Posted on Leave a comment

#SMW Lagos 2016: On Building a Healthy Company Culture

company culture


Day 2 of #SMWLagos was all about the power of media and influence.

Attendees got up close and personal with some of Nigeria’s leading digital voices. Influencers in various mediums shared their experience and expertise on how they navigated their passions into lucrative careers. The conversation included talk about company culture.

Editi Effiong, founder of Anakle Labs, an investment company and incubator for technology businesses. “Never owe anyone money, rule No. 1. I think people who come to work for you do you a favor. When we started we knew we couldn’t pay, so we deliberately told ourselves to build a fantastic company culture where people come in to work and have fun. Pizza on Fridays. Breakfast–make people feel like they belong, like they own the business. When we sign on a new client we pop a bottle of champagne, that sort of thing. So people work extra hard to get that good feeling.”

[RELATED: The Importance of a Corporate Culture in Your Business]

Zubby Emodi, software designer, social media expert and head of digital marketing at RDM, Nigeria offered this: “The way I do it is I try to have as flat of an hierarchy as possible. Try to eliminate the old guard, the old chairman and CEO and sit down and talk to my team. When people see you sit down as the boss talking to people that are supposed to be your support, it’s like they’re your friends and that helps a lot. It makes it easier for people to come in to work and be a lot more open to you because they don’t think you’re going to fire them.”

Social Media Week Lagos logoAlso, going a little off topic, I asked Ire Aderinokun, a user interface designer and front-end developer who is currently head of design and tech at Big Cabal Media–and the only woman on the panel–her advice on getting more women into coding. “Coding is not something that’s only for men and it’s one of the few industries you get hired just for the work that you’ve done. Just be excellent at what you do. I personally haven’t faced any discrimination and I taught myself how to code,” she revealed.

Tomorrow’s focus at #SMWLagos will be Women in Tech and Africa’s booming music scene, and how each area is evolving in the digital age. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recap and follow the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #BEGlobal. And just in case you’re wondering about that WiFi, today wasn’t any better. We’ll let you know how everything turns out tomorrow!

Black Enterprise

Posted on

#SMW Lagos 2016: The Music Industry and Women in Tech

Women in Tech session

The third day of Social Media Week Lagos (#SMW Lagos) focused on Women in Tech and Nigeria’s bustling music industry. Online streaming anyone? The morning session, The Connected Business Woman, hosted by The Women’s Technology Empowerment Center (W.TEC) began with some of Nigeria’s top female entrepreneurs running successful businesses. The women shared advice on growing social media platforms, including the use of social media ads and how they’re utilizing technology to expand their business reach overall.

Tips for Facebook Success:

  1. Focus on using appealing visual images. The more people click on the ads the less you pay.
  2. Invite all of your Facebook friends to your Facebook business/company page. When they like your content, it shows up in their feeds and gets in front of their followers’ eyes.
  3. Don’t push people to your website from your ad. Create a specific landing page. This way you can educate your users before they buy.

#SMW Lagos, Music Day sessionShifting over to the afternoon sessions of Social Media Week Lagos, the focus was monetizing music. The standing-room-only session, Getting Paid in Full in the Era of Free, featured panelists working within Nigeria’s music industry, including legendary Nigerian rapper eLDee who founded PlayData, a broadcast monitoring service. When the conversation shifted to whether an artist should get compensated and whether music should be free overall, eLDee said: “If you, as a creator, give it away, you’re at liberty to do so. However, there are creators who wish to be compensated and we should respect that wish as well.”

I believe Nigerian musical acts can learn from other markets, especially in the U.S. American and mainstream artists not only license their work for films and television but also focus on generating income from live performances, sponsorships, and merchandising.

Another wildly popular session was led by She Leads Africa’s cofounder Afua Osei who shared intel on how the popular women’s empowerment platform has grown and cultivated their social media channels. She also shared She Leads Africa’s aggressive digital plans for the rest of the year, which include growing their 50,000 website subscribers to 300,000. With her passion and drive, I think they’ll hit the mark!

Afua had this to say about metrics: “I think the most important thing that we work on and encourage people to do is use data. It doesn’t make sense to create something and not learn from it. The two most important things that I look at every single hour are repeat visitors and time spent on site. I want to know that people who are coming are coming back and [that they] found value in what they’re learning and that they think it’s interesting enough to come back more often. Right now, we’re at 35%-40% in return visitors and the goal for this year is 65%. I don’t want to just keep bringing in new people and then they leave. I want to bring them in, retain, and hook them.”

[Related] Founders of She Leads Africa talk business opportunities in Africa

Social Media Week Lagos logoThe day’s sessions focused on understanding social media analytics, digital tools for those working on the go, and how social media is impacting Nigerian sports.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about that Wifi, don’t because you already know the deal! Anyone want to get me an international cell phone ahead of next years event? Slide into my DM’s @savagegazelle and follow the conversation using the hashtag #BEglobal!

Black Enterprise

Posted on Leave a comment

#SMW Lagos 2016: The Power of Media and Influence

Day 2 of #SMWLagos was all about the power of media and influence. Attendees got up close and personal with some of Nigeria’s leading digital voices. Influencers in various mediums shared their experience and expertise on how they navigated their passions into lucrative careers. From photographers to bloggers to Web designers, these Nigerians are leading a creative wave and inspiring a nation.

