The City of Accra in Ghana has gone through a week of what many have described as a fusion of youthful intrigue, startup exuberance, branding, re-strategizing and social media geek-mode on full exposure, as the city’s digital community witnessed waves and waves of tweets based on events that occurred at the Accra Mall. Social Media Week Accra (@SMWiAccra) was a week-long event of master classes, case studies and presentations with regular interjections of entertainment.
The event showcased the various social media platforms available for personal or professional use. The in-depth discussions by the impressive line-up of speakers and proven entrepreneurs, giving nuggets of advice to extremely eager audiences, reminiscent of the age-old practice of Sages imparting knowledge to ardent disciples in Shaolin Temples of Mandarin origin.
The week witnessed many participants attending several plenary sessions strategically scheduled throughout. The experiences wafted between experiential, evidential but above all, knowledgeable,
Carefully selected speakers, social media pundits and fast rising business personalities from within and outside the country displayed their prowess which generated an impressive array of questions from a most eager audience.
What was evident and admirable to observe was that the majority of the attendants were of ages ranging between, dare we say, fourteen years to forty-five years. This presents a comforting picture of the future in terms of innovation in the digital space for the next two to five years. The interest and willingness to explore and apply social media was unmistakable.
It was truly an interesting panel of speakers such as Princewill Omogiuwa, who touched on what it takes to charter a career in digital media. Omogiuwa steered the minds of the audience to understand, in stern rhetoric yet light hearted parley, the seriousness of social media as a career development tool, amidst the App’s sociable DNA which pleased listeners.
Equally captivating was Jemila Abdulai’s pitch on the keys to mastering LinkedIn. Abdulai (@jabdulai) spoke in earnest cautioning the audience on the seriousness of LinkedIn – which seemed to be the go-to platform for the more professional crowd, but the easiness with which she spoke about using LinkedIn to enhance corporate and personal brands, with her story as an admirable case study, was much appreciated by the audience.
The sessions on Twitter by the representatives from Ad Dynamo, official ad sales Partner in Africa for Twitter, April Reign (@ReignofApril), Stephen Harry-Sawyer, Nana Aba Anamoah (@thenanaaba) among others shed light on the true use of Twitter, as well as, the pitfalls of the social media App, as was the case of the latter, who had had the experience of posting a seemingly sweet tweet that ultimately catapulted into a sour ordeal.
Another interesting session that was widely sought after was the Google Masterclass, which was held by Simon Alangde (@alangdetalk) CEO for Wineloya Digital Advertising. Alangde stripped bare the mysteries of Google for the average user whose usage did not go beyond Gmail and Google+. One admirable gesture he gifted the audience was by providing the website addresses of various sites to help whoever was interested in improving their journey to discovery with the ubiquitous and legion-esque variations of Google.
Headline sponsors, Vodafone provided the set up and support worthy of a Key Sponsor. There were SME clinics meandering through the week’s activities as the company showed what we suspected and mentioned earlier in this post, that there were a lot of SME’s and start-up organizations in attendance which needed help in running and stabilizing their businesses.
The case studies flowed from personal accounts with renowned social media advocates such as Mic Fox, a UK based digital strategy expert; Debra-Jane Nelson of Think Mahogany (@thinkmahogany); Jay Gyebi of Mukase Chic (@mukasechic); Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112), the freelance journalist and blogger and Papa Oppong (@oppong), the trendy fashion illustrator and designer, among several others, who mounted the podium and stunned the audience with crisp presentations that highlighted the enormous benefits they have enjoyed and the potential that comes with social media in boosting their businesses.
To crown the achievements of the organization of this event, the President of the Republic of Ghana himself, (@NAkufoAddo) saluted the event organisers, but most importantly he reiterated the growing importance of social media to Ghana’s future…and he did so by tweeting his sentiments, of course!
Now, more important is the issue of continuity. This event served as a litmus test for the organizers @Echohouse and @Pulse_Creatives and the various sponsors who believed in the potential of the event. For this event to become an annual event to rank peer to peer with sister events around the world, sponsors could show more interest and support for the next events as these platforms ultimately serve as advantageous to businesses.
After all, hasn’t social and digital media demonstrated well enough that websites have replaced the usefulness of advertising on billboards, and YouTube was rapidly replacing the content we view on television. If there is one thing that most attendants who fall in the brand and marketing segments took away, it was that Content + Trafic = Revenue
They should create content which would pique the interest of their consumers which would and could translate into revenue, provided corporate Ghana took a keen interest in social media as the new business tool.
“Websites are today’s billboards and YouTube is Today’s DSTV”- Simon W. Alangde, CEO- Wineloya Digital Advertising
Therefore, an event that curates and shares knowledge, ideas, demonstrable success stories as to how noticeable social media is impacting businesses, societies culture and relationships around the world, it should be given all the support it can get because the world of digital media is taking off with a loud bang.
With enough mileage, Social Media Week Accra will become an all-important retreat for Tech Geeks and Social Media Yodas seeking best practices and cutting edge innovation from this annual digital Mecca.
Accra is connected!
Video available via this link: https://www.facebook.com/MediaRepublique/
Picture Credit: Sourced online