To better understand how to create meaningful connections during Ramadan, Facebook IQ, Facebook’s insights and research division in partnership with Kantar, has unveiled findings of a study conducted during Ramadan 2019 that looks into user behaviour and purchase decisions in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt. The study was conducted online across nine countries, engaging with over 7,000 respondents, including 2,780 from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
In Egypt, Kantar surveyed 952 people in Egypt who reported that they observed Ramadan in 2019, from May 5 to June 3. The research revealed that while many of Ramadan’s moments happen in person, values and traditions are equally expressed online.
The research finds that many communities that observe Ramadan use Facebook’s family of apps throughout this period; in fact, 95% of survey respondents in Egypt say they use at least one Facebook platform—often to connect with their community and loved ones.
Messaging apps play a big part in staying connected, with 85% of global survey respondents saying they use these apps to communicate with friends and family during Ramadan.
‘’And now that the World Health Organization* is recommending communities practice social distancing, people are turning to communication services like Messenger and WhatsApp to connect, and we’re seeing this behavior surge around the world. For example, as of March 17 globally, we’ve seen the most significant increases in Messenger usage across group calls; 70% more people are participating in group video calls, and time in group video calls has doubled globally, week over week. Based on this behavior, it’s likely that many Ramadan activities will happen virtually this year as observers lean on technology to preserve traditions.’’
To help marketers join the conversation in meaningful ways, such as by highlighting the values of Ramadan and sharing content that’s truly relevant to people’s needs during this holy month, here are some tips they shared:
‘’it’s a time dedicated to introspection, altruism, celebration and camaraderie. And now more than ever, as the world faces COVID-19, the Ramadan teachings of caring for one another in times of crisis shed light and compassion across many communities. Because of this, Ramadan observers deserve to be met by brands in a similarly respectful and thoughtful manner.’’
Stay in touch with your customers
Proactively share important information with your customers using email, your website, Facebook Page, Instagram business profile or other ways in which you typically communicate. Remember that you can pin important posts to the top of your Facebook page for quick viewing. You might include information about the measures you’re taking to make your premises or products safe, or how you will handle customer inquiries if there are expected delivery delays.
Try hosting online events
In case you need to postpone or cancel any planned events as a result of an outbreak, try hosting a webinar or organise live sessions on social channels such as Facebook or Instagram.
Prepare a customer service plan
Prepare for incoming questions and requests so you can be responsive and transparent with your customers during this challenging period. Consider drafting templated responses for your emails or set up instant-reply messages with information you expect your customers will be looking for. Connect with your customers for free in real time using Instagram Direct messages, Messenger or setting up a WhatsApp Business Profile.
Provide a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Prepare a list of responses for questions your customers are likely to ask, and provide as much detail and reassurance as possible in your answers. Include information such as how you are managing cancellations, refunds, delivery, postponed events or subscription payments.
‘’Brands have an opportunity to create meaningful connections during Ramadan by being of service to observers and taking stands on the values and issues important to the community. This should be done in a respectful way because, while business opportunities exist during the month, it is a special time for the community, particularly now when there’s a crisis at hand.’’