How people use Social Media in Afghanistan and is there any social media Marketing agency in Afghanistan?
In this blog, you will learn about how people in Afghanistan use social media and is there any social media marketing agency in Afghanistan? Before discussing these topics, it is very necessary to know about social media and marketing itself.
What is marketing?
Marketing is defined as a way of communication between a business and potential customers, in the purpose of presenting and promoting the values of a certain product or service. The main goal of this communication is to sell the product and services.
How did the Internet and Social media usage rise in Afghanistan?
Social media is, of course, dependent on the availability of the internet, leading to the pace of social media penetration differing from that of other media. Just as the Taliban restricted and controlled traditional media, they banned internet outright, as they had no control over its content. Afghans waited until 2002, when the Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) was awarded the first GSM and 2G license in the country, to have internet access. The year 2012 was a turning point, as Etisalat was awarded the first 3G license, making mobile internet faster, better quality, and cheaper for users. Mobile internet became more common as less expensive smartphones became available. The relationship between mobile, internet and social media penetration in Afghanistan strengthened as increasingly-common smartphones and faster data made data packages available to a wider population beyond those who had fixed lines laptop computers.
Importance of Social media in Afghanistan
Based on Mr Shahzad Aryobee the Minister of Ministry of Telecommunications and Technology speech in VoA the Social media users represent approximately 30% of the Afghan population, and they are homogenous and concentrated on Facebook – Users are predominantly young, both rural, urban, and educated. Access to and use of the internet in Afghanistan reaches approximately 65% of the population, so internet access remains the main barrier to social media access. 95% of social media users have a Facebook account, compared to twitter with a 6% usage rate, Instagram with a 10% usage rate, or Snapchat with a 1% usage rate. More than 90% of social media users access their accounts solely through their smartphone.
The appearance of social networking websites has changed the way people interact and communicate, the way they exchange ideas and search for information. In the world where one in four people use some kind of social networking websites, the importance of these websites in everyday life cannot be neglected.
As a result, the communication, which is an important part of marketing, started to shift from traditional mediums such as television and newspaper ads to social media Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Etc. Thus social media has become a new platform for Afghan marketers to communicate and get in touch with the customers not only in the urban areas in all remote and rural areas in Afghanistan. Social media is a new mediator between business who want to promote their product and between consumers who use social media to learn more about a particular product.
The overall importance of social media has led to new discipline within marketing, a discipline called social media marketing. The idea behind this is to take advantage of the benefits the social networks provide in order to realize some of the marketing goals, such as promotion, establishing relationship with the customers, etc. but here in Afghanistan most of the people use social media platforms only for communication, entertainment, finding friends and building relations.
The number of people who have access to the internet in Afghanistan in the year 2019 is = 10 Million people.
The number of Facebook users in Afghanistan are = 3.6 Million users.
The number of Instagram users in Afghanistan are approximately = 1.2 Million users.
Number of Twitter users in Afghanistan are approximately = 400K+ users
The number of LinkedIn users in Afghanistan are = 250K+ users.
What are the most popular social media platforms in Afghanistan?
The common stereotype comes out from misunderstanding the term “social media”. Most people think of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter when they hear the term “social media”, but in fact, this term refers to different websites that allow interaction among the users and the exchange of information through a variety of channels.
Depending on the type of social profiles, social processes, type of interaction and type of content being exchanged, here in Afghanistan people using six types of Social Medias have been established so far.
- Collaborative projects – This includes, wikis, question and answer platforms, etc.
- Blogs and microblogs – This includes platforms such as Twitter, where the content is shared in the form of short or long blog articles.
- Content communities – Websites such as YouTube, etc. where content is shared, after which users can interact by sharing impressions about the content.
- Social networking websites – This category includes the websites people are most commonly identifying as social media in general. Websites such as Facebook and Google are in this category.
- Virtual game-worlds – One of the most popular websites in this category is World of Warcraft.
- Virtual social worlds – Game-like design allows users to create a virtual identity and to interact with other users through an online platform.
What are the Challenges of Social Media in Afghanistan?
Afghan women have a complicated relationship with social media – they see the dangers, but also there is freedom for them on social media that simply isn’t available elsewhere. For example, a group of young women, using the hashtag #whereismyname, started a public debate on the custom of not using women’s names on invitations, in the market, and even on burial tombs and only referring to them as a wife or daughter of a man. It is asserted in the report that this discussion could not have taken place without the platform offered by social media.
Yet, for the majority of women who are more private users of social media, using the platforms, not for advocacy but for simple social interactions and information gathering, fears of public shaming or harassment, along with norms of Afghan society, shape their use. Almost 20% of female respondents declare being Friends only with same-sex relatives on Facebook, and 35% of female respondents declare only being Friends with relatives on Facebook. This reflects the well-documented wariness of Afghan women to interact with individuals beyond their direct family on social media, as they are often targets of harassment.
What is the impact of social media platforms on the daily life of Afghan people?
- Access to information
- Ease of communication
- Freedom of expression
- Worsened personal privacy
- Distractions during your day
- Polarization in politics
- Foreign meddling in politics
Are there any standard digital marketing (internet marketing) and social media marketing and management agencies in Afghanistan?
Since the realm of digital marketing and social media marketing is new for Afghan people there are very few agencies that are operating in Afghanistan and it is very good to name one of the most standard digital marketing and social media marketing agency of Afghanistan in this blog.
SEO Afghanistan is one of the few and standard digital marketing agency in Afghanistan and are the pioneers in this field.
In fact, we are one of their customers and they are helping us with our Search engine optimization to rank our website on top of Google and literally we are ranking number #1 on Google for keywords such as; Ecommerce Afghanistan or online shopping in Afghanistan.