People on Twitter ignite the conversations that shape what’s happening, with the biggest movements starting as a spark. Ideas become conversations, which in turn become seismic cultural shifts.
Twitter’s recent report, developed in partnership with Pulsar & Canvas8, revealed the three biggest must-know trends about to impact the community. Monitored on Twitter in Saudi Arabia, and analysed by cultural and data experts over a two-year period, the following trends are a reflection of what’s happening in Saudi Arabia, what people are actually talking about, and echo the national sentiment:
Identity in Transit: What does it mean to be Saudi?
Across Saudi Arabia, people’s sense of self is being defined by societal changes, and their responses are defining that change. Whether it's conversations about women working, driving, general economic progress, or embracing smart cities, this is showing up as pride in place, openness to new experiences, more gender balance in relationships, a desire to be recognized, and a melding of identity and personal aspirations. Incredible growth is seen in conversations around pride in relation to smart cities and NEOM (+172%), alongside chasing the Saudi dream (+161%), with topics such as Youth Innovation, Dual Income, Family Planning and Size, and Quality of Life predicted to grow.
For brands and marketers this nods to opportunities emerging at the heart of culture-shaping conversations:
Finance Goes Social: A new era of spending
In a country where generosity and unfettered spending were hallmarks of success, frugality is now a hallmark of smart living. Nothing exemplifies this more than the give and take between retailers and customers on the best daily deals as people turned their feeds into personalised deals flyers. Twitter tracked a +49% year-on-year growth in conversation related to offers, competitions, and discounts recorded.
We’re also witnessing a +36% year-on-year increase in conversation around the digital economy and a +595% year-on-year increase in conversation around cryptocurrencies. Whether it’s cryptocurrencies, online retailers, digital banks, or smart cities, people are feeling empowered as conversations around digital marketing, content creation, Saudi digitalization, innovation, remote working and entrepreneurship are predicted to grow.
For brands and marketers, Finance Goes Social is a big shift of behaviours applying across categories with insights showcasing the opportunities to:
Eco-innovation: Sustainability meets tech
Saudis are interested in environmental issues when aligned with national identity, such as smart cities, smart cars, large rail constructions, and alternative energy projects. Personal impact, on the other hand, is still in its infancy. There is enthusiasm and support for the government’s projects relating to sustainability, as well as a rediscovery of Saudi Arabia’s natural assets, with a +191% year-on-year increase in mentions of NEOM and The Line Project and +153% year-on-year increase in mentions of Vision 2030.
However, people aren’t just talking about sustainability in regards to environmental protection or climate change – it’s driving real excitement about the future of Saudi as a nation as well as individual advancement and opportunity. The trend is corroborated by a year-on-year increase in conversation around tech (+49%), electric cars (+55%) and smart cities (+180%). The report also highlighted smart city career opportunities, electric car affordability and charging networks, local tourism and pride in Saudi nature, new tech related to sustainability, cultural/entertainment projects with a sustainable angle, with topics expected to grow.
This is an opportunity for brands to engage people with important issues:
For brands and marketers to truly connect with their audiences, they need to listen to what people on Twitter are saying right now as conversations on Twitter reveal underlying shifts in trends that are shaping consumer behavior in Saudi Arabia.