Adenike: Many thanks for staying tuned to the media dialogue on 99.39 Nigeria info with Katherine and Adenike. It is 1:38 pm. It is a Tuesday afternoon. I have in the studio with me “Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata” who is an ICT expert. And he’s here today to talk to us about how to make the best of Social Media. Hello!
- CFA: Good Afternoon Nike! Good Afternoon Nigerians
Adenike: So I know that it’s a very dicey topic because a lot of people see Social Media has done more bad than good. And we’re talking about how to make the best of Social Media. How do we make the best of Social Media?
- CFA: Well I do not have any issue with people who think Social Media has done more bad than good. And it simply has to do with the fact that people are not properly tutored or educated on how they can make the most of it. So everything that is good has a bad side if people are not properly directed or properly taught how to use it. So yes people have not made the most of it. But Social Media can be used for a lot of things that include social good that includes business growth that includes personal brand expansion. So it’s about people understanding the process and how to be strictly go through the process because the reality is that Social Media obviously as well has become a very crowded place. Okay extremely crowded with more and more accounts coming up on all platforms. It’s becoming extremely confusing but again there are ways for an average business owner or an individual out there can make the most of these platforms by setting up the strategies and following through with it.
Adenike: Okay so what strategies do you think, I’m listening to you now and I may be have been thinking of doing something with the Social Media and you’re saying now okay Social Media, yes since some persons have attributed a lot of bad to it. How/what strategies, what steps would I put in place to ensuring that okay at the end of the day I will be making the best use of Social Media, against my friend who’s just posting pictures and posting pictures of whatever?
- CFA: Okay yes, that’s very good one. Now the thing is there are two divides. The first thing is you need to decide if you want to use Social Media for business or for leisure or for both. For some people, they tell you that my account, everything about me is private so I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to share and they stick to it. But for some people they say it’s for business or for family so it depends on what the person wants to use it for. So that’s the first thing a person needs to identify. If the person has identified that I want to use it for business for example, it certainly means that the person must now look at it from a business perspective. Number one, what is your goal for being on Social Media? What is your purpose for being on Social Media? If for example Nigeria Info-ICT Radio Show you run a small business, your goal might be how can the Social Media platforms help me grow my business? If you work in the entertainment space, how can Social Media help me take my works further or help me get more fans? Now that is a goal setting context because if you approach it just like most people would approach it you’ll just say let me just open an account for account opening sake. But if you approach it with a business mindset and you ask yourself why am I using this platform? The fact that everybody’s on Twitter, Do I have to be on Twitter? Now if I’m on Twitter then how often should I tweet? Do I tweet like the average person who for example is in a very different space? These are the questions that you need to answer. Now after answering these questions you now begin to develop an implementation strategy. Now for example if you’re in business of course you know that you own the Social Media profile for business. So about the things that you post, you might not necessarily be selling your product directly but you need to learn to post things that would help people look for your product. And for example your profile picture as for someone who is using Social Media for business, has to be business like, has to be clear and usually it’s advised that you use the same profile picture on all your account, on all your social media accounts, the ones you decide to use. Now you don’t have to be on all Social Media platforms, just identify the ones that are good for your business. Each business has a Social Media account that is good for them. For example, people in the entertainment space they’ll find twitter more useful. People in the consulting field might find Linkedin more useful. So it depends on where your ideal customers are.
Adenike: So you must identify where your customers are. It’s very necessary. I hope someone’s listening out there cos you realize that some person is on Twitter, is on Linkedin, is on Instagram, is everywhere. But I think is actually good that you know your market is. You must know your markets. You must understand your products you’re dealing with. There are some products that do excellently well on Blackberry for instance or the ones that do good on Instagram and there are some that do excellently well on Linkedin. So I hope you’re listening and you’re learning that Okay I can make the best use of Social Media but I must identify. What else should we know when we’re dealing with Social Media and how to avail ourselves of the beauty of Social Media?
- CFA: Okay now one of the things that people must learn is, often times I see that people make this mistake they just think that social media is a place where you can go and sell. The first thing you must stick to do is try and build a relationship with people. Try and build a following. Find a way for people to believe that you’re an expert in your field. So it’s not a place where you go and sell, sell, sell. If you just go there and sell all the time you’re most likely going to turn people off. You know each time they see your stuff they just click and close or they just click and remove and then you won’t even know. So the first Nigeria Info-ICT Radio Show thing is it’s not a place where you go and start selling. Yes you would sell but you do it subtly, so you start with letting people understand that you are an authority in your business. You’re an authority in your field. Now that would help people. So when they now see you posting about the fact that you want to sell. It won’t be a problem. So the starting point is why am I on Social Media? Which is the first one to identify! When you’ve identified that the next thing you have to start doing is you have to start building your authority. Let people know that you are actually an expert, an authority in what you’re seeing, even with what you’re doing.
