Effective Mobile Consumer Engagement is Key to the Success of Social Brands, Agree Media & Tech Giants at the Social Media Summit 2015
Experts from top media & tech companies including Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, CNN, Leo Burnett & others convene at the 2nd edition of the conference to address social media challenges
Dubai, UAE, April 23, 2015: The much-awaited 2nd edition of the Social Media Summit – the largest event of its kind in the Middle East – opened today attracting more than 300 senior delegates, social media marketers, communicators, managers, directors and executives at the region’s leading conference on social media, held at Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach.
Hosted and organized by AreebaAreeba, the Social Media Summit 2015 brought together delegates from the world’s most sought after media and tech companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, CNN and Leo Burnett amongst others, to exchange views on a number of issues facing professionals and marketers across the social media landscape in the region.
Ayman Irshaid, Founder and CEO of AreebaAreeba, opened the conference - welcoming the delegates and thanking the sponsors for their support. “AreebaAreeba, as the Middle East’s leading social network, is committed to actively strengthening the dialogue on connectivity and engagement – as the foremost pillars defining the growth and success of any brand or business. Our theme this year is “The Impact of Storytelling on the Future of Content Marketing and Branding”. The 2ndedition of the Summit is aimed at exploring answers to various challenges that are facing communicators and social media marketers in the recent times,” he said
Some of the keynote speakers at the Social Media Summit 2015 included Fernando Anzures, international keynote speaker and author of the bestselling book “Consumer is the New Media”, Ihsan Anabtawi, Regional Manager, Applications and Services, Microsoft; Narain Jashanmal, Head of DR Advertising MENA – Facebook.
Fernando Anzures’ keynote session titled “Consumer is the New Media” set the stage for an insightful agenda featuring relevant themes that were discussed in depth throughout the Summit. As part of his talk, Fernando identified and addressed the new consumer while introducing the concept of social currency - which he described as the art of making people spend their voice towards their brand.
“Social media and digital marketing are all about conversations and the consumer is a massive vehicle of communication in the process of initiating and developing these conversations. It is important to note that silence kills brands; therefore, communicators need to share powerful stories that resonate strongly with their consumers. Further, marketers first need to understand why and where consumers are talking about their brand, to be able to implement their strategy using the right channel, whether offline or online,” said Fernando.
The first panel discussion focused on the topic “Storytelling in the Age of Social Journalists” and was led by Abeer Alnajjar, Assistant Professor, American University of Sharjah, Caroline Faraj, Dubai Chief Operations Director, CNN Arabic and Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief, Al Arabiya News.
As part of the discussion, panelists explored the evolving nature of news stories and the emerging trends in digital storytelling practices that are increasingly being adopted by a growing number of journalists across the world. All the panelists agreed to the need for the focus to shift from the ongoing debate on new media versus old media to a sound understanding of how the two aspects complement each other, to better understand the complex parameters of storytelling in the context of the target audience.
In his keynote presentation titled “Enterprise Social Networks in the Modern Workplace”, Ihsan Anabtawi discussed how the speed of information exchange is driving change: “The pace of change has increased drastically but companies are yet to adopt and embrace the full extent of this change for employees to filter unnecessary noise using technological innovations. Given that explosion of data and devices is changing the way we live and work, professionals are having to deal with infinite data, apps and devices within limited, finite time.”
NarainJashanmal’s keynote session on “The New Consumer Lifecycle” drew attention to a number of emerging trends including the onset of the symbiotic relationship between search and social. Speaking about social media tools, he said: “Social media is really just the jargon we use to describe where people spend most amount of their times. On mobile, social media is prime time - all the time. It is the media channel where users engage the most, and where businesses need to be constantly interacting with their consumers - taking the tools we create for them and then weaving them into the fundamental components of the products and services on offer.”
The list of speakers leading the second panel discussion “Know Your Audience & Your Content: How to Create a Truly Social Business,” included Rayan Karaky, Head of Automotive, Google; Alex Malouf, Corporate Communications and Reputation Manager, Procter & Gamble; Jessica Womack, Associate Digital Director, UM MENA; Hussein M. Dajani, Head of Content & Influence Marketing, Digital Ape; Barry Cummings, Managing Director, Maximum Net Gain; Ziad AlSobaki, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Mobibucks and Christian Farioli, Digital Marketing Lecturer, DM3 Institute.
The Social Media Summit 2015 was organized by AreebaAreeba, in collaboration with its sponsors Microsoft, Huawei (Wakti), Paris Gallery and Al Wasl International Group Advocates and Legal Consultants.