Yesterday I had the opportunity to take part in Social Media Week London sponsored by Nokia, the London segment of a worldwide event exploring the social, cultural and economic impact of social media.

On a panel with fellow social media, marketing and publishing colleagues and about 80 attendants all well-versed in the fast changing world of digital media, its rewards and its challenges, it was quite an educational experience to recap some of the ideas I have had the opportunity to address in the African media field over the years.

One such was the need for social media and new marketing strategies for fashion and lifestyle brands in the so-called emerging markets (a term I often shy away from as what constitutes ‘emerging’ through the eyes of the Western world may have been long established locally). Perhaps it is best to say ‘digitally emerging’.

As a lifestyle choice (‘I am FAB’) which goes beyond a magazine as an audience member later asked about much to our delight, FAB remains the first magazine out of Africa to heavily use social media and digitally technology to market itself as the magazine for a new generation of style-conscious and media-savvy readers.

In my experience with FAB Magazine and most recently as a publicist for a number of numerous brands though, I find, almost daily, that working in African media and digital space both on the editor’s and publicist’s end, the challenges are far grater than those experienced in the Western world, hence perhaps the title ‘emerging’ – or let us say, ‘digitally emerging’.

Most aspects of a successful branding and social marketing luxury or even mid-level PR companies take for granted – appropriate funding, consistent technology, and a reasonable time frame for return on investment.

Let’s break these down:

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