Review Of 2016 Social Media Week Lagos By Cynthia Asoegwu

Blurring the Lines Between Digital and Realtime – My Social Media Week Experience

A super-charged ambience amongst a sea of excited faces, some of whom were familiar largely because they are social-media personalities such as Noble Igwe, Olori Supa Gal (whom I took snapshots with for my personal collection, though am not a selfie-person) etc. I caught myself smiling and almost calling out to a few of them only to be mentally reminded, that these folks don’t know me personally – such is the power of new media.

Nearly missed it again this year, with my crazy work schedule and line-up of projects, but this very Friday being the last day of the week-long event, I made up my mind to experience the #SMWLagos even if it was just for an hour – it was that bad I even wished secretly for my day’s appointment to call and cancel.

I must say I envy those who made it through the entire week – the wealth of information, the networking opportunity, goody bags and an amazing on-the-spot idea pitch stage powered by First Bank.

I haven’t been to seminars or workshops in a long while, because mostly of these events tend to be more of paparazzi with big names – get you all buoyed up and then afterwards there tends to be a disconnect, like its all about the database and stats to file a report.

Anyways, back to my experience – spotting the new trend, requires insights into features which define a prospective trend or disruptive idea in any sector. With technology blazing the trail for global development and connectivity, the Social Media Week, is a most welcome initiative for our times.

One thing for sure is that we have to step up our game with the use ofdigital/newl media – as brands, government and individuals. Below is a brief summary of my take-away from my one day attendance of the week-long event…

–          Social media for brands provides an avenue for realtime feedback and facilitating brand relevance

–          As much as eyeballs is the target for generating revenue, don’t lose the essence of your brand by monetizing your space to brands that do not relate to your brand’s core

–          Social media marketing and audience engagement is far beyond banners and in your face ads as is common here, it is finding a way to connect with the activities of your target audience in such a way that they open up to you and you gain brand recall & relevance

–          The strength of a brand is all about the user experience: blurring the line between offline and online engagement

–          We need as a country to consider economic diversification to reduce poverty and corruption to growing wealth from the perspective of replicating the “Silicon Valley Edge” to groom our own innovators as “Food Grows Where Water Flows”

–          As a collective effort, we need to change the Nigerian narrative by using social media technology and online media tools to tell our positive stories – promote Nigerian heritage and culture, tour Nigeria, promote our amazing diversity and inherent capacity as a people.

My experience wont be complete without mentioning the insightful chat with the very Bizzle and Mr. Obi Asika ofDragon Africa. Though I got star-struck and had difficulty coherently syncing my words with my thoughts (largely due to the fact that I did not expect the scenario I met) they were quite receptive and charged up my excitement for the day – which eventually surpassed my neutral expectations for the event. To the partners, sponsors, facilitators and initiators of the event – many thanks. It sure was a fun-learning environment filled with glitz, glam and tech!

I am Cynthia Asoegwu  – a social-sector focused Digital media and Development enthusiast.

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