CliqAfrica’s Excellent Social Media Report on Ghana and My Reactions

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I have read an excellent social media report: 2015 Ghana Social Media Rankings was launched by CliqAfrica in collaboration with Avance Media, Dream Ambassdors, TV3, 233livenews, Cape 360, Enter Ghana and Gonewsgh. The report summarized social media follows, likes, and interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for many different sectors such as hotels, telcos, public figures and more.

My top insights were:

  1. Top in the Ghanaian personalities  category was Yvonne Nelson, an actress who was behind the #DumsorMustStop vigil. This possibly shows that engaging in political issues is, despite what many say, good for your celebrity brand.
  2. If to judge politics by the social media ranking of “public figures”, Mahama is more popular than Akuffo-Addo.
  3. University of Ghana ranked well in both the “brand” category and “university” category, but as the breakdown was shown, its rival the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology had many more likes both on Facebook and on Twitter (where University of Ghana is not even present). What UG scored on was engagements, but I wonder…was that weighting fair in this case?
  4. Telco Airtel came out on top, although MTN and Vodafone have larger market shares. Similar to above, the ranking came from engagements.
  5.  Radio stations JoyFm and CitiFm came out neck to neck with Joy on top. Similar to the telco situation, Joy is seen as the market leader.

I also liked that runners up for next year were listed (Ashesi!) and that transparent tables of numbers were included for each category.

Reading the social media report, I actually wish I had been involved in it as I thought it to be well-executed and timely. Now brands and organisations in Ghana can see how they rank in social media compared to others in their sector. I believe social media trends can also at times precede on the ground happenings. Brands not present in the report should see this as a wake-up call.

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Self Branding for Bloggers

Today, I had an interesting lunch with a branding specialist who introduced me to the concept of “self branding”.

My new friend the branding specialist suggested that branding is much, much more than marketing, larger than presentation, it involves everything you do and how you do it – that has to do with goals and purpose as well. She stressed the importance of adapting your own brand communication to your environment. Branding yourself in Ghana, maybe even in certain circles of Accra, is different from doing it in South Africa or Sweden. I was intrigued and to understand this idea of self branding better, I did some research and this is what I found…

Lea Ancantara is someone who has made a career out of what she calls “The Art of Self Branding” and her website which has all kinds of resources (PowerPoints, lectures on sound files, book tips, articles etc). It all  starts with a mini summary of her understanding of the concept:

Who are you? Who cares?

In a longer article, Lea Ancantara further suggests you should do some research into how you are perceived, who your “market” consists of (in blogging we call them “readers”), but also think about where you came from, what your “story” is and to try to be consistent. In the end, Lea returns to the initial question, adding a few more which should be answered quickly by your branding effort:

Who am I? What am I? Where am I? Who are you? How’d I get here?

The always interesting Fast Company suggests in an article on Self Branding by Tom Peters that the web with its personal websites is a part of it:

how do you know which sites are worth visiting, which sites to bookmark, which sites are worth going to more than once? The answer: branding. The sites you go back to are the sites you trust. They’re the sites where the brand name tells you that the visit will be worth your time — again and again. The brand is a promise of the value you’ll receive.

And here I started to get really interested, how do I create a blog brand that makes people come back? And how is that branding?

Here are my thoughts…and I have tried without knowing it was called self-branding. For instance, I was thinking long and hard about what picture to use in my heading, what colors,  what slogan to use (“Lecturer, Freelance Writer and Blogger in Ghana” is the current version), to be consistent in tone and content, what topics to write on (still too many?), what categories to use… Lately, I have noticed (the readership of) my blog is not really growing, maybe because I have been to busy to do more than post. I rarely market my blog these days. Or is it because of conflicting branding messages?

Anyways, life has more to it than blogging. There is also the real world…

Tom Peters/Fast Company and Lea Ancantara/The Art of Self Branding both talk about how self branding, as opposed to business branding have no limits. Yes, you can use a blog, But that is just one example. Fast company presents another idea to do projects just to show new people who you are and what you can do and I must say I just love this attitude of working to network:

Sign up for an extra project inside your organization, just to introduce yourself to new colleagues and showcase your skills — or work on new ones. Or, if you can carve out the time, take on a freelance project that gets you in touch with a totally novel group of people.

Writing in local newspapers and volunteering to speak at conferences are other “visibility” tips.

Now over to you, dear reader.

Self branding, is it something you think about? How do you feel about being a brand? If you are a blogger, do you have a “blogging brand”?

Pic borrowed from this blog.

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What Does My Mobile Phone Say About Me?

Recently,  I have been thinking about upgrading my current phone (a very plain Nokia) to something sexier, for the following reasons:

  1. My address book on the old phone is full – who should I delete next time I need to take a number?

  2. On the oldie, I cannot send text messages in Swedish (and to be honest barely in English)

  3. I only yesterday found out what it really means to BBM someone (for you who ase as ignorant as I was but to not dare to ask: Sending a Message to another BlackBerry owner – for free!)

  4. I have not updated my Twitter status for weeks now because of Internet fire walls

  5. I love to update my Twitter status

I guess it also helped when I came across this article on the effect your phone has on your “personal brand”. I was hoping my personal brand would be shaped by this blog and myself IRL, I must admit I never thought about what  people think when I drag out my “yesterday phone” and say YELLO?

Well, so far I have not seen too many raised eyebrows (maybe my personal brand fits like a glove with an old Nokia, haha) and my phone has been functional in that it does the “phone things” well – rings, dials, charges fast etc.

Also, I am never scared of being mugged, but rather pity the fool who will then be left with a well used low range Nokia and look forward to having a real reason to go buy a new mobile…

But lets entertain the thought that I need a new phone – which one goes with my image? A Chris Blattman iPhone, an Adventures From BlackBerry, a – who really has an – android (Graham?), a E.K. Bensah OGO device or something else?

Photo borrowed from Fonearena.

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