Brand Building and Social Media Strategies: 2011 Nigerian Presidential Elections Candidates.

Social media was a major “buzz word” in 2008 in many parts of the world. Nigeria was not much left out as Facebook alone records at least 1,718,000 Nigerian members. Nigerians definitely love to talk, express opinions and live the community life anywhere they go, and this is very obvious in the various conversations carried out online by Nigerians across various nations. Social media marketing has even become another important term in marketing and it seems this strategy is present in every marketing campaign.

Based on recent research carried out by myself and researchers in other countries, social media is mostly used for socializing and communicating with already existing relationships or with people based of similar interests or occupations. It is therefore not uncommon for someone who likes to watch CNN but has no time to watch as before to “like” CNN on Facebook and subscribe to updates from CNN. It is in this same way that one would become a fan of The Simpsons on Facebook, “like” my friend’s well written note or comment on a beautiful picture.

The countdown towards the 2011 presidential elections was quite sudden with aspirants springing up from everywhere with very eventful declarations. Most sudden were the various images, profiles and “conversations carried out by these aspirants on various social media platforms. Funny enough, until now, only one or two candidates had ever been known with a profile on any social media platform. Their presence on these media might be a strategy to reach the youthful demographic. This is not a bad suggestion in 2010. But it raises many questions.

The average Nigerian youth is on the streets looking for jobs or trying to put his/her ideas together to start a small business. These youths make out time and money to use these forms of technology amidst various challenges such as erratic power supply, hunger, job search, ASUU strikes and difficulties which they have come to accept as basic. Some have even gone ahead to create innovative applications through these technologies. While these young men and women have been struggling to be at par with their counterparts in other countries, how many of these candidates have carried out any conversations with them? How many of these young people have been supported, appreciated or even encouraged by these candidates? It takes the same young people to support themselves with programs such as the future awards.

Any young person in their twenties can identify with Milo, coca-cola, and many products that were available for us as we grew up. We are likely to “like” these brands on Facebook or even carry out conversations with them because we recognize their roles in our growth. Many of us cannot even name one project that many of these candidates have carried out and how it affects us. We do not have an idea of what they plan to do to create more job opportunities, better business environment, better health care or even basic education. We would really love to listen to them. But they have let us down too many times and the social media platforms are not going to make the messages and promises come true. Every social media campaign (like any marketing campaign requires consistency).

The lesson for brand builders: build your brand’s quality before attempting to sell. Do not take your audience for granted. The conversation between you and your audience starts before you speak. Most people have “googled” you before actually meeting you. There are no more passive audiences. Walk the talk, because people are watching and the next review might come out before you even release your product.

"Netiquette" daily

by Virginia Shea           

What is Netiquette? Simply stated, it’s network etiquette — that is, the etiquette of cyberspace. And “etiquette” means “the forms required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be required in social or official life.” In other words, Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online.

When you enter any new culture — and cyberspace has its own culture — you’re liable to commit a few social blunders. You might offend people without meaning to. Or you might misunderstand what others say and take offense when it’s not intended. To make matters worse, something about cyberspace makes it easy to forget that you’re interacting with other real people — not just ASCII characters on a screen, but live human characters.

So, partly as a result of forgetting that people online are still real, and partly because they don’t know the conventions, well-meaning cybernauts, especially new ones, make all kinds of mistakes.

The book Netiquette has a dual purpose: to help net newbies minimize their mistakes, and to help experienced cyberspace travelers help the newbies. The premise of the book is that most people would rather make friends than enemies, and that if you follow a few basic rules, you’re less likely to make the kind of mistakes that will prevent you from making friends.

The list of core rules which will be added daily, and the explanations that follow, are excerpted from the book. They are offered here as a set of general guidelines for cyberspace behavior. They won’t answer all your Netiquette questions. But they should give you some basic principles to use in solving your own Netiquette dilemmas.

Facebook Introduces "groups" as new feature to soothe privacy concerns

Social networking website Facebook has responded to widely voiced privacy concerns with new tools that give users more control over which of their friends see their information.

The new features also allow users to download all their Facebook information to their own computers

The new groups feature allows Facebook’s 500-million-plus members to group friends according to different categories, such as family, neighbours, work, sports teams and college. They can then easily specify which group to post information to – making it much easier to share information with some people and not others.

Facebook’s previous method for classifying friends into different groups was achieved through the use of cumbersome lists and were utilized by only about 5 per cent of members.
“We’re not being hyperbolic when we say (groups) is going to be a fundamental shift in how people use Facebook,” company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said. “No one wants to make lists.”

The new features were unveiled at Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters just days after the release of the movie The Social Network, which paints an unflattering picture of an arrogant Zuckerberg and depicts his disrespect for other people’s information when he founded Facebook.

The new downloading feature will enable users to save copies of photos, documents and other information on their own computer.

Zuckerberg appeared unconcerned that it would also make it easier for people to leave the world’s largest social network.

“It’s our core belief that people should own and be able to control their information in Facebook,” Zuckerberg said. “We view this as a philosophical thing.”

Culled from hindustantimes.com

How to make a good public presentation

Projectors and Microsoft Office Powerpoint appeared to have made public speaking easier, but the wrong usage can make people forget you ever said anything. So here are a few tips to help you make interesting and effective presentations, hope it helps:

Tips for public presentations

• Keep the background simple to enhance readability

• Always include at least one slide on your research methodology, i.e., quantitative or qualitative, sample size, error ratio, etc.

• Be clear about your sample and whether or not the results are able to be generalized

• Clearly title slides on methodology, sample, findings and conclusion

General purpose

• Slides should not serve as note cards you read

• Slides should show highlights of your presentation with you filling in the rest

Bullets and numbers

• Keep bullets simple and avoid too many on one slide

• Do not use more than one additional set of indented bullets

• When conveying rank or order, use numbers instead of bullets

Fonts, colors and graphics

• Use easy-to-read and professional fonts like Helvetica or Times New Roman

• Do not use all caps or all bold

• Using italics or underlining may cut off letters or be hard to read

• Use a strong contrast between slide background and font color
• Individual words can be emphasized in a contrasting color

• Try to limit your color palette to two to three colors

Final tips

• Use a variety of figures, charts, photographs throughout your presentation

• Try to have a visual break with a change in format at least every sixth slide

• Limit your graphics to one per slide whenever possible

Culled fromSocial media biz.com