Report: More Positivity In Social Media Behaviors During Ramadan

by · July 10, 2013

Ramadan Kareem - e-Greeting 2013-07-06-Final

We would like to wish you Ramadan Mubarak. No doubt our daily lives change during the Holy Month of Ramadan. For most people, shorter working hours means more time spent at home with their families and, in turn, an increase in enjoying home entertainment – whether it’s watching TV and movies or gaming.

But what of social media usage? Is there a spike in engagement on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter? And, if so, are there peak times for interaction?

An intriguing report recently published by social media agency, The Online Project, answers these questions. And not only in Qatar, but in fellow Middle East nations such as; Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

For a period of three weeks before, during and after Ramadan in 2012, social media analysts tracked a total of 8,879 Twitter users across the region, with engagement calculated as the number of mentions and retweets these brands received.

For Facebook, engagement was calculated as the number of likes, comments, and shares that regional brands received divided by the average number of fans these brands had during that time interval.

From the report’s findings, the average engagement rate on Facebook and Twitter across these countries is significantly higher during Ramadan. Facebook, on average, sees a jump of 30 percent, whilst Twitter increases by 33 percent.

Interestingly, here in Qatar, activity on these networks only picks up until mid-afternoon, most likely when people are settled at home. The peak times are 5pm for Twitter and 7pm for Facebook. This in contrast to Bahrain and Lebanon. Both countries witness a split in peak times for engagement on the rival sites. Facebook is the place to be in the morning time in both nations, with tweeting not getting into gear in Lebanon and Bahrain until 4pm and 10pm respectively.

What is the most popular time for people in Qatar to engage on Facebook during Ramadan?

Graphic 1

What times do people in Qatar engage most on Twitter?


The most interesting aspect of this report hones in on the fluctuation of positive and negative behaviors of users during Ramadan. In order to assess this, social media analysts manually performed sentiment analysis of more than 100,000 comments, timeline posts and tweets, to ensure emotions, such as sarcasm and frustration, were taken into consideration.

On Facebook, there was a steady increase in positive behaviors. In fact, the percentile of positivity almost doubles from a little over 3 percent before Ramadan to close to 6 percent by the time Eid arrives, whilst negativity is at a very low 1 percent and only marginally increases by the end of Ramadan. Levels of positivity and negativity on Twitter had a similar trend.

Being positive certainly adds to the true meaning of Ramadan, and reaching out to family and friends makes this even more special.

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