Digital Media Pertinent to Economic Transformation, Says Expert

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Wale Adetona

Mary Nnah

Wale Adetona, popularly known as Slimfit, a revered digital media practitioner, social commentator and social media influencer, has identified the role of digital media in national transformation and advices Nigerians to pay more than a cursory look at the industry.

Speaking exclusively with THISDAY recently, Adetona described digital marketing as an umbrella term used to encompass all marketing activities used in creating awareness and increase engagement on digital platforms, which include: blogging, email marketing, web marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, mobile marketing, Google Display Banners (GDBs) and social media marketing.

“Social media marketing is then a branch of digital marketing and includes content creation and engagement on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest etc”, he added.

Also the convener of Lagos Digital Summit (LDS), an annual convergence of digital eggheads in Lagos, with a profound passion for teaching young professionals how to maximise the limitless potentials inherent in the digital media space for the advancement of their businesses, Adetona in trying to encourage more Nigerians to take full advantage of the digital media innovation, has partnered a couple of like-minded individuals to establish the Lagos Digital Summit.

Now in its third-year, LDS was established to harness the constant innovations for the advancement of the society and the enrichment of its burgeoning population especially the millennials. The support received over the years has been overwhelming from notable speakers to sponsors and attendees.

Besides LDS, Adetona engages in other activities such as a bespoke Twitter hashtag to support local SMEs.

“People promote their businesses with the hashtag on specific days and it gets to trend on the platform. There was a deluge of appreciative messages received after the first attempt which spurred me into further episodes.

“Also, it was featured in a renowned international platform lately about how businesses benefitted from the free exposure.

“Lastly, I engage in an annual outreach with my folks to prisons, orphanages and correctional homes, to show love to people out there and give them a hope for a better tomorrow”, he noted.

Speaking on how Nigerians can position themselves to take full advantage of the opportunities in the industry, Adetona explained that acquiring the necessary skills will go a long way in ensuring Nigerians, and other professionals from around the world, extract optimum value from the sector.

“I candidly believe that regardless of anyone’s field of practice or course of study, digital skills are a must-have for everyone. Just like I was sharing with my Twitter followers some few days ago, the pivotal skills that are indispensable and lucrative in this digital age, include mobile app development, data science, website development, search engine optimisation, social media marketing, search engine optimisation and UI/UX design. Endeavour to learn at least one of these skills and you will never go broke again.”

While advising government to revamp the primary and secondary school curriculum and ensure that these skills are taught from scratch, Adetona stressed, “These skills, I strongly maintain, hold the key to the advancement of this nation.”

Calling on Nigerian youth to get their acts together, the digital media expert said social media should be utilised more effectively for profitable venture.

“We need to start devising innovative ways to use social media to solve the problems confronting the country. It goes without saying that we have witnessed some courses championed by social media and if we can add to those in a strategic manner, maybe we will change the perception of the public”, he noted.

Speaking further he explained that, “When a person’s usage of social media is intentional and purpose-driven, they tend to not engage in distracting conversations.

“LinkedIn for instance is a platform for corporate executives and there is a plethora of testimonies about individuals securing gainful employment through the platform. Also, societal movements have started on social media as well, Twitter especially. Nevertheless, you find a couple of errant individuals who misuse on frivolous endeavours.”