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‘Nigerian Twitter’ is a great online space. Being the crazy, creative, extreme and talented people that we are, social media has provided Nigerians a platform to play with. An easy way to understand the brilliance of Nigerians is during a trending topic. In the last few days, three trending topics have gone viral; #NigeriansAtHogwarts #YouKnowYourMumIsNigerianWhen and #SecSchoolInNigeria.

As usual, Nigerians went into overdrive and delivered some excellent, creative tweets aided by memes. Regardless of the fact that these trends dominated Twitter for much of the day, most Nigerian brands on social media were quiet. But that was not surprising, seeing Nigerians engage creatively is a rare thing but that should change.

Social media provides brands with a chance to connect and engage the audience more creatively than before and across the world, brands are eager to jump on topical trends and seemingly epochal events. During the 2014 World Cup, after the infamous Luis Suarez bite, brands literally fell over themselves to sink their teeth into the conversation – pun intended.

Similarly, over the last two weeks, hip-hop has come to the fore with the ‘beef’ between Drake and Meek Mill. Naturally, after both rappers released diss tracks, Twitter was the stage for multiple comments and a number of food chains in America were creative enough to immerse their brands in the conversation with witty tweets.

In truth, one witty tweet guarantees zero increase to a brand’s bottom line but social media, by itself, is not about making money, it is about engagement. However, with the right mix of creativity, brands can engage, endear and advertise all at the same time.

So far, in the Nigerian social media space, Chicken Republic have been one of the most daring and recently, Access Bank jumped on the #NigeriansAtHogwarts trend.

But there can be more brands doing this.

Take, for instance, #SecSchoolInNigeria; typically, several products were popular among secondary school students – toothpaste, beverages, snacks, detergent etc- and brands in this category with social media presence could very easily enjoy some of the #SecSchoolInNigeria spotlight as Peak Milk did.

While brands are not exactly expected to jump on every trend, the goal should be to watch out for trends and conversations into which their brands can fit relatively easily and creatively get involved.

Brands constantly compete against each other with huge marketing budgets and several campaigns which sometimes struggle to resonate among their audiences but continue to ignore a ready-made and totally free opportunity to score some points. Maybe they prefer spending millions- or maybe they simply don’t get social media. My money is on the latter.

Editor’s note: ‘Yomi Kazeem is a media professional based in Lagos. Connect with him on linked in or follow him @theyomikazeem.

Photo Credit: thomasrost via Compfight cc

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