2 Apr 2012

"Mobile social networking is the future of media consumption " says Ramzi Halaby of The Online Project

Ramzi Halaby is Co-Founder and Director of Business Development of The Online Project, the Middle East's leading social media agency.
Ramzi will share his experience on how to use social media to connect with consumers at North Africa Com in Tunis in May. He answers some questions ahead of his presentation.

CWS: What is your company’s position in North Africa’s telecoms, media and ICT market?
RH: The Online Project (TOP) is the region’s leading social media agency working with Fortune 500 companies by developing and executing strategies that help their organizations become more social.
Among our clients are leading GSM operators in the region such as Zain Jordan, Zain Iraq, Zain Sudan, MTC Touch, Zain Group and Nawras Telecom. Our experience with social media and telecom specifically has allowed us to demonstrate great value and ROI for our telecom clients such as reduced customer care expenses, enhance customer experience, reduced costs in generating market insights, long term marketing efficiencies and more

CWS: What is the importance of social media in the region in terms of usage and opportunities for business?
RH: Social media is playing a major impact in the region specially when it comes to utilization. A big portion of our population is young and we all know that telecoms in our region have it as a set priority to target the youth, build loyalty and market share. Youth are increasingly spending most of their time online and specifically on social networks. They mostly consume digital media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn) with much less traditional media consumption. The opportunity for telecoms in the region is to be early movers and adopters of the new ways of communication and engagement. It is no longer a push communication relationship but a two way relationship that needs to be fully integrated within the organization from top bottom.

CWS: Which companies are making the most innovative use of social media for the region?
RH: A good source to check out would be socialwatchlist.com, some of the key telecom leaders when it comes to social are Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat Misr, Zain, Jawwal, Mobily, STC...

CWS: Which trends or services do you think will shape the market in the coming year(s)?
RH: A huge area that will shape up the future of new media is social networking and mobile. This is the future of media consumption and operators need to morph their strategies to be able to monetize and take advantage of the next wave of consumers social journeys.

CWS: How important is the North Africa Com event in promoting the telecoms, media & ICT market in the region and what do you expect from your participation?
RH: I believe this is a very interesting time for telecoms in our part of the world. It is a time to integrate new ways of communication and engagement with our customers and stakeholders. The telcos have always taken a lead in our markets when it comes to adopting new schemes. I feel my participation will allow me to share knowledge and experience from working with the leading telcos through certain case studies but also to learn from the telecoms about their concerns and priorities in the coming few years.

North Africa Com will take place at the Sheraton Tunis on 15-16 May. Other companies represented on the programme include Tunisie Telecom (the event's Technology Partner), Orange, Mobinil, Tunisiana, Vodafone Egypt, Mauritel Mobiles, Etisalat Misr and more.