To anybody who knows how to survive in the online marketing game, it’s not a secret that if you want to thrive in the modern world of 2013, you have to be on social media. Facebook has more than a billion followers. On Twitter figures such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber have more followers than the populations of some nations. These days if you aren’t tapping into this critical market, you are losing out big time and almost everyone knows it. Hell, even China are slowly (very slowly) starting to get it. Now it looks like even the President of Iran is getting on board.
Amongst social media enthusiasts it’s a notorious fact that Iran has shunned social media ever since it first hit the world stage. This is hardly a surprise to anyone. 1979 saw the nation of Iran revolutionised into an Islamic Republic, and nations with such a stringent religious codes governing the populace don’t tend to take too kindly to the western excesses such as rude celebrity tweeting and snaps of our latest night on the tiles that have become the hallmark of social media sites across the world. However, Iran has recently gained a new president, and, some social media experts hope, a new perspective.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who swept into power to popular acclaim in August, tweeted Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter last Tuesday (1st October). Rouhani’s no stranger to Twitter, and has had a presence on the site since his campaign for election, and even ran on the campaign slogan ‘moderation and wisdom’, suggesting that he is a somewhat moderate voice in what is often portrayed as a fiercely socially conservative nation.
Dorsey tweeted the account with ‘Are citizens of Iran able to read your tweets’ and the account responded that Rouhani was working towards making sure that they could “comfortably b able 2 access all info globally as is their right”. Although at this point it should be noted that although the account represents Rouhani, he doesn’t actually use it, and officials are reluctant to point out who does. It has also not been authenticated. Although, it is seen to be authentic as Rouhani hasn’t refuted the Tweets.
This may seem to be positive news for those hoping for the opening of a positive dialogue, and the opening up of potential marketing opportunities with Iran, but the country is an Islamic republic, and if the restrictions on social media were to be lifted, the country’s highest religious authorities would have to sign off on it.
However for those looking to mine the marketing potentials of the restricted Islamic Republic, it is the most positive news they’ve heard yet, and along with other moves by Rouhani to liberalise the nation, we at EBS Marketing reckon that it could mean that Iran is turning a new corner and bringing itself into the fold.