Kuwait has the highest smartphone market penetration on the planet at 212% and according to Mideast Times, every Kuwaiti on average carries around two mobile devices. Some to separate business from pleasure and some just because they can’t make their mind up between the latest Samsung or Apple product.
For any UK company serious about doing business in Kuwait, making your mark here on social media is essential. Studies by Northeastern University show that Kuwait tweets more per person than any other country in the world. Kuwait also dominates Instagram. #Kuwait has been used in 8.2 million posts. While #USA has around 7.7 million. Not bad, considering Kuwait has a population of 4 million and the USA, 300 million.
The high awareness and usage of Instagram in Kuwait has spread to businesses, with everything from make-up to sheep (yes sheep) being sold through the app. In April the American University of Kuwait held the first Instabusiness Expo with numerous Kuwaiti entreprenuers showcasing their companies. Kuwaiti company Monkey Cookies started as a business run from home solely on Instagram and now has 4 stores, a distribution network and over 100,000 Instagram followers. https://instagram.com/monkey_cookies/?hl=en
Features like comments, likes, and even mentions give a great chance for a business to hear directly from their audience and gain feedback on products. With so many of the Kuwaiti population engaged on social media, it creates the trends and buzz that smart businesses wanting to be successful need to follow and the really successful ones need to drive. One thing is for certain. If you want to do business in Kuwait, you can’t simply ignore it.
Jarrah Al-Qabandi is a business intern working with the Kuwait British Business Centre as part of the LOYAC Summer internship programme.
LOYAC is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Kuwait working towards the overall development of youth. LOYAC design and develop many programs to facilitate the professional development and personal growth of the youth, ages 6 to 30.