Social Media is rising like an epidemic and I know special attention by social media websites are directed towards Africa’s fastest growing internet penetration rate. More brands and organisations are joining in to engage consumers and target audience; start-ups are leveraging on technology to compete with established businesses and the 2011 election is expanding the internet population … these are interesting times.
With everything constantly changing, business leaders need to be on the lookout for trends and to be able to leverage on them.Techies need to constantly identify these and to be able to deploy technologies to meet those needs. I was @ Barcamp Lagos last week and one of the quick things I discovered needed to be done techies to approach apps and start up development from the angle of identifying problems, opportunities and popular trends and to be able to use these business knowledge to streamline their passion. What trends are occurring for Nigerian Social Media and internet savvy Nigerians in this first quarter of 2011?
Facebook is visiting websites
The application developers at Facebook and independent enthusiasts are working hard and organizations and individuals are using on the popularity of Facebook to drive traffic to their websites. With a fast rising country population of about 2.9 million, the ability to integrate Facebook Fan Pages, Like, Featured Comments and Badges are avenues that developers are turning to give their website a social feel. People’s comments and threads are being integrated and even websites are becoming more interactive. Live Twitter feeds are also being used on sites as well as lots of featured apps.
So web developers are smiling to the bank and charging more for the integration of social media to websites – these sites they call ‘social websites’.
Naija clones of global internet startups are multiplying in numbers. Creating a Naija focused versions provide its own opportunities in targeting the Nigerian internet population – that is the good news. The other aspect is that global internet startups have also noticed the Nigerian market and are also moving into Nigeria. While some are spotting prefix/siffix ‘Naija’ to their web name (bellanaija.com, naijajams.com, naijaplanet.com, naijahotjobs.com, naijagurus.com, naijapals.com), others are using indigenous names (yrn.me, jekajo.com, wakanow.com, taatafo.com) to their names.
This has become one of the easiest ways to get your online startup started is to clone an international one, but beware – the big ones are watching Nigeria.
Social Media Campaigns
Humble attempts are being made to integrate social media into brand promotions; I am yet to see pure social media campaign in Nigeria, but it’s a function of time. Social marketing efforts are now being deployed generously – from way back Experience 2010 and Light Upnaija campaigns, most big brands have joined the conversations online. Some are already opening Facebook Fan pages with GTBank leading the pack.
While some have not gotten a hang of it or even trying to figure their way out of it, I think techies can step up their game here by latching on to this market rather than focusing on apps that the people are not yet ripe/prepared for..
Smart Brand and PR managers and ad agencies are now eyeing bloggers. Bloggers with enough clout are now able to help brands touch base with their target audience. Some have already organized meetings of bloggers and I think some interesting developments might be coming up soon.
This also goes with the trend that consumers are already succeeding in getting their brands follow their interests and habits. Most brands have begun to stumble their way through social media and they are gradually gathering followers on Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry apps (GTmobile).
One way blogers will soon come together in order to leverage on their collective visibility with the aim of reaping commercial benefits. I await!
Small business big relevance
Internet startups are rising and hoping to blast past their way past established institutions and businesses as this is happening already globally. You will find more smart and young individuals are exploring how they can use technology to build their businesses rather than the grudging drudgery of ‘unnecessary’ work. Jobberman.com and bellanaija.com are websites leading the pack in this regard. The success of Mark joining the league of
World millionaires and being TIME man of the year are interesting pointers in this regard.
Now over to you, which interesting trends are you noticing?