My 2011 Facebook year was a bright one…
Thanks to Mauritian Facebookers for making my year !
We have been almost 300,000 Mauritians to connect regularly as Facebookers. With enhanced Social Media Growth (+7.44%) and penetration (+23.09%), we are top of the hill, 2nd in Africa behind Tunisia. In fact, we stand proudly in the global streamline at a reasonable 97th position on 213, regarding population penetration.
First, my 2011 Social Media Awards
In 2011, the Mauritian Facebook Network has been very rich in terms of activity and novelty. As a Local Social Media Activist, I won’t hide my pride congratulating those who made the Mauritian Facebook a lively melting pot, a real social platform:
- Jameel PEERALLY’s WANTED 15,000 YOUNGSTERS Facebook Group Page which managed to rally more than 20,000 members in less than 30 days and ignite a supposedly Utopian 5000 people’s March in Port Louis, on the 10th of September 2011.
- The Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius with its +100k fan base, which gets it 3rd worldwide behind Dubai and South Africa, in terms of Facebook Fanpage for Shopping Malls.
- The local STAG Beer Pages and its aggressive tentative strategies which have won the Brewer a solid Brand reputation on the Mauritian Social Media. As for market share, there is room for improvement.
- Jean-Francois LECKNING’s PEOPLE magazine Page, a very dynamic Group that supports genuine discussions which in turn are successfully geared at enriching the printed content. Proof of constructive interaction between Consumer, Prospects and Product.
- E-Lunch Mauritius for THE bold challenge to use the powerful Social Media Triumvirate WEBSITE/ BLOG-FACEBOOK-TWITTER to trigger an exclusively online business where the end product is efficient meal delivery in offices.
And Last but not Least
- Joel TOUSSAINT’s NEOLOGIK Corporate Facebook page , a small Fanbase that managed to grow steadily and which offers quality content from one of the very few socially engaged Mauritian Communication Executive. Ranking 6th on Social Bakers local Brand Hit parade, Neologik proves me right… Intelligent Content, Relevant Content, Rich Content and Well-thought Interaction make the secret.
Some User Names are to be mentioned too.
Shazia Hussenbux (#1 Local Twitterer), Audrey Poussin, Ashfaq Koomar, Frederic Lorenz, Ludovic Froget, Saffiyah Chady Edoo, Khatleen Minerve, Delphine David, Anshika Sawaram, Joel Samy, Jameel Peerally, Andy Finette, Mauseo Seo Mauritius, Jean-Francois Thomas, Yves Herrmann, Sandrine Casquette, Odd Atheana, Eve Jeannot, Shenaz Patel, Tacha Liberez Votre Coeur, Yannick Cornet, Pascal Laroulette, Patricia Mackay Lenette, Amitrai Modeldotmu, Jean Francois Leckning, are those, who among many, have been some of the most active and pertinent local Facebookers .
New Vocations ?
The Mauritian Facebook is the main analyzable social platform locally, but even so, very poorly documented. Nevertheless, the trend has been felt from within. The local Facebook network has been hyperactive during the past year. We have witnessed brand new social behaviors (like open Discussion groups where anyone could have his say), attempts at maximizing engagement from Brands and Companies, publicly displayed political commitments, downward listening and most importantly an overwhelming expression of patriotism in the face of problems plaguing the local social fabric. The scam-loaded political climate as well as the global trend have helped into that.
Several political discussion groups rose from ground, major Political personalities and parties used the platform for some disorganized mood display. Facebook has also been utterly used as a relay to propagate and analyze news from inbound and foreign sources and as such, it has been assimilated as the local reference regarding local general mood and views.
Brands and local companies have stormed Facebook. Local Corporate Fan pages can hold as much as +100K fans, like the Mall of Mauritius Page. However, we are still in the waiting regarding the birth of a real Social Media Marketing Conscience and the proper procedural setup of Social Media Engagement Campaigns. But we firmly believe that 2012 will be the year for that. We need to develop local analytical toolsets to forecast, apply and demonstrate.
The Palo Alto platform has also been the seed of a new brew of leisure-oriented individuals and groups. New media have spawned, loads of local Djs are to be found in every circle and event organizers have used the platform to widen their prospects’ base. Even if statistics have registered only one local Web-radio, with GigaIrc Paradise Radio, we have locally counted, at least, 5 Webcasting media using Facebook; e.g Dreamsky, LCM, etc… This only demonstrates the capacity of the local youth and average population at understanding Social Media’s reach potential and relevancy.
Using Facebook as a shop window.
More and more attempts at using Facebook’s photo and video theater as a showcase platform, are being noticed. Fashion people, photographs, artifacts and handicraft makers are making the most to show their talent and commercial value. However they still need to go over the extra mile to take the best out of Facebook, in terms of business and commercial reputation.
Facebook is the ideal medium for those who like to discuss, share and express. This also goes for the Mauritian Network. Literature has been blessed in 2011, with much inbound interaction and outbound reach for concomitant French networks mostly. The platform has seen the discovery of new talents like Qu Du and confirmation of others like Catherine Boudet. To the say of many of our Intelligentsia, Facebook is a wonderful communication tool.
What about other Platforms
While Twitter stands as the most utilized medium for personal and corporate updates worldwide, for Mauritius, it still has a scarecrow status, but there is good hope that we will catch up, especially with the Smartphone popularity tsunami which seems to have hit Mauritian shores in good fashion this year. On the other side the Mauritian Linkedin load looks like picking up well. Mauritian Professionals seem to have understood that it was the right platform to connect with business hubs and opportunities. As for Google Plus, which is expected to reach a user base of around 400 Million by mid 2012, from my point of view, will not attract the basic Mauritian socializer. The platform is still (even globally) being felt like a geeky network of egocentric circles.
If Social Media have taken our relationships by storm and are growing to become essential channels of our interactions, much is still to be done to get them right in the heart of our everyday life, especially into Mauritian branding and business processes. Getting Social Media to occupy the forefront of Marketing Strategies, will invoke new approaches and by such, new advantageous development and employment perspectives.
First my thanks to all those who trusted my vision of Social Media for Mauritius in 2011. Far from claiming to be an authority here, I reckon that there’s much to learn from the Mauritian specificity. Our usage of Social Media is not the same as in the United States or in France or even in India. I will definitely continue to engage into some pedagogical ventures and experiment innovative ways of creating buzzes for the local market.
My main aims for 2012 will be to:
- produce Data from the Mauritian Networks
- Get our lost rock in the Indian Ocean to be properly listed and documented on the Global Social Media Map
- Get Social Media Gurus here to get us to master Social Media in our own way.
Otherwise, I strongly believe that the Mauritian Business Community has the potential to embrace Social Media in our local context, with the objective to develop an exclusive consumer-centric environment.
Continued Learning, modal adaptation are the keys to success and Social Media to my eyes is the future of inbound trade expansion and export market prospection, for Mauritius.
Happy New Year 2012 to you all, especially to the new breed of entrepreneurs who are ready to take the Social Media Challenge. We will be talking soon 🙂