Tag Archives: African social media

Real Life Social Media- Lessons learnt from Paris Hilton

I just saw Paris Hilton talking about her show “My new BFF” at the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Now I don’t have much in common with Ms Hilton. If I ran a show like my new BFF, I’d probably have to bribe my friends to be the contestants. But then, lately, I have had my share of ‘hungry tigers’ in the reality show that is my life.

I spent time with all of them (at many occasions – unreasonable amounts)- mostly because I felt I should if I could, and sometimes because of my foolhardy enthusiasm to meet people. (I forget I am not Paris Hilton with the luxury of riches).
And what inevitably happens is this: People contacted through referrals and friends or social networks- mostly looking for quick assistance- professional or otherwise- and then disappear- as if a literal vanishing cream has come out in the market that does the trick.

Now I do not expect anything from them. And am surely not fishing for gratitude or anything. But it had started happening too often in the past few months. And it seems being ‘professional’ and being ‘social’ are two mutually exclusive things.

Now here is the funny part- many of these guys are from the digital marketing industry or belong to a ‘social media marketing’ set up.

Read more on the funny but ironical escapades with these guys- and if you have had your experiences with these people.

Do customers really want to engage with the brands?

The year began on a not so high note for the economy. But the digital media folks are bullish-as-usual.

I had a brainstorm featured on ChasingTheStorm. We were discussing Digital Media trends in 2009- specifically for Asia-Pacific. What came up were some really cool observations, some strong views and some star gazing.
Though the entire brainstorm could be viewed here – here is the sneak preview:

  • We need to recognise that commerce in APAC is conservative, and that in the words of Deng Xiaoping we’re ‘crossing the river by feeling the stones’
  • We could see a doubling of digital’s share of the marketing spend to 4% in APAC
  • Rise in spending on ‘Social media’ marketing
  • Figures say that in China alone, the share of marketing spending on Social Media is about 20% of all digital marketing spending.

And some comments that the community here in particular could respond to-

  • Other than SMEs running PPC campaigns on Facebook, social networking sites seem to be normally no more than bit players on display advertising schedules
  • I haven’t seen evidence that corporate profiles receive much traffic, and I’m not sure that modern media-savvy audiences really want to engage in conversations with their brands, they have better things to do
  • The landscape is unnecessarily blurred by social concepts such as twitter
  • Twitter’s like a social event where everyone’s talking and no-one’s listening. I simply don’t think that sufficient numbers will read it. Since this is a marketing cornerstone, it’s a non starter.

What are your thoughts on the above? Let us contribute to the discussion.

Social Media Eruption in Africa

Popular belief might stray us to believe that investing in social media in Africa is a complete waste, but this post on ReadWriteWeb shows us that this continent is undergoing a web revolution of gigantic proportions.

Even though the continent suffers from disproportionate amounts poverty, it is making huge strides in providing internet connectivity to its people, even in areas that don’t have electricity! Here’s a couple of example of social media projects that have succeeded in Africa.

This site can be defined as a social media aggregator and directory that is built especially for African citizens. Afrigator was created by Justin Hartman, Stii Pretorius, Mike Stopforth and Mark Forrester.

This social media tool allows its users to upload videos, podcasts, and pictures and share them on the web. Although usable by everyone, it is targeted to the niche local market of South Africa.

Ushahidi is a web application that maps reports of incidents of violence. This application was built after the aftermath of the Kenyan 2008 elections.

These are only a few examples of many social media applications that are benefiting from the growing tech-savvy population of Africa. Is it time for investors, entrepreneurs, and corporations to re-evaluate social media in this continent?