Nigeria’s internet penetration rose by 53% in 2017, in other words, the number of internet users rose to 91.6 million in the month of June 2017. These statistics were released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). More than 80 % of these users are on the social media either socializing or doing business mostly using their mobile phones.
Event management and its value chain are having a fair share of the revolution heat the social media has brought to the fore. All over the world and in Nigeria especially, social media has revolutionized the way of doing almost everything, including the way events are managed, planned and marketed. Some decades ago, the social media was optimized to encourage networking among friends and family members. However, since it facilitated massive affinity with social interaction, it spilled into favoring the business climatic conditions. Among these, is the fact that it offers very cheap and better tools for reaching a well-targeted audience at a time of choice. Events are for people and people are for events, hence it’s sure a great advantage for you to roll out your content bearing in mind the latest updates and features emanating from the various platforms available for your use.
Here are the following trends on social media events planners in Nigeria should watch out for.
Enhanced features for better engagement for businesses and individuals
By now, event managers should be aware of the different unique features of the various social media platforms. These features or peculiarities present users with a whole lot of options for better engagement and interaction with their networks in whatever ways. Consequently, event managers have the opportunity to choose the best-fitted platform for their businesses, depending on the platform’s reach, cost and flexibility, Experts have however hinted that in 2018 various social media platforms will experience some major shifts that will further enhance the way people interact and do business.
Interestingly, on the 11th of January 2018, the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, announced what seems to be a major shift in the years of Facebook`s existence. According to him, in the coming days, Facebook is going to close up the gap experienced as a result of escalated promotions of business pages over individual accounts. Basically, returning to the basic reason of enriched, better conversations and engagements among individual accounts. Consequently, the space for business pages will become slimmer. So then, any event manager who wants to make sense must be ready to think out of the box to share very engaging content, spend more money in order to reach much more people.
Just before the close of the year 2017, Linked-In a social media platform built for the professional community recently optimized their platform and made it possible for individuals to now share videos on their account pages. This and much more are sure eventful trends to come in 2018.
More priority to videos
Another major trend that may be of interest to event managers and the likes is that videos will take a center stage. In 2017, video content sharing started to gain prominence gradually. It was noticed that some social media platforms tweaked their platforms to encourage better engagement with video content. For instance, users on LinkedIn can now post videos on their individual accounts. Before now it was not enabled. In 2018 videos will be a major mode for content sharing.
Studies show that young people are moved and/or better engaged by contents that are not static, that is, slideshows, videos etc. More so, people retain better what they see in a video than what they see in a text. According to Social Media Today an online magazine, the videos posted on social media generate about 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
Today and more than ever, live videos are given priorities on most social media platforms, people want to tell their stories, share their experiences to their networks while live; these then spark up conversations and engagements among their networks which is what keeps the platforms alive. in the same vein, the social media platforms even send notifications to networks when anyone is live. As it stands, event managers are sure of missing a large chunk of leads, if videos are not in the mix of the content intended for publishing.
Experts have estimated that in 2019, videos will account for about 80% of most consumer internet traffic. Event managers are now very privileged to use this to their benefits.
Cost of advertising will increase.
Digital marketing is now on the rise, organisations want their brands known and accepted by a well-targeted audience with relatively cheap cost. Resultantly, the cost of digital advertising has progressively increased because more people are using social media marketing to increase leads and ultimately increased sales. With this trend, it will be difficult for event managers to overlook getting their brands on most social media audiences without a budget for advertising. At this point, event managers who are looking on social media to create mileage must now note that organic post and boosting may not be as potent as it used to be. Hence its expedient for event managers to draw up a budget for their advertising after considering certain factors such as reach of the platform, cost and acceptability.
More so, the recent announcement made by Mark Zuckerberg, on the impending changes on Facebook will further narrow the organic reach of business pages causing brands to pay more for more adverts in order to get their needed reach.
Barry Mfon is a PR professional, a communications and social media strategist. He works with DOXA DIGITAL.