Muscat, October 25th 2015 – The importance of social media and the opportunities it provides for businesses in the sultanate was the topic of the Oman American Business Center’s (OABC) latest panel discussion, “The Business of Social Media”, moderated by popular radio presenter and blogger Rumaitha Al-Busaidi was held at the Grand Hyatt Muscat.

“With social media enjoying huge popularity in Oman, proving ever more popular across the business spectrum and regularly used as a communications channel by government organizations, this event was particularly timely,” remarked Garry Friend, OABC Vice-President and General Manager of Grand Hyatt Muscat. “While focusing on the business possibilities presented by social media in the sultanate and encompassing how it is used to communicate, interact and work with partners, clients and prospective customers, the discussions explored topics from expectations, effectiveness and drivers to the most impactful platforms. Proceedings were, of course, enlivened by a range of real life examples and anecdotes, with questions from the audience proving to be probing and provoking lively debate,” he continued.

According to the OABC Vice-President, social media in Oman has emerged as a significant marketing tool in the country’s business landscape, although it has presented a steep learning curve. Its use is increasingly sophisticated and it is now integrated into marketing plans and strategies with clear goals and progress tracked with analytics. He added that in common with countries across the world, Omani companies and organisations primarily use social media to increase visibility and product awareness and to interact with customers but there is a growing in the gathering of ideas and feedback.

Rumaitha Al Busaidi, moderator of the panel discussion said, “With the introduction of social media, the whole landscape has changed. What once was brushed off as a novelty has stood the test of time defeating any skeptic’s perception. Thanks to globalization, new opportunities have emerged and opened for consumers, marketers and businesses. Nowadays we have an easy to use and very powerful tool at the press of a button that enables us to share content in a matter of seconds around the world and that is a concept that we must embrace if we want to enhance both the customer and marketer’s experience”.

When asked about the importance of social media for SMEs to start their business, Nicholla Henderson Hall, Founder & Creator of ‘Muscat – Where Can I Find’ Facebook Group, Social Media Coach & Founder of The learning Curve podcast said, “Social media is the future and as we develop we notice the big shift towards mobile and smartphone apps that deliver the message to the world instantaneously. SMEs should focus on utilizing social media by choosing the right platforms that speak to their audiences for their businesses to succeed and should always generate interesting and engaging content”.

Lending their expertise and insights to the lively, informative and wide-ranging OABC discussion were UMS Digital Marketing Manager Adveta Dwivedi; Muscat Mutterings blogger Freddie Sayers; Al Alamah CEO, Hashar Almandhari; Times of Oman Chief Executive Editor Scott Armstrong; and Founder & Creator of ‘Muscat – Where Can I Find’ Facebook Group, Social Media Coach & Founder of The learning Curve podcast Nicholla Henderson-Hall.

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