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[STORIFIED] Social Media: Where is Africa? #SMDayAfrica

Yes! Digital and social media is growing globally, but where is Africa on the social media map?

This was the focus of the first session – “Social Media: Where is Africa?” of the maiden Social Media Day Africa celebration.

If you missed the session, here is a storified version of the TweetChat with Social Media Consultant, Chioma  Chuka; Winner, #SMAA Twitter Handle of Year Award, Jimi Tewe and the African Media Initiative, AMI. The session was moderated by #SMAA’s Startup of the Year Winner, AdForumCo.

ENJOY…Social Media: Where is Africa? #SMDayAfrica

Tayo Elegbede
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#SMAA2014: Closer than you think!

The 2014 Social Media Awards Africa #SMAA2014 is just a few days away and we are more than excited as we #Countdown 20 days from today January 3, 2015 to the maiden edition of the premier continent-wide social media cum social impact reward system billed to hold in Lagos-Nigeria on January 23 and 24, 2015.

Fifteen (15) out of the Forty-three (43) Finalists from across the continent will be rewarded with award prizes for the featured 15 Awards across 4 Categories for the 2014 edition of the awards which opened with a continent-wide call for nomination and recorded over 3,000 entries accounting for about 923 nominations.

Received entries were screened by the Virtual Council leading to the emergence of 150 nominees for the continent-wide voting stage of the award. The 150 nominees were also evaluated by the SMAA the Jury which comprises of Fred Swaniker, Founder & Ex. Chairman, African Leadership Academy, Ken Banks, Founder, kiwanja.net, Abubakar Suleiman, Executive Director, Strategy & Finance, Sterling Bank Plc., Ryan Silberman, Chief Operating Officer, Popimedia, South Africa, amongst others; will judge the entries using the following criteria: Influence, Creativity, Scalability, Originality and Impact. The nominees votes account for Fifty per cent (50%) of the cumulative scores and Jury scores account for the remaining Fifty per cent (50%).

The Award Summit will hold on Friday January 23, 2015 while the Award presentation event tagged ‘Night of Virtual Wonders’ will hold on Saturday January 24, 2015 both in Lagos-Nigeria. Events will be streamed live for our virtual audience.

Winners of the 2014 Social Media Awards Africa will be rewarded with US$1,000, SMAA Plaque, Institutional Trainings, Access to relevant social influencers amongst other benefits.

Check out the list of finalists here

So, join us in the #Countdown to Africa’s premier Social Media Summit and Awards by using the hashtag #SMAA2014 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and other plaftorms as Africa celebrates and rewards creativity, excellence and impact in the usage of social media tools in Africa by Africans.

The Social Media Awards Africa is an initiative of Development Diaries and sponsored by Sterling Bank Plc. AIESEC Africa, West African NGO Network (WANGONET), Beat FM, Fan Milk Nigeria, Zisat, Trace TV and African Media Initiative (AMI)  are also Partners.

For more information on SMAA: Process, Jury, Advisory Board; visit smaafrica.com

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5 Festive Tips for Holiday Social Media Marketing

