A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure to host Nadia Zehni, head of marketing at Dubbizle, the leading classified website in the UAE as part of the guest speakers invited to talk to our IMM students. Our Advances in Digital Marketing class had the opportunity to see how real organisations develop and implement their content marketing strategy, and to see that in fact the models that are taught in the lectures are implemented in marketing practice (you know all this set clear objectives, choose content types, measure results, etc.).
However, something that caught my attention was the importance of dual language communications in a country that is characterised by being highly diverse in terms of languages and nationalities spoken. If you’re not familiar with the UAE context, the country demographic composition is of only 13% of local Emiratis and the rest of the population is composed by expatriates from south East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas. The UAE is a truly cosmopolitan and diverse country.
It is no secret for marketers that organic reach on Facebook has been decreasing. Facebook does this on one hand to improve the user experience, by showing only things that are really relevant to you and the people that you care about, but also it is a matter of monetising the presence of organisations in their platform. However, an important determinant for content reaching you organically is how people are interacting with this content when it first appears in their newsfeed. So it makes sense that in an environment where multiple languages are spoken, the sum of people interacting with Arabic and English content could improve the relevance score of this content and Facebook algorithm would organically show it to more people, than if you posted the same content first in Arabic and then in English. More research is indeed needed in order to determine if this is the case, and this is also relevant since Facebook has now introduced the possibility to distinguish content shown to a user based on the language that the user speaks.
Picture by Azeem Azeez under CC license