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Oct 08

2021

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Stepping on the Gas with Digital Literacy.

What’s not on social media is less visible and less appealing to the masses in this era, where new media stands out as one of the most potent marketing tools humanity has ever had. Its burgeoning influence in terms of rapid information dissemination is apparent enough at every level. 

In this Golden era of Social media, outstanding creative have emerged some of which are producing a remarkable social media narrative, that is revolutionizing how marketing can be done via social media. 

One compelling story I came across stems from Esnala Banda, a young woman, taking social media usage to another level. 

She is helping people understand the free digital mechanics that one can use to convince their audience to buy into their products. These come in form of teaching people how to use Facebook insights to grow their business.

Esnala is a Writer, Poet, Blogger, Scriptwriter, and photographer. Her debut poetry anthology Sketches Of Paranoia won the Gwendoline Konie award for Most Oustanding Poetry in the 2019 Ngoma Awards and was also nominated for Most Creative Female Writer. She recently released her second book Hot Chocolate and Deep Freezers.

She is an Afro-Creative whose passion is seen in her original and authentic creativity that overflows with African stories. 

Esnala has also written for a number of platforms including Amaka Studio, Nkwazi Magazine, African Feminism, Zambia Travel Magazine, Zambia Mining Magazine, and Okay Africa.

Esnala Banda has 6 years of experience in Marketing Communications with expertise in content creation, media buying, social media management, as well as copywriting.

She has a Bachelors’s Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Zambia (UNZA) and has worked with a number of notable advertising agencies and international brands such as Pizza Hut, KFC, Vodafone, Pepsi, and Afrishop.

Miss Banda who has been working in marketing for the past six years feels the idea of having to grab people’s attention and understanding what they really want and the different mechanisms that you can use to get them to buy into your products and services and the psychology behind it is simply fascinating.

“By teaching people how to use Facebook insights it basically helps them on how to streamline their businesses and also how to streamline their content, in knowing whom exactly that it is they are talking to and who it is that they want to talk to. Sometimes there is always a disconnect usually especially when you are just starting up because you feel like you are talking to a particular group of people for example you might be thinking that you want to target people who are between 30-40 and then really discover that your content is really appearing more to people who are between 25-30.” She says

According to her, it is important in that regard to check on your Facebook insights and be able to see who exactly it is that you are talking to and what content they like. For example, is it videos or images and see how you can adapt to be able to reach the people you are actually trying to talk to and it also helps you to identify the locations of the people you are talking to because they are constantly rolling out updates on Facebook. You are also able to see devices they are using so you will be now able to tailor your content to the different platforms that people are using to access your information. 

Miss Banda says she is big on helping people to just see them grow professionally or personally and she is very passionate about sharing knowledge with others, which is like her second nature.

“I think it’s important to be able to share knowledge, it just kind of ties with my purpose to be able to create linkages for people to be able to grow and generally just be able to build themselves or their businesses or personal brand.” She says.

WHY THIS INITIATIVE AND IS IT BEING OFFERED FREE OF CHARGE?

This is an initiative that has steamed from Bongo Hive partnership with Facebook. It’s a boost with the Facebook program that is being rolled out by Bongo Hive. Facebook has seen the need for people to be able to access their free tools, which help their businesses and to create more engagement especially for growing businesses and Bongo Hive has collaborated with different trainers working in the marketing field to be able to facilitate these training locally.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE RESPONSE FROM THE PUBLIC?

Small and medium enterprises no longer get a lot of walk-ins probably due to covid, since people are mostly staying home. We have seen many online stores which was not previously a normal trend in Zambia, but despite all this, all businesses still want people to know who they are and where they are found and so feedback from the sessions has been great. 

“The response has been great generally, there has been a number of people especially with small businesses who have taken a keen interest and understand that digital marketing is now the way to go.”

She added that they run people through on how to set up a Facebook business page, how to use Facebook page insights, and how to create engaging posts among other topics. 

WHAT’S YOUR VISION? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO FURTHER ACHIEVE?

Her vision is to become the best person she can be. Miss Banda says, she’s a jack of all trades and does a lot of things, which include marketing, writing, and photography. She’s also a poet. She wishes to be able to just use all my skills across the board. She added that she has a certain eye for different things based on the number of gifts and talents that she has and utilizes. 

“In terms of what I want to achieve, putting out more books, giving more talks, more sessions, and training, especially when it comes to marketing in the digital age, I think it’s something that I would like to do beyond this particular project that we doing.”

She further said that she usually just takes the time out to have conversations and also to show people the ropes she’s throwing so as to have a little bit extra so that they are able to handle what comes on the digital marketing space on their own. 

She has advised business owners to know how to use Facebook insights be it that they handle their own page or if they have engaged someone to do it for them.

“You should be able to also understand what it is when they are telling you why your page is growing or how your page isn’t growing or what content works or when you are trying to strategize and finding out what you can do better and what isn’t working. It’s important to know these insights as a business for yourself or as an individual, in order for you to grow, it’s important to have all the information that you can and one way to do that is to use your Facebook page insights because it will help you also tap into markets that you didn’t know that you could.”

Esnala Banda concluded by saying, a business can now attribute that 97 percent of their revenue coming from Facebook whether it’s using sponsored adverts or even just been able to cruet their content because of having looked at their Facebook insights.

 

By Laida K. Chongo | Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellow | Paradigm Initiative.

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