pronged approach, emphasizing a fully integrated model, investments in the right capabilities, and plans for long-term growth of social media.

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