The NEMA Nigeria Experience! SMW Lagos Diaries: Day 3

I pitched my tent at the #SMWmace Hub at Terra Kulture, VI, on the 3rd day of Social Media Week, Lagos. Because choosing the events to attend from the schedule was a chore for me (the events on the menu were mouth-watering like that), I had initially planned to hub-hop but…the flesh was weak. Literally.

Chiekezie Nkechukwu was the only speaker who was able to make it for the "Transitioning Your Business into a Socially-Enabled Enterprise" event hosted by Alexis Consult Nigeria. Thankfully, he was interesting, engaging and interacted with the audience, dispelling a few doubts that arose when he said that email marketing is relevant in EVERY business, by giving tips on how to leverage on email marketing for businesses in the healthcare sector, agricultural sector and even for businesses of a clandestine nature. His talk centered around four areas: Definition of Social Media Marketing, Tools of trade, Staying on track and What others are doing.

Tools of Trade include Email marketing, Social Campaigns and EventSpot. A few tips on Email marketing and social campaigns I snuck out for you (you're welcome) are:

a. Emails should contain links that drive your audience to your Facebook page, website, event registration or blog.

b. Don’t send too many emails. Draw up a calendar for email schedules.

c. Segment your clientele.

d. Engage your customers on Facebook with promos when they like your page.

 

Tracking your progress and stats is very tricky especially when your business is on more than one platform. Constant Contact is a platform tracking service which you can use to manage all your social media platform stats.

The event was lasted for an hour and there was a 30-minute break before the NEMA event.

Okay, we all know the perception a majority of Nigerians have of government parastatals, right? I mean, only moments before the event started, I questioned my sanity for a millisecond: why was I still sitting there? Can anything good come out of this? Well, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The event was titled “How Social Media Platforms can aid Disaster Management: The NEMA Nigeria Experience". NEMA is an acronym for National Emergency Management Association and was founded in 1999 to coordinate disaster management and of recent, 80% of their disaster alerts have been disseminated through social media.

After the introduction and opening remarks delivered by a NEMA rep, the NEMA ICT consultant, Tom Obey, came up and provided the audience with a whole new perspective of NEMA. The NEMA Facebook page, set up in 2012, presently boasts of over 42,000 likes and apart from Facebook, NEMA enjoys social media presence on other platforms like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Social media is changing the way people communicate both on a day-to-day basis and in other peculiar situations therefore using it as a tool in emergency situations is necessary.

Talking about how NEMA utilizes social media, he said Skype is used for internal communication with NEMA top officials and conference calls, Twitter is the most popular platform in the event of a disaster and YouTube is used to upload videos of NEMA activities.

Mr Sola, another panelist, concluded proceedings by saying that many Nigerians lack the consciousness to be change agents. He advised we should take the decision to become change agents irrespective of what is happening at the higher echelon of the government. He also noted that Nigeria does not have a central emergency response number, however, in the case of emergencies, you can call NEMA on 0800-CALLNEMA…the service is toll free. NEMA is not the first responder to emergencies, their job is to co-ordinate disasters.

He also said that here is no way to disengage social media from emergency activities and feedback is highly appreciated. NEMA’s target is 1 million likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter. For those that have NGOs and want to work with NEMA, all you have to do is to go to the local NEMA office near you to register.

The “What’s Next? Music, Fashion and Nitelife” event was the last one at Terra Kulture on Day 3. It was hosted by Rare Customs and panelists included: Cherae Robinson, Remi Adetiba and BuYu Tiwa. Evita Robinson and Stephanie O’Conner joined in from the US and South Africa respectively via Google+ Hangouts. Unfortunately, the internet connection wasn’t exactly up to scratch and after a lot of chopped audio (and video), Evita had to gracefully bow out. The panelists discussed how music, fashion and night life are an essential part of the conversation on travel in Africa and how Nigeria can reap dividends from the interest of people from other countries in these areas. Tiwa spoke of how his company TiwaWorks became visible in the Nigerian market, thanks to social media.

Through photography, Remi said, a story can be told with a single shot or a series of images. The internet is helping shape what’s occuring in the fashion industry and showing the beauty of Africa through photography while simultaneously boosting tourism. When people go for parties, events, concerts, etc and they take pictures and post them on social media, it aids the elimination of stereotypes and tells the true story of Africa.

#SMW Day 3 was really lovely, informative and entertaining. Shout out to SMWL for the free WiFi. We love free WiFi. We love Social Media Week


Follow on Twitter: @IN3K8Media

Like on Facebook: IN3K8 Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *