Money & Sense: How to seek attention online for your professional gain
Today I would like to talk about the most common label used to address social media influencers especially within the African or in this case Sierra Leonean community.
The word most often used for people like me who have developed a large following across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest is “Attention Seeker”. Sometimes it is used interchangeably with “idler” or my new fav “classless thing”.
What has made social media a powerful tool is that it allows you to build community and networks. That’s if you use it wisely and with intention. Let me use a case study from something that happened to me last year to illustrate the importance of intention.
In 2018 I was in Freetown. I asked my personal photographer to follow me into town as I went shopping for textile at Malamah Thomas Street. While we were on the street I saw a push cart guy with popsicles. It was a very hot day. I didn’t even know they were selling popsicles on the street so I was really excited. Anyway when I got home I uploaded the photos on my Facebook page and talked about the popsicle and how I was so thankful that we had someone making this locally. I also talked about how I thought they needed to add local flavors like ginger beer and tamarind in place of say strawberry and pina colada.
That same week I got a call from the makers of the product. Someone from the family who owns the company sent my post to them and told them that they should work with me to develop and position their brand. A month later my marketing company signed a one year contract with Sierra Ice Company makers of Bomba brand of ice-cream and yogurt.
I know that when I posted those photos and every time I post a video or a photo online someone somewhere I is rolling their eyes. I know that when I share a firm opinion against white savior complex and colonial mentality and reject BBCAfrica for featuring an American over a Sierra Leonean that many feel I crossed some line. My critics say that I am racist because I am unimpressed with celebrating mediocrity.
In fact some have called me a racist, others do what they often do both men and women reach for their deep rooted misogyny and suggest that I must have been dumped by a white man before and that is why I reject a white person who says they love Sierra Leone. Furthermore the critics say that I must be jealous. That I am salty because BBCAfrica did no feature me (they forgot that I was on the BBC in June).
Bottom line is social media is a tool. Two years ago I launched an e-commerce shop and because of my large following I was able to reach now customers instantly. The bulk of my clientele were women in the US diaspora who would see my products on my social media pages and purchase from me.
Three weeks ago my national television show launched on AYV TV the leading private broadcaster in Sierra Leone. Before, during, and after every broadcast I use Whatsapp lists, Whatsapp groups, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to drive viewers to watch the show both on TV and online. I would not be able to do this if I had not been what some refer to as an “attention seeking idler” producing daily content for the consumption of an audience who sometimes love and other times loathe me.
The lesson I want you to learn from this is that you should be intentional about your usage of social media. Do not hesitate to produce content everyday to build a community and a following around you. At some point you will have projects, ideas, causes to promote and the same channel that you created is what you will use.
My audience is primarily Sierra Leonean so my content is always going to be of what is relevant to the Sierra Leonean community. It will not always be what they want to hear or see or even popular opinion. What is the point if you post that which is available elsewhere?
The reason why people will end up following you is for your authenticity. The same people who say they love you today, the wind will blow and tomorrow on another issue they hate you. Those who hate you today, on another issue they will love you. The most important thing is to never pander to the feelings of you audience. Focus on constant content production that is relevant to your community. They do not have to like every thing but so long as you are intentional about the content whether they hate you or love you, they won’t be able to turn away because you’ve established yourself as a channel of information that they need. Even if they need it only to show others evidence of what they hate about you, the bottom line is they see you, they hear you, you have their attention.
I say all this to remind you that The Vickie Remoe Show broadcasts every Tuesday on AYV TV Channel 33 at 8pm, and every Friday AYV TV Channel 34 in Sierra Leone. We have 7 more weeks of broadcast ahead. If can’t watch AYV TV please be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel.
After you watch the show leave a comment and more than anything else share our Sierra Leonean stories out to the world because Wi Get Foh Represent Wi Sef, Do Am Foh Wi Sef. Happy New Year and Thank you always for watching and connecting. I leave you with the very wise words from a very wise Salone man:
“No to all man go lek you!” - Famous