It’s the New Media and Governance: Tools and Trends Conference! Full information about the speakers and programme is here!! You’re welcome to join the event below by tweeting with the hash tag #NGNewMedia. Enjoy!
Archive for May, 2012
Today I’ll be touching on how to utilize social media for your business, whether commercial or philanthropic. The definition of social media being communication (or a conversation) enhanced by technology still stands but with a little twist.
Regardless of what we think, our consumer/audience want to talk to us as much as we want to intimate them of the products/services we offer. Times have changed; communication between a business and its target demographic has moved from being from top to bottom to being from left to right to right to left and on and on and on. When the consumer feels like a business isn’t ‘listening’ to them anymore, they unconsciously start searching for a new one. Why? Everyone wants to be acknowledged, everyone wants to be heard. The consumer wants to know you care about them, and in their minds that translates to you listening to their praise, criticisms, and catering to their concerns. In these days of the most effective form of advertising being word of mouth, it will be foolhardy to ignore a consumer.
The good thing is social media is such a great listening tool when correctly. For instance, let’s say I run a restaurant and I’ve put up your Twitter handle or Facebook page address on a board in the dining area; my staff ‘encourage’ people to drop a line there after their meal. That’s feedback and PR! Even if they didn’t like something and they write about it, by apologising to them in public you have the opportunity to use that fiasco to your advantage.
v It’s better to have a fan/business page on Facebook where people make the decision to like your page rather than the groups where you just add everyone.
v Allow discussion boards. Drop topics that people can discuss, air their views. Sticking with my restaurant example, a topic could be, ‘roasted or chargrilled chicken? Why?
v If you’ve got a website, place widgets linking to the social networks your business is subscribed to. It adds to the general aesthetics of your site and is a quicker way for them to check you out there as well.
v Make it lively! Use relevant pictures, videos, and polls to spice up your page and make the consumer want to come back.
v Most importantly, don’t use your business page for personal stuff. Let the brand be heard, not you. So, if it doesn’t have anything to do with the business, it shouldn’t be on the page.
v Keep people interested in your company. It takes some effort, but constantly using your 140 characters to pique the interest of your audience will ensure they don’t look elsewhere.
v Post links to interesting (but relevant) articles and information. Back to the restaurant example, justify an item on your menu using research. Let your consumers see the edge they have by dinning at yours.
v Monitor DM’s and mentions effectively, and make it a point of duty to reply as many people as you can.
v Provide real value; invite them to ask questions, constantly remind them of your product/service, and inform them of the latest offers/deals via Twitter.
v Document challenges, and be proud of your achievements (applies to Facebook as well).
For both Facebook and Twitter, remember our definition of social media; it is a never-ending conversation and should be used as such. Using it only as an avenue to put out links to your activities will alienate people and probably even get you reported for spam, the exact opposite of what we’d want.
General rule of thumb? Again, let’s take a few seconds to think of the immediate and future effects of the things we post online; but in this case, if the cons outweigh the pros, shelve the idea.
- Can I post to Twitter and Facebook at the same time? (marketing.yell.com)
- The No No’s of Social Media (laurindanyintro.wordpress.com)
- Social Media Interview With Tonya Lenzing (joannajrn492.wordpress.com)
A lot of thoughts have run through my mind from the very first night I became aware of Oke and I just thought to share four of them with you. I’m also sharing a documentary made by a close friend of mine, Onye Ubanatu, capturing the essence of Oke’s story.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS POWERFUL
I’ve never doubted the power of social media (wouldn’t have studied it if I did) but if I did, this campaign would have forever put paid to those doubts. The speed with which the blog posts spread and the amazing functionality called the ‘retweet’. Jerry Seinfeld was right when he said this of Twitter, “Twitter is progress; why say to one what you can say to all”. Amazing! And say to all we did, in just a few hours his pictures and story were literally everywhere! Thanks to the WordPress’ ‘stat by country’ functionality I could see just the numbers of people from the different countries, and believe me it was amazing!
NIGERIA IS IN TROUBLE
Oke’s story was just another instance pointing to a problem we (Nigeria) haven’t gotten past. Unfortunately, even in 2012 we are still in the ‘reaction’ rather than ‘proactive’ mode. No one thinks to plan for the future, hell we’re barely getting through today! Fully discussing that will take all day so I’ll just say that all the information I got about Oke’s illness I found here. That website also features simple definitions and presentations of types and symptoms, care for people with diabetes, and even available support groups! And it’s all correct, up to date information! Do we have functional bodies like that here? No. All we’re saddled with are committees catering to committees set up to review the work done (or not) by committees. SMH!
WHO SINGS FOR THE UNSUNG?
The day after I spoke published the ‘Save Oke, we saved Oke’ post; I got one BBM broadcast about a young Nigerian in the clutches of another terminal illness who needs to seek treatment abroad. Someone else tweeted a link at me, and that evening I got email; three different people in one day! I flashed back to the campaign when I asked (in a private email to a group) if anyone else was thinking about the people who didn’t have anyone to blog about their problems. Who would cater to those ones? I’m asking those questions again; who runs with their stories?
How many people die every day because they have no access to qualitative healthcare? How many ‘trivial’ cases transform into life threatening because they were not nipped in the bud with adequate treatment? Who sings for the unsung?
WE ARE STILL THE WORLD
Social media has always and will always revolve around people. Social media without human involvement can be compared to a beautiful car without a driver: it is nothing without our input. It is one thing to sit in the comfort of your home and moan every day about everything going wrong with the country, how the government doesn’t care, how we need a ‘paradigm shift (lol), etc. It is a totally different (and more profitable) thing however to do your civic duties, know your leaders (local and national), and then hold them accountable by getting informed, asking them questions, you know the drill. In the same vein, while I am grateful to everyone who tweeted and retweeted Oke’s story, it is the ones who actually donated I am grateful to. Imagine if we were all tweeting, ‘Facebooking’, and no one did anything. We’d sooner be tweeting at his funeral!
This whole campaign has taught me that technology (in different formats, functionalities) will come and go but people will always remain. We are the answers to the questions we seek; we are the world we want to live in.
This documentary made by Wild Films in 2010 tells the story behind the production of the BBC World Service Trust’s award winning radio drama, ‘Story Story’. I was an assistant producer for the Trust at the time this was made, and it was one of the most exhilarating periods of my life!
A radio movie.
In a dusty, dilapidated school on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital city, Abuja, a group of actors and radio technicians come together in searing 40’C heat to record the 17th series of ‘Story Story’. This much loved radio soap opera is set in a bustling motor park somewhere in West Africa, and it uses drama to trigger discussions on a variety of topical issues. ‘Tuned In’ takes us behind the scenes to meet the cast and crew as they reunite in Abuja and record the entire series in an intense and gruelling 2-week schedule…
Read more on Vimeo.