The morning sessions kicked off with “The Africa You Don’t See” featuring some of Nigeria’s top Instagram photographers. They shared their creative process and gave insights on creating content and sharing both the good, the bad, and the ugly of Nigerian culture.

[RELATED: #SMW Lagos 2016: Africans Claiming Their Piece of the Digital Pie]

Photographer Yagazieemezie on creating content: “It might sound corny or cliché but when it comes to creating images for social media I just go with passion and authenticity. I usually don’t take pictures with a forced set up, or pictures I really don’t care about, or because I want Likes. I do it because I am genuinely interested. And, of course, consistency is key with any digital platform.”

TomSaater, badass a documentary photographer/photojournalist who joined Instagram just two years ago, and who on occasion you’ll find taking images alongside troops from the Boko Haram regime, offered this tidbit on how he navigated Instagram, hashtags and all.

“I joined Instagram two years ago. A friend told me about it and told me I should put my pictures on there. I would just post pictures, I didn’t understand it. For like six months I was just posting photos from my travels or assignments. I just selected photographs and stories that I loved. People would see them and I started getting a lot of comments, people would follow me and tell me, ‘Oh, you should use this hashtag.’ But for over a year, I didn’t understand it and I didn’t have an active website.”

“Last year I had only 2,000 followers, then I woke up one day and I had all these followers. My phone was so busy. I got an e-mail from Instagram saying, Congratulations, you’ve been selected as an Instagram photographer to watch out for. The woman then said, ‘Look, we’ve been watching you for the last six months and you’ve very consistent with posting. We’re seeing the reaction from your followers and people have been reaching out to us to get in contact with you.’ So I think it’s about consistency. People will find you.” Saater has gone on to work with many other publications, including The New York Times which, of course, found him on Instagram. #ItCanBeDone

Later in the afternoon the Business of Design session was filled to capacity with coders and Web designers eager to hear from millennial Nigeria CEOs running their own software and Web design firms. While Nigeria’s currency may be encountering some issues—shade, no shade—the design industry is still booming and paying very well. The panelists each shared what a typical day looks like. You guessed it—a lot of meetings. They also shared what they’ve learned working with clients. The overall consensus: The client isn’t always right. Panelists also shared some tips on building a healthy company culture. More on that to come!


Black Enterprise

Posted on

#SMW Lagos 2016: Africans Claiming Their Piece of the Digital Pie

2016 Social Media Week Lagos kicked off with a bang. The energy was high and the message was clear: Africans will shape and share their own their media. They will bring their stories, culture and influence to the world, and we all just might be better for it. Day one of #SMWLagos had a round of sessions led by entrepreneurs, thought leaders and others, as well as a designated area for impromptu informative discussions. What Social Media Week Lagos did lack on day one was sufficient WiFi–especially for those of us traveling from abroad who didn’t get the memo to purchase an international cell phone.

The subpar WiFi did put a damper on our Google Hangout, ‘Global Social Media Strategies for Your Startups!’ which leads to my next point–contingency plans and the importance of being prepared for the worst. While the tech team was trying to figure out how to make the Black Enterprise Google Hangout go on as planned, I had already created a PowerPoint presentation–you know, just in case something like bad WiFi were to happen. When you stay ready, you’re ahead of the game! You can check out the discussion by following the hashtag #BEGlobal on Twitter.

Despite our Internet challenges, there was a plethora of information shared regarding the state of Africans and their use of technology and social media to push their agendas, content, ideas and image onto the world stage.  At the Reading Culture, Book Publishing and Social Media session, attendees received insights from media entrepreneur and author Joy Bewaji, who shared her thoughts on using social media: “Social media allows us to not be stifled by traditional media; we can say the things we need to say.” Bewaji added: “By owning our voices, we get away from shame and fear. Women can find themselves through social media.”

Later in the day, experts from Pulse Nigeria led a master class at the event. All eyes and ears in the packed room were glued to the stage as Pulse experts went in-depth about their internal strategies and insights they’ve gained as they continue to dive into the digital world. Their session, Leading a Digital Publishing Revolution, offered intel on how they’ve begun monetizing their video content. Rich Tanksley, head of Pulse Nigeria explained: “We talked to a lot of brands and asked them, ‘What would you like?’ There are certain things they’ll say, but all of them will say this–’We want 13 episodes. We want it to be similar, with the same branding.’ Before that, we were just doing this or that, but then we realized that if anyone is going to buy it, it’s going to have to be a series.”

Tanksley also talked through the phenomenal explosion of Pulse Nigeria. In just four years they’ve been getting almost three million unique page views with year-over-year revenue increases of 100%. The master class ended with a Q&A session with the panelists.

The rest of Social Media Week Lagos promises to be just as interesting with sessions dedicated to freelancers and students. And it would not be a social media conference without someone speaking on the importance of data and understanding social media analytics. We can’t wait! And in case you’re wondering about that WiFi,  it was fixed by the end of the day! Stay tuned for more of our coverage, LIVE from Lagos!

Black Enterprise