By Usha Anenga
Let me begin by disabusing your minds from possible insinuations when this kinda articles are written. I come in peace, devoid of any negativity. I just want to offer a piece of advice that will enable us get any contestant to win any online contest.
It's not necessarily about big brother naija season 5 or our contesting Benue brother, Terseer Waya aka Kidd Waya. It could be Face of FFF or any other online contest. However, since big brother is the in-thing and we have a contestant who is from Benue state, this will be my prototype for this article.
I've seen a lot of people who have a sincere desire to support Kidd Waya. These are good people with a good desire to do a good thing. However, whether their efforts will make a difference is a different ball game.
In a contest such as big brother naija, what makes the difference is votes. The votes could be organic or inorganic.
Organic votes are those that are gotten naturally from random people. They come as a result of wide acceptance and popularity of the contestant. While acceptance depends on how the public see the contestant in terms of behaviour, attitude and strategy in the house, popularity majorly has to do with trends on social media and other new media platforms, whether positive or negative.
Inorganic votes on the other hand are as a result of deliberate manipulation of the voting process by, not random people but, those who have interest. This is either illegally through automated bots or legally through manually getting votes using money. For example, Facebook autolikes could pass for automated bots while, if a contest has voting by SMS, it can be manually influenced by buying enough credit units to send votes in favour of a contestant.
What all this means is that, besides the contestant's behaviour and perceived personality by viewers, every other thing needs some deliberate and calculated effort. I mean deliberate effort to make the contestant trend on social media and be popular, find ways of manipulating the voting process or making money available for manual voting.
If the voting system is tight and not amenable to illegal manipulation through automated bots, it leaves us with just two options; to get organic votes through popularity (trends) on social media or use money to get inorganic votes manually. And I make bold to say that, if you are not doing any of this two, you cannot help your contestant.
Back to Benue and Kidd Waya. Why can't our sincere social media support help our brother? This is because we in Benue are backward when it comes to new media assets which involves social media and blogs. We don't have what it takes to trend. We don't have social media influence beyond Facebook chitchats and gossip. We don't have big social media influencers either.
I recall what effort it took us to get #BenueTwitterHangout to get to number 12 on Nigeria trend map last December. Because of our limited social media capacity, what would have taken one influencer to achieve in one minute, took us (about 50 persons) hours without much success.
Secondly, Benue social media is skewed towards Facebook; a grave misnomer that we have surprisingly become comfortable with. The mainstay of popularity and trends on social media is Twitter, but unfortunately, we are stuck here on Facebook, moving around in circles amongst ourselves, inbreeding with a maximum of 5000 friends on our profiles and a few more thousands on our pages.
Whilst Facebook groups are good, they don't compare to the traffic and popularity that trending on Twitter affords. We simply can't measure up when it comes to social media influence. How about blogs? We have some bloggers who are trying, but to be honest, taking on a humongous task such as a Nationwide contest may not be within their reach at the moment.
What then can we do?
Your guess is as good as mine. If you can't do it, get someone who can! Supporters of Kidd Waya, which by the way includes me, need to employ the services of Twitter influencers and top bloggers to get him into the heads of Nigerians and Africans and make him trend consistently in order to get organic votes.
Secondly, we need to donate and solicit for funds so that we can ensure massive inorganic votes whenever our man is up for eviction.
In all this, we will be hoping and praying he has a good attitude and forms strong alliances in the house that will give him wide acceptance which, of course, means more organic votes.
I wanted to write a list of things we must NOT do cos I've seen people change their Facebook names, creating several small Facebook groups and all that. Others are claiming Kidd Waya is from their village and many more hilarious but sincere ways of showing support for a brother. You know what? I think all those stuff are okay if you, in addition, do the other more important things, because those, will make the difference.
Thank you and God bless. Let me have your thoughts.
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