social jingle

This time of year, your potential customers are likely to have the holiday season on their minds. Why not attract attention by incorporating the excitement and spirit of winter holidays into your own social media campaigns? Other brands, from authors to tech giants, have already figured out that the holiday season is, indeed, the most wonderful time of year for their brands. Consider these five tips to add a little holiday spirit to your social media pages.
1. Holiday Decorations
While you’re putting up lights and ornaments around your home, why not perk up your website and social media pages? Add some holiday or seasonal touches to the cover images on your social pages. Alternatively, you could simply take a photo of yourself with an elf hat on to use as a fun profile photo for a few weeks. Either way, you are bound to earn a second glance, and possibly, you will increase engagement as your followers comment on the decorations.
2. Give Away Prizes and Presents
Who doesn’t like holiday presents? Contests are proven ways to increase engagement, social sharing, and fan bases. You have an opportunity to get more attention while the contest runs, and you also have a chance to get the attention of the winners’ social circles after you announce the winners at the conclusion of your giveaway.
3. Sponsor a Good Cause
Truly get into the spirit of giving by sponsoring a worthy foundation or charity that is likely to appeal to potential customers. If this worthy cause is somehow related to your own brand and products, even better. In the spirit of enlightened self-interest, you may find good causes that also use their social networks to mention their sponsors.
4. Ask for Shared Stories
Never forget that social media is meant to be social. Ask your existing community of fans and followers to share some of their holiday stories. For example, you might create a post about one of your own favorite holiday memories or traditions. Ask your social network to add replies with their reactions to your story or events that your story reminded them of. You are likely to increase engagement and get some attention from the social circles of community members who share.
5. Hijack Holiday Hashtags (Ho Ho Ho!)
Hijacking sounds more naughty than nice, but using trending social media hashtags is a proven way to get noticed on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Depending upon your product, you might look for trending discussions or campaigns like the #12DaysofChristmas.
Make a New Year’s Resolution to Plan Ahead Next Year
It’s better to plan holiday social media campaigns in advance, but these simple tips can still get planned and implemented quickly. While you’re implementing your seasonal media campaigns, don’t forget to track your success. You can always use this information to help prepare for an even more jolly holiday social marketing season next year.

Source: Business2community

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Your Brand’s Social Media Identity: How to Protect It

Social media wordcloud
By Shelly Kramer

Social media marketing is probably something that you’re engaged in, whether your business is large or small. But all too often people hand over set up and management of these valuable business assets to people who aren’t as qualified as they should be and/or they don’t protect their social media accounts. As a result, businesses can find their accounts compromised, stolen, and/or completely swiped by a rogue employee. If those things aren’t a major pain in the you-know-what, I don’t know what is. Here are some things you can think about, and put into place so that you can hopefully avoid a nightmare down the line — here’s what you can do to protect yourself.

Be Smart About Social Media Accounts

Many times companies let just anyone set up their social media accounts, which later opens them up to trouble. Make sure you control who creates accounts, the names in which they are created, and retain a document that contains all relevant information in a central location, under your control. Don’t let an agency or a consultant be in charge of your social media accounts without knowing the particulars of what they’ve done. Don’t let employees go rogue and create accounts under their names. Be smart about whose name accounts are created under and who has ultimate ownership, control of and access to those accounts. A little thinking up front can prevent many headaches later down the line. Also, if it’s possible to have a “verified” account, do that.

Protect Your Brand Online – and on Social

There are a ton of social media outposts and even though you might only be using a few right now, it’s important to “own” your name across multiple platforms. This is good for reputation management in general and it protects you from others using your name in a channel you haven’t yet discovered. You can use a tool like Namecheckr, which will help you not only see what iteration of your brand name is available across multiple platforms, it’ll help you reserve it in one fell swoop. We’ve long been fans of this handy tool and you should definitely check it out.

Using a tool like Namecheckr, you can not only discover social networks you might not have known about, you can make sure that some bored college student or just someone with a lot of time on their hands with a great sense of humor doesn’t swoop in, claim a channel you didn’t know about and start sharing content posing as your brand.

Get Password Savvy Now, Save Yourself Heartache Later

Crummy passwords are the number one reason accounts are hacked and compromised. If you’re using the same password across multiple accounts or using a stupid password (like 123456, password, or abc123), you’re just asking for trouble. In fact, if your password is on the list of 25 worst passwords below and you don’t immediately stop to change it, well, don’t blame us when your accounts are hacked. Use strong passwords, ones that contain numbers, letters, and characters. Make them at least nine characters in length, or longer, and use different passwords for different accounts. We’re great fans of LastPass, Dashlane, or 1Password, any of which will provide you with the protection you need.  Great passwords are a lot like condoms: protect yourself now or pay the price later.

