A generation, connected! YNaija’s Lekan Olanrewaju shares the sights and sounds from Social Media Week in London

by Lekan Olanrewaju

The fourth consecutive Social Media Week London has been a whirlwind so far, with various events taking place in different parts of Britain’s capital and a large pool of attendees from all around the world.

YNaija’s Lekan Olanrewaju had the pleasure of attending a couple of events and have selected the top 3 to highlight for your reading pleasure.


First off was the YouTube Marketing: Beyond Viral event on the 24th of September, hosted by Think Tall Films at the UGLI Campus in London.


The event focused on, as the name implies, YouTube, and in particular, marketing via that platform. Topics covered included getting more views on corporate video, conceptualization and strategy, and tips from top YouTubers. The most interesting takeaway from this event, which featured talks and a Q & A with George Alferis, founder of Think Tall Films, would have to be that in the marketing space now, it is no longer enough for a video on YouTube to be interesting, it also has to be shareable. In other words, if your first impulse after watching a YouTube video isn’t to get someone else to watch it, then it hasn’t done its job. 90% of videos made, however, do not go viral (regardless of the number of Nigerian musicians who think calling a music video a ‘viral video’ automatically means it will).

How to avoid this pitfall? Humour and emotion – those are the two key drivers of engagement.

Another interesting event was the Future Of Community panel which took place on Day 3, the 25th of September at The Social Partners, Camden.

This event, hosted by blogger Bernie J Mitchell, connector of people for London Bloggers Meetup, TEDx Smithfield and Tagtribe focused on driving conversations through the creation of online communities and the roles of brands within them. The session centred on the need for online brands to work actively toward creating dedicated communities, as well as effective management of these communities, and how they will evolve over time. The key outtake from this session, I would say, was ‘purpose’ – making sure your community has purpose, or something for its members to talk about. Another important point to note – and this is where active management would really come to play – would be to strive towards keeping the community in line with the overall voice and tone of your brand.

The final day of the event saw the Africa: Open & Connected event hosted by the Social Media Week Lagos team, at Ravensbourne College in North Greenwich. The sessions included “Social Media & The Future Of Broadcasting in Nigeria” and “E! Africa: How Social Media Is Driving Entertainment In Africa”.


The first session, featuring Beat 99.9 FM Managing Director, Chris Ubosi and Director-General of the National Broadcast Commission, Emeka Mba, was an interesting discussion on how social media is being integrated into the business of broadcast in Nigeria today. Chris Ubosi revealed that social media marketing is now being offered as a service on its own to clients of his organization, as opposed to a few years ago when it was simply a free value-add. He credits this to concerted efforts of Beat FM to create a substantial social media platform immediately it launched.

This was followed by the “1 Billion Strong: A Continent On The Rise” session, at which point you could all but hear sneers from people in the audience who were all too tired of the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative. Thankfully, this panel focused more on the potential for a digital revolution on the continent, as opposed to the more ambiguous cliches many are tired of hearing.

The next panel was the “Open Access: Governance & Social Media in Africa,” though a representative of the All Progressives Congress (APC) couldn’t wait for this to ask in a pointed, borderline accusatory tone about members of the panel, and people of the world in general (according to him anyway) and their attempts to “run away from politics”.

All in all #SMWLDN was a great success this year and after the fantastic events of the past week we can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year.

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