Social media has quickly positioned itself as a veritable platform for engagement between different kinds and classes of people. Be it the relationships between big and small businesses, customers and businesses or big government and the people it was elected to serve, the aim generally remains the same: to connect with target audiences in ways that can spark conversation and all-round engagement.
Conversely, using social media to breed a disconnect between businesses or government on one side, and their target audience on the other, amounts to wrongly harnessing the potentials social media holds. Mismanagement of a business’s or taxpayers’ money, as the case may be, surfaces as the ugly manifestations of such social misadventures.
Sadly, the latter is the case with the current social media strategy of Niger state. It is pathetic that this problem has assumed a comical dimension that should shame any media team and the government it serves. A situation where celebrity gossip, naughty deeds of pop artists, and other mundane gist fill up the timeline of the Niger State governor’s Twitter timeline as well as Facebook newsfeed, is at best one that calls for serious concern from the government. Pay close attention to the screenshots and embedded tweets/facebook posts below:
Can it be that the social media team of the government was deliberately trying to tarnish the image of the outgoing governor of Niger State, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu? Can it be that this team that should ordinarily engage in deep research and analysis in projecting the governor and the state in the best light are rather too busy watching music videos and reading gossip material they find too irresistible to share with a wrong audience; one that is more deserving of better content?
The politics, administration and social landscape of Niger State is very active and has the potential to fuel a round-the-clock stream of engaging content with its target audience, if chosen right, will have no problem connecting and engaging with. So, it’s either the media team of the governor and the state government are lost on ideas or they are consumed by a malicious intent; one of plunging the perception of the governor and Niger state into the dark pits of incompetence, insensitivity, bad governance, and cluelessness.
Or could it be that governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu is guilty of all these? Could it be that the outgoing government had been clueless all along about how to improve the lives of Niger State Indigenes? Is it possible that all these years the governor had been insensitive to the plight of the average Nigerlite? Because it is hard to imagine a state governor leaving his social media platforms unchecked, so much that they become infested with news items that ridiculously contrast with the purpose, image and powers of the seat he occupies. What regard is one expected to have for His Excellency, The Chief Servant of Niger State, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu on seeing, “Horror: Woman Vomits Live Snake During Deliverance” on his Twitter timeline? Is it not also strange to see the caption “Incredible: Meet the Boy with the biggest hands ever on Earth (Must See Photo)” adorning his Facebook page?
Social media is like a mirror. It’s what you feed it that it will show to the world. How you manage it goes a long way in determining how the world perceives and interacts with you. Social media has blighted the goodwill of many powerful organizations and governments all around the world either by the action or inactions of the said organizations/governments, or by the combined action of the social media community. We only need to analyse the impact of the social media buzz around certain personalities in the weeks before the recently held Presidential Elections, to appreciate how damaging or helpful social media can be to the fortunes of a political gladiator.
It is no longer news that Muazu Babangida Aliyu has been roundly rejected at the polls. With the lax attention he has shown to how the internet community perceives he and his administration, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if his loss is strongly connected with his taking the masses’ perception of his administration’s performance for granted.
This article expresses the author’s opinion only. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of The Niger Times or its editors.