With the changing rate of technology coupled with its influence in shaping the future, one ought to get acquainted with the right platforms and how best they can utilize them in order to relay the right information to the right audience. In order to better accomplish this within our own team, DOT Uganda attended the first-ever Social Media Summit in Kampala.
The Social Media Summit Uganda is an annual event meant to help Ugandans navigate constantly changing social media circles and discover what social media platform works best for your business.
The first-ever summit event was held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday 26th November, and was attended by more than 160 delegates ranging from senior government communication officials to representatives from the police, banks, agencies, NGOs, and civil society, including DOT Uganda Staff. The hashtag for the event was #SMUg14.
The event was graced by over 15 social media experts. One of them was David Girling, a lecturer and Director of Research Communication in the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. He shared insights on social media usage, and defined social media as global, free, immediate, interactive, mobilizing, and empowering. Some of the reasons he gave as to why social media usage is good for a business included: brand awareness, share awareness, engagement, community building, crisis communications, fundraising and support, market research, public relations, and many others.
Mr. Girling noted that one of the ways to cut through social clutter was to be creative, innovative, and responsive.
He advised that social media is all about building relationships through engagement, and that one-directional dialogue must be turned into a two-way street. He said that if organizations are serious about online engagement, they should hire someone with a passion for social media and buy them a smartphone.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Girling mentioned the three rules needed to build your brand on social media: being in tune with your audience, creating a content plan monthly and yearly, and establishing a tone of voice that is authentic in order to humanize your brand.
Natasha Basson, a chartered marketer who is based out of South Africa, gave the day's keynote presentation which defined content marketing strategies for social media as conversational, viral, and convictional.
Natasha Basson giving her keynote speech on content marketing strategies for social media
The major take-aways from the various presentations included: knowing your audience and how you can measure your success and impact online, that social media can make-you-or-break-you, so one ought to be careful what is posted, and finally, the importance of having a communications plan.
Social media is important and something we all have to invest in, but Twitter is best for instant communication. Facebook is more detailed and it is advisable not to post the same information to both platforms. Studies show that more people use social media over the weekend, which is an audience companies should try and tap into.
Some of the DOT Uganda team in attendance
From attending this Social Media Summit, the DOT Uganda team is more confident in using social media. Here's our final conclusion: talkability on social media + shares and comments + likes and followers = Social Currency.