DUBAI: A recent Twitter report revealed the top three trends in Saudi Arabia based on an analysis of billions of tweets from the past two years.
Saudi society has seen significant changes in recent years, such as women being allowed to drive and cinemas opening.
The first trend – identity in transit – captures the transformation of the Kingdom and its effect on the identity of Saudis.
There have been more and more conversations on Twitter about women’s work, driving, general economic progress, and the adoption of smart cities.
For example, conversations about pride around smart cities and NEOM increased by 172%, while those around pursuing the Saudi dream increased by 161%.
Over 50% of all conversations about identity were related to relationships and family, indicating the changing gender dynamics in the Kingdom.
“Twitter users are actively leading the conversations that shape today’s culture, acting as leaders, not followers. Their friends and family are more likely to turn to them for recommendations, where to go and who to listen to, until what to buy,” said Walid Issa, head of advertising research at Twitter MENA, to Arab News.
The second trend focuses on the spending habits of Saudis, with people preferring to spend wisely rather than freely. This approach was evident in their search for online deals and discount codes. Conversations related to offers, contests, and discounts grew more than 49% year-over-year.
Saudis are also keen to become more involved in the digital economy, particularly cryptocurrencies, with conversations around these seeing a 595% year-over-year increase.
Twitter advised brands to be the “financially smart choice for consumers”. Keeping these trends in mind would help brands “connect with their audience in a space where they are leaning and receptive,” Issa said.
The third trend, eco-innovation, saw sustainability and technology merge to become something Saudis cared deeply about, especially when it came to matters of national identity and pride such as cities. smart cars, smart cars, major railroad construction and alternative energy projects.
For people in the Kingdom, sustainability is less about the environment and more about Saudi investments in sustainable innovation, according to Twitter.
The trend was supported by a year-over-year increase in conversations around technology (49%), electric cars (55%) and smart cities (180%).
According to the report, brands can stand out by embracing sustainability and technology and showcasing initiatives that have a strong local impact.
Issa said, “The results (of the report) are a reflection of what is happening in Saudi Arabia and an indication of national sentiment, which is crucial for brands to assess, regardless of industry.”