Nigeria, your business and the social media buzz
As at March 2011, The internet world stats puts the number of Nigerian facebook users at almost 3 million (2,991,200), and in a country with an estimated 44 million internet users, a facebook penetration rate of 1.9%, an ever increasing number of bloggers, twitter users, many professionals joining LinkedIn and the enthusiasm of the Nigerian social media about Google+, Nigerian marketers cannot ignore this sector for much longer.
At the moment we have a few Nigerian entrepreneurs advertising their products on facebook, but mostly these are small & young entrepreneurs who are active on facebook personally, very few Nigerian businesses really make use of social media, a visit to many facebook or twitter pages for Nigerian business shows no recent activities and few connections.
Social media and your business
Many Nigerian professionals still view social media as an individual thing, and a sort of playground, however I have found social media to be a place for interaction, and when businesses start to view it this way they start to see a need for an integrated campaign tailored towards a select set of people within the social media circle. Here are a few pointers for business owners looking to take advantage of Nigeria’s social media space below:
1. Define your aims and objectives
There is a danger of joining the social media buzz and getting missing in the crowd, many businesses have joined social media without any clear terms on achievements and ways of measuring success. Be sure to have a clearly mapped out plan to put out your message and measure the success of your campaigns.
2. Define your audience/targets
The social media world is so diverse; you meet all sorts of individuals and businesses there. It is important to define your target audience before you embark on the social media journey. It is important to define WHO, WHY and WHERE.
a. Who do we want to network with?
b. Why have we decided to network with these people?
c. Where are these people? Are they on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc?
3. Interact with your targets
Interaction is key, when you get your targets you need to interact with them so as to keep them coming back.
a. Entice your targets with an idea of what you have to offer – First impressions last the longest, so make sure you have a clear message to deliver on first visit, and clear idea of what you have to tell them.
b. Have your ears to the ground – Social media users are usually very outspoken, listen, respond and engage them.
c. Build custom applications – If you have a business that involves apps, build custom applications to suit your audience and whatever devices they use, an example is the SDL Free Translation facebook app - https://www.facebook.com/FreeTranslationApp.
d. Practice what you preach – You want your targets to interact with you on facebook? There is a high likelihood many of your employees are on facebook already, let them join in the party, build a facebook group for your company where your employees can interact with each other, chances are many of them are already connected.
4. Empower your company to do the job – Do not assume that anybody can be social media marketer, invest in employing someone with the necessary skills, or organise trainings for your current employees who have been selected to do the job
5. Deal with legal and executive loopholes – Make sure to have your company’s legal team in the loop, and don’t forget the executives, they might just kick against all your hardwork, but if you have done most of the good work I have mentioned above and pitch it to them with clearly defined strategies, chances are that the executive will be willing to give you the green light.
In conclusion, I believe joining the social media world or not should not be complicated business, a simple analysis of your business processes and long term strategy is enough for you to make this decision. It is either good for you or not, the decision is yours, but there is certainly a large market out there to be poached.
Written by Ifeoluwa Adebayo