Building an online presence is very much a necessity in this day and age. With an estimate of well over 4.3 billion internet users and over 3.4 billion active social media users, the online space has reduced the world into a global village. Social media today has gone beyond being a place for us uploading our ‘dopest’ pictures and exchanging ‘bants,’ it has become a lot more, even so, a knowledge tool. How then should social media be optimized to ensure growth, personally or collectively?
Handle It Africa with the motto: Reach. Connect. Engage is an impactful conference geared at revolutionizing how social media is used, consumed, and deployed effectively to realize desired results. The meeting convened Olufemi Oguntamu, the lead consultant at Penzaarville Africa, a social media marketing agency. With years of experience as a social media strategist, Oguntamu understanding the power of social media decides to convene this conference, pulling big weights from the social/digital media, entertainment, and political spaces to discuss the role of social media in these corners. With its third year running, Handle It Africa with the theme, ‘Social Media: Extending the Frontiers,’ expands the standard of sharing knowledge to maximize the benefits of social media, which has established through the years. This third edition which took place on the 17th of May, 2019 at Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, witnessed a massive turnout of enthusiastic young individuals seeking knowledge about social media and how it can be optimized for business growth and for building strong personal brands.
With an ambiance right for networking, after registration, everyone appeared to be engaged in discussions with one another, exchanging pleasantries, taking pictures against the backdrop, basically sharing good moments in general.
In the convener’s speech, “Today’s advancement in technology has had a comparable effect on social media. Trends are leaping in bounds, and only those of us who keep up can maximize the benefits of this growth. Our endeavors to harness the benefits of social media need a strategic approach, and this edition tackles all the best ways to not only maximize the benefits but also solve attendant problems.”1
The conference was designed to feature five-panel sessions, tackling five different topical issues that encapsulate what goes on in the social space today.
Session one with the topic ‘Creating Exciting Content that Wins the Clicks,’ featured panelists such as Akah Nnani, an Actor/Youtuber; Mc Lively, a Comedian; Food Content Creator, Winifred Emmanuel; Digital Media Manager, Ndani TV, Oyinkansola Ewumi; and moderated by Content Creator/Filmmaker, Adenike Adebayo-Esho.
Putting out content on social media is one thing, creating that which wins the clicks; that is one that goes viral and rings up thousands of likes and comments is another. This has got to be a budding issue for content creators. Akah was quick to point uniqueness as key to this problem, as he holds that social media is saturated and so one needs a content that stands out. In essence, find your selling point. An example is Winifred, who chose to base her content on food, thereby making it her niche.
One might ask, how does one get the much-needed attention on social media? According to Oyinkansola, what is needed is a robust online presence that engages and relates to people.
As a comedian who is famous with thousands of followers, Mc Lively emphasized that to “blow” is not as important as staying relevant. You do not want to be that person whose video or content goes viral or “wins the clicks” just one time, and then you become non-existent. It is imperative that you put effort into building yourself.
Wrapping up the session, Akah stresses the importance of consistency.
Session two started on a loud note, with the introduction of Tobi Bakare, ex-Big Brother Naija housemate. The girls couldn’t seem to get the hang of themselves, as the very handsome, stylish and sexy Tobi was making his way to the podium. Alongside Tobi on the panel were Amalia Sebakunzi, Marketing Director, Eat ‘N’ Go Limited; Terver Bendega, Regional Marketing Manager, Africa, Bolt; Sisi Yemmie, Food & Lifestyle Influencer. The session tagged ‘What Do Brands Really Want?’ was moderated by Chidi Okereke, Team Lead, Thisruption Communications.
No doubt, there is an increasing trend online with brands opting for “social media influencers” to help create awareness about a particular product or service, instead of the usual advertising on TV, radio or print media. There seems to be some friction between brands and social media influencers, where brands feel the influencers do not do enough as expected of them in discharging their duties, and influencers, on the other hand, feeling brands demand too much and even more, the demands do not match the pay.
For Terver, influencers are used to market or create awareness for something. It is therefore important to understand why you’re adopting influencer marketing as a brand: what do you hope to achieve?
Sisi Yemmie, however, was quick to the point that sometimes, the brands are inflexible, wanting influencers to stick to the script. For her, there should be room for some level of flexibility to enable the influencer be creative carrying out his/her duty.
For Tobi, brands should begin to engage influencers on a long-term basis; this allows for organic marketing. As a result, influencers will be able to create content naturally at any point in time, which most likely ignored as the influencer becomes a part of the family.
Amalia believed that the essence of influencers is to create original content for the brand. And most importantly, to drive awareness.
In all that was said, one thing stands out. And that is Tobi stressing that as an influencer, one needs to learn to say no at certain times. You cannot be an influencer who accepts jobs from any and every brand just because money is involved. Your focus should be on brands that their campaigns align with your image and persona, to realize a seamless synergy.
The third session started on a high note, with the moderator, Tomike Adeoye, a TV Personality, stepping out with a high spirit and oozing so much excitement. She succeeded at keeping the vibe in the room nothing short of one hundred all through the session. If ratings could be tallied, I think she would easily pass for the best moderator of the day. ‘Unleashing the Power of Lifestyle in Social Media Campaigns,’ the topic was, and the panelists were introduced. Ozinna Anumudu, TSC Agency Founder; Mimi Onalaja, TV Presenter, and Timini Egbuson, Actor. Now here we go, screams from the ladies because of course, fine boy Timini was on stage. I rolled my eyes while in my mind, I kept wishing they could just shut the hell up! I am not a kill-joy, so I would let them have their moment. LOL
There is a crucial role in which lifestyle plays in campaigns on social media. Brands look out for influencers whose lifestyle on social media fit their image as a brand and would do a seamless job with their campaign.
Lifestyle for Ozinna is what you are when people are not watching. However, there are two kinds: organic (natural) and created (mostly found on social media).
Instagram has got to be the best social media platform because it allows for the sharing of pictures and videos, supported with words, Mimi says when asked which she considers the best.
According to Timini, find what social media platform works for you and make the best of it.
Keywords from this session are from Ozinna and Tomike, holding that it is crucial to stay true to yourself and understand that social media is not real life. Tomike sharing the same view adds that life is not all about the likes and the comments.
To be Continued….