Use Alerts

It’s imperative to have a monitoring system in place to monitor the web for mentions. And if you’ve been relying on Google Alerts alone, well, that’s just a bad strategy. Like many of Google’s products, Google Alerts kind of got killed off in the last year, so if you’ve not yet moved to something else, it’s time to do it now. We use a number of different alerts, our favorites include Talkwalker and Mention. We also use keyword alerts from Twitter, which you can get by using SocialOomph. Using a robust monitoring system that includes alerts from multiple sources will help ensure that any time you, your brand, your clients or the industries you serve are mentioned, that you’re on top of it and able to react and respond accordingly. In fact, smart monitoring can help you avoid problems before they develop instead of just react to them once they happen.

Don’t be Pace Salsa

Six months ago, Pace Salsa was in the news after some strange activity occurred on the @Pace_Foods Twitter account. The original news stories reported that the Pace Foods account favorited one or more of comedian Kyle Kinane’s tweets, many of which were both highly offensive and also supported rival companies. The account was actually a hoax by another comedian (long story), which turned out to be pretty hilarious. Unless, of course, you worked for Pace Foods. Had Pace been using any one or more of the platforms below, they would’ve known about this rogue activity much sooner than they ultimately did. And I’m thinking there was probably a big lesson learned by the brand and their marketing team as a result.

Bottom line, protect your brand identity in the social media realm to begin with and you’re likely not to have these problems. Isn’t that peace of mind worth a little work on the front end? We think so.

 

Source: Business2Community

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Four Ways To Make The Most Of Your Social Media Budget

social media and marketing

social media and marketing

By Brendan Dellandrea

Compared to traditional advertising, social marketing lets businesses reach their target audience with greater precision at lower cost. The barriers to entry are so low that the number of social channels and tactics available to small businesses can be dizzying.

With a growing number of available social marketing tools, it can be easy to get distracted from the task at hand: helping your business grow through customer acquisitions and market insights.

Here are some tips to stay on task and make the most of your social media budget:

  1. Think of every campaign as an opportunity to gain insights about who your customers are (and aren’t). You need to generate sales. Along the way, you can learn a lot about your market. If you’re spending money and not seeing a return in terms of customer demographic insights, you’re probably missing out. Social marketing can be targeted precisely, measured and tracked. For example, Facebook Advertising offers a number of ways to segment and target users. Running multiple campaigns targeted to different audiences can help you validate your assumptions about your target segments.

 

  1. Content is still king. Social marketing has forced brands to think creatively about content in order to engage their consumers. The trend towards content marketing—that is, sharing relevant and non-commercial content with your followers in an effort to build a loyal following—has upped the ante for the average business trying to establish an attractive social presence. The need to “feed your feed” with content can be overwhelming, and the cost of hiring a social media marketer can be prohibitive.To make your budget go further, Toronto-based startup Blurbi enables companies to find and curate content for their feeds using freelance social marketers at the cost of a dollar per post. Combined with a link-shortening and call-to-action tool like Snip.ly, a content-first approach can provide entertainment to your followers and drive traffic to your website.

 

  1. Join forces with a complementary brand.Marketing partnerships are powerful. By joining forces with another business that is selling different products to similar customers, you can extend your reach at lower cost. This might mean swapping in-store advertising or cross-promoting each other’s business online. Partnershop is a Toronto-based startup that facilitates marketing alliances over social media. According to Partnershop’s CEO, Jason Silver, “businesses that work together to cross-promote each other through social media reach an average of 26 times more new customers per post than they otherwise would by posting on their own.”

 

  1. Leverage your influential followers. Followers acquired through Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere can become brand advocates. Take some time to research who among your followers has the credibility and reach to earn you more potential customers, and surprise them with a random act of kindness. If you don’t have an extensive list of followers, that’s ok – there might be a way to capitalize on someone else’s. Toronto startup #paid helps businesses find and collaborate with social media celebrities who have influence over a given product niche. Product endorsements from influencers help you gain followers and sales.

 

Brendan Dellandrea is the director of marketing and communications at theDigital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University. The DMZ is the top-ranked university incubator in Canada and fifth in the world; it helps startups succeed by connecting them with customers, advisors, influencers and other entrepreneurs.

 

Source: The Globe and Mail

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