I will like to welcome you all to this Alder Social Media Week event. Glad you could make it and thank you for honouring us.
The social media world is a jungle. There are preys and predators, hyenas, jackals, reptiles, snakes, iguanas… It’s a tough world out there. There are arrows flying all over the place, javelins vectoring, dane guns blazing, in sporadic hiccups.
But there are also civilized settlements in this Amazonian forest of opinions, pictures, video clips, emotions and rantings. There are civilized enclaves of conversations, goodwill, advice, hope, and compassion.
What we’ve tried to do with the Alder Social Media Report, the first of its kind, is to bring some order to this zoological community; to categorise the classes of opinion, interactions and people; to identify the lions and other cats – the great influencers. It’s taken a lot to put together but I’m glad that our effort is very much appreciated judging by the reception of the report.
We have also been able to show the corporate world that social media is not what they think it is. It is not an alternative ungovernable universe where loonies rant and rave and everything goes. Social media is the marketplace of ideas. It is a powerful feedback system. It is the bedrock of innovation, the meeting point of the corporation with the individual customer. Wise corporations have turned social media into vehicles of product testing and customer service. A modern corporation ignores social media at its peril.
The Government being dependent on public opinion has not been left out. There are lessons from the Arab Spring. Politicians never being short of opinions themselves have erected barricades in the social media jungle. Political parties have delineated spaces for agenda development. And you know something is powerful about social media when the Pope creates a Twitter account. @Pontifex is not just a social genuflection to the younger generation, it is the facing of reality. And not just the Pope, the world’s most powerful Head of State, President Obama has a Twitter handle. And he’s posted 11,000 tweets. There is of course the risk of the demystification of the office of the Pontiff, or the office of the President, but the greater risk is lack of accessibility beyond officialdom.
Our creative challenge at Alder Consulting, and this is a gauntlet I’m throwing, is how to better adapt social media to citizenship and neighbourliness. How can we better use social media to organize elections in Nigeria? How can we better use social media to solve a societal malaise like rape? How can we better use social media to promote good? How can we better use social media for security? How can we better use social media to promote causes – like gender equality, literacy, sound education policies, to fight the monster of corruption? How can we better use social media to promote a better image for Nigeria? Can we effectively use social media to fight advance fee fraud, aka 419? Can we use social media to stem the spate of wanton killings masquerading as religious righteousness?
This is a challenge not just for Alder Consulting but for everyone.
I’ll like to seize this opportunity to thank the winners in the maiden Alder Social Media Ranking and Report. From the interactions I see on Twitter and Facebook you may need to work hard to keep your crowns next year.
I want to thank our panelists – the affable media personality Adebola Williams, our wonderful Morin Oluwole of Facebook, the opinion pugilist and conscience of society Japheth Omojuwa, our very own delectable, down to earth social crusader, Kate Henshaw; the very Rosemary Ajayi, the talented Nnodim Blossom, and our cerebral and hardworking Subomi Plumptre of Alder Consulting. Thank you for accepting our invitation.
I also want to thank our partners – Social Media Week, Body Lawson Studios, X-to Pro FX and YNaija.com. Thank you for your partnership.
This much I assure you. We will continue to innovate in the social media space. Our vision is not just a social media report for Nigeria, but for East, West, Central and Southern Africa. Our penultima is a standardized social media report for Africa. Our ultimate goal is a global report.
I want to thank everyone once more for honouring us with your presence and listenership. Thank you and God bless.
This keynote address was delivered by Leke Alder, Principal of Alder Consulting at Alder Social Media Week event (#SMWAlder) 2014.