30 April 2010 34 Comments

Brands in Nigeria: The future of global relevance is here as facebook launches

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals


facebook_logo_440455281Today we are all faced with choices. Choices to remain silent, dumb and become irrelevant for ever or to take the risk of what can  lead us to greater opportunities. There is no hide and seek in the fact that there has been a continuous surge in the numbers of Nigerian population on the internet. Nigerians continue to go to where the ball will be irrespective of the challenges. The level of infrastructure, the cost of acquisition of internet services is not still within the reach of millions of Nigeria. Meanwhile, it is given  as a funder mental human right in other climes.

The rise of Nigerian audience on the social networking sites has been on the increase and efforts are now being made to create local/indigenous platforms that can stand at per with international social networking sites. In a recent report, one million two hundred thousand Nigerians are now on the facebook with a growth rate of ten thousand addition every two day (?). If this is anything to go by, then Nigeria brands must begin to appreciate the value, power of social media platforms to build engagement. Aside from this, I also gathered that BBC programme ‘superpower’rated  Nigerian audience on the internet at twenty four million.

To add to this, the age demographic of average visitor to facebook globally is between 35-49. This figure gets me excited. While our brand owners still continue to pretend this is not true, those who are wise will latch in to this and take advantage of early mover advantage. Laggards will suffer whether they realize it or not. For those brands that are concentrating on web advert, I think it is time to build more strength in brand engagement that is powered by social media activities. Wise brands around the world understand this logic.

As Lisa Orrel pointed out in a recent article, many brands who follow this path may be suffering from ‘Me’ dia disease. According to lisa, ‘Me’ dia syndromes has the following symptoms : when people(brands-italics mine)  make 3 common mistakes: They take the word “Social” out of Social Media; they spend too much time focused on the “Me” in Media; and they don’t spend much time participating in their online communities (such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs).

Most social networking sites are seeing something that Nigeria brands are not seeing yet. If all information available to us is correct, facebook, a leading social networking site will be launching in Nigeria today through a license granted to a company in Nigeria. It is time to wake up to reality. It is time to annex the potential of social media. It is time to consult those who know and not those who say they know to help brands in making substantial progress. Social media reduces cost by all standards and this is one of the major advantages of its application. The level of awareness, visibility, prominence, engagement given to brands is incomparable.

Will the level of technologies available, the population trend we have, digital marketing communication should be at the front radar of brand communication today. I will keep you posted about the event as I hope to be there. Do not touch the dial.

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