Adenike: How do we tell people? Yes we do know speak in perspective and relatable. I sell pens for instance. How do I do that let people understand that I’m an authority in the business of selling pen?
- CFA: Okay well, again let me just say that what makes the Social Media or internet what it is today is simply because of content. Content could be in form of text, form of images or videos. It just depends. Now for somebody who sells pen, what you need to do is to come up with stories, come up with references of how pens have led people to space. You can relate the fact that people went to school starting with a pen that’s why they were able to create work that took them to space. Now it is how you develop the content. So irrespective of what you sell you must be able to use content to let people see the value of what you sell. For example, of how students enjoy using your pen. Now you can also go take testimonials of people you’ve actually supplied the pen to testify about how good your pen is. How long lasting your pen is. Now that’s why you have to be creative about it, because it’s a crowded space everybody’s there. So something has to make it unique. And it’s the responsibility of the business owner or the marketer to find out what is unique about your pen. So yes it’s a pen but what makes your pen different? So you need to come up with that and then be able to use Social Media to sell it to people and make them believe that your pen actually is the only pen they should buy.
Adenike: If you’re just tuning in, this is a chat with Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata who is an ICT expert and today we’re looking at making the best use of Social Media. He’s taking us beautifully well through some very interesting points, one of which is for you to first use Social Media you must first identify why you’re on Social Media first and foremost. Are you there for business? Are you there for pleasure? You identify your products if you’re there for business. You identify your product, you identify the market you want to reach out to that will determine the platform of Social Media which you want to make use of. If you’re there for pleasure or leisure please by all means try as many as you possibly can and just have fun. But if you’re there for business you have to sound like he said, he says that Social Media platform is crowded and you’d agree with, I couldn’t agree any less. But then one key point he identified is how to make yourself standout? You must find, like he said, your selling Nigeria Info-ICT Radio Show point. What is your selling point? There was a scenario I like the fact that you spoke about how the pen took someone to space. It’s interesting going to space. What else should we know about Social Media?
- CFA: Okay there’s this mistake a lot of people, some people make. Now even though you want to use, well it depend again, if they use it for leisure actually you can use a default page but it would be so funny to see somebody who wants to use Social Media to do business or to sell having the default page not uploaded a profile picture. That thing
Adenike: What does that mean? Take it easy! Having a default page?
- CFA: Okay sorry a default profile picture page you know where you have your picture or where you put your image. A lot of people leave the default. Now default is something blank, not really anything and they try to add people as friends. So you imagine that somebody who you have not seen before and there’s no picture they can refer to maybe it’s someone you even know back in the days but there’s no picture. So you can’t even trace who the person is. So a lot of people make that mistake.
Adenike: So business for instance, a picture of your product or your logo?
- CFA: Or even yourself
Adenike: For starters
- CFA: Yeah even yourself for starter but at least something that can communicate something. So don’t leave it blank. If you leave it blank it communicates nothing. It makes people sceptical about who am I adding? Who is this person? But if it is for leisure of course that’s different but if you’re there for business then you should try and get something that speaks a thousand words. If it is your own personal photo, make it a very cool, get a very cool photo; get a photo that sells you; get a photo that makes you look good. If it’s your product then a photo that is very cool instead of using the default one (the default image) if you are planning to use it for business. And also if you also have a company or you have a business you should also think about having your own company page. Okay. But a lot of people.
Adenike: So you separate business from leisure.
- CFA: Separate from leisure yes. So you can have your profile, your own personal profile page and then have a business page and the fact that facebook has modified it so such that the business page can also as well post like a profile page. So there’s really no difference on the fact that the business page people can like it while the other one people can follow it. People can be your friend or follow you on the network. So that’s the difference but again one thing that must be stressed is that you need to identify. If I’m on Twitter and I’m a superstar on Twitter and then what you do doesn’t relate to it. Yes maintain a page on Nigeria Info-ICT Radio Show Twitter, tweet, connect people but don’t try to be me because that’s what my business calls for. So people must identify where your strengths lie on the internet because it’s a crowded guess what it’s still going to be crowded for many years to come. Because the barrier to entry is next to nothing just an email account, you already have a username that is approved. And you have a profile. So there is one person, I mean I know that people are one person have over one hundred email accounts, Social Media accounts for various purposes. And I’ve seen that happen. Over a hundred you know so that is a crowded space. So is not everything that you see that should believe because I’ve seen people who say, oh my Twitter followers they’re too small. This guy has a lot of Twitter followers. So people don’t understand it’s possible for you to buy fake Twitter followers. So don’t even worry yourself or bother just focus on the strengths of your business and then continuously push. That’s the idea of Social Media.
