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Keep Listening

Introducing Social Listening & Tools that Support Arabic



Many of us in marketing have come across the famous quote by the American billionaire and businessman Scott D. Cook:


A brand is no longer what we tell customers it is. It is what consumers tell each other it is.


Arising from the need to understand consumers on emotional and psychographic levels, marketing agencies and Saas companies have been creating social listening tools.


This new blog will explore social listening, its benefits, challenges, and some of the tools available to analyze Arab speaking online communities.




1- What is social listening?


Conducting social listening research enables you to find insight from billions of conversations (Public tweets, posts, images, hashtags, etc.) happening on some of the biggest social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube but also blogs, news, and more.


A social listening tool will crawl the world of online communities to collect and analyze customers’ sentiments, your brand health, and competitors.


2- What are the benefits?


Most global brands have incorporated social listening as a vital learning mechanism that feeds their digital marketing strategies for almost a decade. It’s not about whether they need it or not anymore; brands are now heavily reliant on these insights in decision-making.


With social listening, we can identify growth opportunities, predict trends, avoid threats, and capitalize on strengths.



Social listening can be carried out quarterly or yearly for smaller businesses before launching their social media pages, advertising campaigns, or even new product development.


The cost of NOT listening to your communities can be higher than using tools available under USD 100$ a month.


3- What are the challenges facing businesses in Arab speaking countries relating to social listening?


It’s not uncommon for technological advancement and development to arrive later in the Middle East and similar emerging markets compared to the US and Europe. Equally, social listening tools are still an emerging business in the Arab World.



Due to its complexity and cultural diversity, social listening tools face challenges in analyzing and interpreting conversations, the language and terminology, the sentiments, and the meaning of what people are talking about.


Chatting on the Web using latinate characters is widely popular and often mixed with numbers. For example, the letter Ain ع looks like an inverted 3, the letter Sad ص looks like an inverted 9, and similarly, these numbers are often used in conversations. It’s difficult for social listening tools to read this ‘internet language.’


Challenges are also found in the capabilities of the tools where Arabic communities spend time online. For example, in Saudi Arabia, Snapchat is considered one of the most popular social media platforms which can’t be tracked due to its API limitations for third-party apps. Think of Snapchat like an airplane ‘black box.’ It’s called ‘dark social’ for a reason.


We must also mention that blind reliance on AI-powered social listening tools is not recommended. A human must read, rectify, and make sense of the data in line with cultural awareness.



4- What social listening tools support Arabic?


The good news is that global, and local brands, seeking to connect with their Arab speaking consumers are pushing and encouraging Saas companies to build tools with Arabic in mind.


In this blog, we will introduce only three tools that have been used and proven to be powerful. However, this is rapidly changing, and we are seeing new tools being developed more frequently, even better, dedicated to small businesses.


  1. Crowd Analyzer


The 1st Arabic-focused online monitoring tool with accurate English monitoring capabilities as well. The tool specializes in analyzing content and providing insights about sentiment, gender, location, and much more.


It is used by brands such as Land Rover, Domino’s, and Saudi General Entertainment Authority.



  1. Meltwater


Researches and monitors billions of social conversations to gain insights into consumer sentiment, brand health, and competition.


It is used by brands such as H&M, Google, and Mailchimp.


  1. Lucidya


Crowd Analyzer has been taking the lead in AI and machine learning applications towards natural language processing in the MENA region.


It is used by brands such as Olayan, Noon, and AlAhli.





One conversation can spark up a viral campaign. Don’t underestimate the power of listening to online communities, as it’s often a reflection of what’s also happening on the ground.


To explore social listening for your brand’s online communities, get in touch with Rayat Marketing.





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