By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Wild Fusion, a digital marketing firm which specialises in online media sales, social media engagement and web analytics service says it has been granted exclusive rights to media display possibilities on Facebook. Through its partnership, the right covers all Nigerian facing homepage inventories on the worldâ€™s greatest social media platform Facebook.
Speaking on the partnership, Senior Consultant, Wild Fusion, Mr. Abasiama Idaresit saidÂ a lot of opportunities abound on facebookÂ for Nigerias, stressing that the population of Nigerians on Facebook had surpassed 1.14 million as at March 2010.
According to him: â€œFacebook is really very popular among Nigerians and it may interest you to know that the population of Nigerians on Facebook just surpassed the 1.14 million mark last week. From the latest stats we got from Facebook, the most popular age demographics globally is 35-49 and it is among the top three most visited site by Nigerians.â€
â€œNigeria internet population stands at about 24 million Nigerians as at 2008 and this is source from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).Â Based on this, Nigeria is Africaâ€™s biggest internet market dwarfing South Africa and Egypt . The internet offers a great platform to reach millions of Nigerians with amazing targeting possibilities including age, gender, interest and behavioural targeting.â€
Meanwhile, Facebook Head of Emerging Markets for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mark Cowan at Facebook First Launch in Africa, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg last February said â€œFacebook pages are a powerful hub for brands as it builds a direct dialogue. Communication in media is shifting and while the standard ad approach interrupts user activity, Facebook ads align with userâ€™s activities.â€|
Also, Japie Swanepoel, of interactive concepts, based in Cape Town, South Africa who was at Wild Fusion recently said â€œOnline social media are like blogs, podcasts, videos, and news with a strong participatory element through comments, ratings, or other mechanisms. Social media is generated by the people and for the people with content created by anyone with a voice. The buzz is all about twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the launch of Googleâ€™s own social network offering, Google Buzz. Facebook is still at the lead with 400 million members. In Nigeria , Facebook just surpassed the 1.1 million member mark..â€
â€œMany companies around the world have come to realize that they can utilize social media in order to enhance their relationships with their customers. Companies like Coke, Starbucks, Nike and several others have used Facebook successfully to build their relationship with their customers. There are enormous opportunities for Nigerians and Nigerian companies on facebook.
Currently, he said there are many Nigerian companies, community groups and churches showcasing their products and services on facebook. The most prominent opportunities at present are the various unique offerings within Facebook, targeting the Nigerian audience specifically. These include Event Engagement Ads, Comment Ads, Rest-of-site Ads, Video engagement ads, Poll Engagement Ads and Virtual Gift Engagement Adsâ€.
Through Wild Fusion, Swanepoel said campaigns can be targeted at very specific markets. According to him, a good example would be for a company wanting to target only women of say, 18 to 25 years of age, living in Lagos . This is the type of targeted campaign that is possible on Facebook and will mean no waste of advertising budget.
Other opportunities exist within blogging, YouTube, Twitter, etc Do a quick search for the phrase â€œ Nigeria â€ within Facebook and you will find many companies, community groups, churches and fun pages set up by Nigeriansâ€.
Looking at the internet population trend, Iderasit said he foresees an increase in the number of online audience in Nigeria .
He is optimistic that with better infrastructure there should be a drop in internet subscription charges and an increase in penetration in the country.
â€œDigital marketing plans should now be a part of the overall consumer engagement planâ€.
Throwing more light on the services rendered by Wild Fusion, the Senior Consultant said other opportunities exist on MSN, BBC (mobile and web) and MTV base.com adding that the organization is also into Google platform which includes search, display and analytics services.
â€œThe Facebook self served ads would still be available for everyone though it has a lower click through rate and are much cheaper but the higher value also known as the engagement ads such as the Video engagement ads (a client can have his TV commercial on members homepage) Event Engagement Ads (best for events and programmes), Rest_of_site Ads, Poll Engagement Ads and Virtual Gift Engagement Ads can be handled by our professionals.Â Basically these ads encourage usersâ€™ interaction with the brand.
Our clients are sure of guaranteed delivery of impressions, managed campaigns, free web analytics service and consulting,â€ he explained.
Internet marketing, he further said could also help to promote the growth of Small and Medium Scale Businesses in the country. According to him, internet marketing is a great tool for SMEs especially when you look at the returns and cost of running the business.
â€œA platform like Google Adwords is an amazing tool to drive sales and increase awareness. With a small budget, an SME can get more targeted visibility than any medium can offer improving ROI. It is very important SME consider internet marketing for their businesses. Targeting possibilities includes location, gender, interests, online behavior and contextual targeting. It will definitely promote business growth for SMEâ€™s,â€ he added.
On efforts made by the company to engage the SMEs, he said: â€œWe have spoken and worked with some SMEs and the result has been very impressive. We actually have a unit of Google qualified professionals whose primary focus are the SMEs. We intend to reach more small businesses with these possibilities, it may interest you to know one of our SME case study is being published in Europe as classic example of how technology transform small businessesâ€.
He disclosed that Facebook advertising opportunities in Nigeria would be officially launched before the end of April 2010.