Thursday, March 16, 2017
#SocialMedia for #Uganda @NWSCug @UNRA_ug @KCCAug @UmemeLtd @DailyMonitor @ObserverUG
You need to take social media very seriously to survive this new world because Social Media will be your downfall if you do not dedicate a team to handling your social media presence.
The Kasese massacre hit the world full force because we used Social Media to tell the world and many Ugandans who did not even that a massacre had just taken place. Media was banned from talking about that genocide. Now look what Human Rights Watch came out with and what the US State Department is saying. Museveni under estimated the power of the Internet.
Prior to this, Uganda had blocked Social Media during the fake February 2016 elections where massive injustice was netted out onto the people of Uganda with military goons all over the place. We unblocked social media and while the media houses were banned from inciting by reporting, we reported on those elections to the point where we even have the polling results on the Internet. The February block, within an hour we had most Ugandans back online. The May block, within 15mins we had people back up. Ugandans learn very fast. Next time around government might fully block the Internet but we will SMS and find a way. Just watch us grow.
The daily brutality of the Uganda regime has been exposed fully and continues to be exposed thanks to the Internet and Social Media. Do you know that 12 million in Uganda access the Internet? Then we have 2.5 million people on Facebook. This is nothing short of frustrating for the Uganda rogue regime. You can see how they hunt down TVO who has one of the biggest following in Uganda and globally. Thank God some of you are not followed as much as TVO for you could end up in coolers.
HOW ORGANISATIONS AND CORPORATIONS IN UGANDA CAN MAKE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
1. Do not think that Twitter is your social media presence. Have you not noticed that many Ugandans do not open the articles you tweet but read only the headline and then retweet "what happened?". I usually roll my eyes up saying "dude, read the damn article you lazy son of a monkey".
2. Facebook is used a lot in Uganda so your presence on Facebook needs to get serious. Remember with FBZero, many access whatever you put on Facebook without MBs (tolina data has become silina data). Even those who use Social Media paks also need to use the FBzero.
3. WhatsApp is super fast for getting information out and maintaining a lively group. But I hope you read my advice on how to keep a WhatsApp group which is functional instead of those silliness some people do. I was once in a group for politics and the Secretary General for FDC for Kasese posted a video with jumping and singing boobs for Xmas wishes. I was thinking, this is too stupid even a kid cannot do it. I exited the group. Our groups on WhatsApp do exactly what the name of the group says. For example our popular #UgandaNewsBriefing is news from and for Uganda as fast as we get it with verified sources and links. Our #SoccerChat256 is likely one of the best soccer groups in the world.
4. Managing your social media entails key things.
a) Do not just post pictures and your good news stories. Some of these can backfire. Do you people remember #MuseveniChallenge which turned into a disaster with people mocking Museveni. Who even would do such a stupid thing just because the man stopped traffic on the highway to make a phonecall "WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY JUST RELEASED BESIGYE AND SEJUSA? DAMN YOU, YOU ARE FIRED". Actually we do not even know what he talked about on the phone but it displayed to the world how much Uganda can clown around.
b) Respond very timely to any posts or inquiries. Today I watched this Musoga Pius Woniala Wong from Mbale reporting a water break in Bugembe copying me and NSWCug and NSWC was swift in responding. Not too soon after that, another Ugandan reported another break copying me and NSWC and he only gave us the picture and no location but NSWC responded super fast and located it based on the picture and I am sure the problem has now been resolved. This is the power of social media. My friends tag me in Tweets and FBposts because they know I will share the information right away with all the people I know or the organisations whose accounts I have.
c) Your team needs to constantly scan all the key social media engines being used in Uganda and respond to requests, questions or inquiries or all the three. Most especially you need to respond timely to every complaint because some of the complaints are legitimate so do not assume people are just making noise.
d) Always scan the news for whenever your company or organisation is mentioned. The social media team you have in place needs to have people with strong internet research skills who can set this up.
e) Any video taken by any phone in Uganda and sent to anyone can go on Youtube immediately. Even those posted only on Facebook or in WhatsApp, I hit one button and it goes on Youtube which then throws it on all my other social media accounts (engines). So be careful to watch out for videos taken of you or your employees doing things which might not be right. This is where you will have to teach your employees about Ethics and Integrity so that you do not get caught with your pants down.
f) Everyone you see on Social Media is connected to many people. This is crucial when it comes to human rights and corruption. For example I attended Pearson College in Canada so I am connected to the entire UWC group of alumni and current students in United World Colleges. Some of them are key policy makers and funders. I attended Trent University which has a large global network. I attended University of Toronto which has a population of 97,000 university students and alumni. I worked for Imperial Oil Ltd. which is the biggest oil company in Canada. Then Exxonmobil alone had 74,000 employees world wide.
g) On Twitter check out the people who follow a person. Do not look at just numbers necause someone might show a small number of followers but in my case one follower has his own followers of 750,000 so if his team retweets what I have tweeted it becomes the power of the multiplier effect.
If you need any help with the above, I have a team of hard working people in Uganda who can work with you to get moving.
Information is Power!
Martha Leah Nangalama
I have over 22 years of Investigative IT skills and Social Media. Hahahaa. I had to throw this one in because 22 years has become 22 years thanks to TVO!