Adenike: So you’re saying in that sense from what, everything accumulatively it sounds like we can actually make good of the Social Media?
- CFA: I know that countries are using it for social good and even Nigeria a lot of youth are using for good and a lot of businesses are on Social Media
Adenike: So it’s not a lot fabricating stories and then sending to go viral. Because the truth is you realize I’m sure that one or two persons who have done their business on Social Media and have done excellently well especially the small businesses. Or you know got into maybe a medium size for instance and they sell it from Social Media. If you like to share with us on your Social Media experience particularly for business owners or brand owners, please feel free to call any of our numbers. We’ll continue to chat up until the top of the hour which is about six minute time when we’ll go for the news updates. Afterwards Ali baba series will start with a crew. It’s interesting. Is there any regulatory body that deals with Social Media space in Nigeria for instance?
- CFA: No
Adenike: There’s not! How do we regulate what goes in and comes out? How do we regulate what people post? How do we regulate?
- CFA: Well it’s a tough question because even in the U.S you know recently there have been increased governance of surveillance on Social Media by NSA and other government institutions but people are fighting against it because they’ve said that the internet is striving on freedom and innovation. So if you start to regulate it you stifle that freedom and that growth that the internet has experienced. So there are two schools of thoughts, people in the security space want it regulated but people innovation space want it to be free the way it’s always been. What they say is that let people be increasingly taught on the best use of this platform so in Nigeria there’s actually no law yet. Nigeria Info-ICT Radio Show Although there’s the cyber security bill in one of the houses but we’re not sure of its status now.
Adenike: Yes. Isn’t that for like since forever?
- CFA: Yeah since ages you know and there’s nothing coming out of it.
Adenike: No I won’t say there’s nothing coming because I know sometimes at the end of last year
- CFA: A senator tried to smuggle something. I know
Adenike: I don’t know.
- CFA: Yeah. Yeah. The guy try to smuggle the funny part of the bill that stipulated jail sentences for people who’re caught in for.
Adenike: Cyber Crimes!
- CFA: No not only for cyber crimes. I think that was on social media people who insult them on Social Media they go to Jail. So people at the Media and the guy had to come out and he said that’s not what he meant then he was cleared out of content.
Adenike: So in that sense there’s no concrete body that regulates the happenings or goings on the
- CFA: There’s none. Any such bill should just focus on cyber security and cyber laws and just not Social Media. People should be taught which is just the way out of Social Media. They should not try to regulate Social, coz if you try it’s just like you say you want to regulate a trend or information.
Adenike: You know there was in what Country recently
- CFA: Turkey, the Prime Minister.
Adenike: It was in Turkey and then they shut down the whole thing.
- CFA: Yes they shut down
Adenike: Everything was shut down
- CFA: And they were fighting him, I mean they were fighting him. Twitter sent lawyers from the US They were fighting him man.
Adenike: It is back up
- CFA: Yeah its back up because the court ruled and so, it’s a trend today it’s a trend that it would be difficult for anybody to want to shove aside you know overnight. Because it’s a trend that people, they try the young ones, the young ones use this thing in ways that are much difficult to comprehend. And that’s the way it’s Nigeria Info-ICT Radio Show going to be for quite a while and that’s why you see the growth of all the mobile Social Media platforms. They are supposed to be chat platforms but are all now social.
Adenike: Well can you blame them?
- CFA: That’s the only way how they vote on Social Media
Adenike: Everybody has to make some chadas. Okay so we spoke about the benefits of Social Media and how you can avail yourself of the opportunity of Social Media whether it’s for business or for pleasure or leisure as it is. I want to thank you. Its two minutes to the top of the hour. We’ll take a break now and he will be back I guess the next week. Okay he will be back and we’ll be looking at the ICT in Nigeria. It is still the Media dialogue on 99.39 Nigeria Info.
We’re taking a break now and Ali Baba series will come up right after the news break.