The culture of Burkina Faso’s online community may be small, but the country’s social media reflects insights into the psychographics of certain consumer markets, according to Remon Geyser.
Geyser is head of research in South Africa for Springleap, a New York City-based global content crowdsourcing and marketing company. He wrote about Burkina Faso for MarkLives.com.
Less than 1 million people have direct Internet access in Burkina Faso, a country known for some of Africa’s most culturally diverse and unique events, Geyser writes. From Africa’s largest film festival in the capital of Ouagadougou to the niché facilitation of an international marionette festival, Burkina Faso’s cultural scope offers something different.
Overall, Burkina Faso may not be the most-advanced African country when it comes to Internet penetration. Brands and agencies should therefore scope out the best traditional media to communicate with the greater markets, Geyser says.
There is an opportunity to take advantage of Burkina Faso’s cultural frameworks and drive the underlying concept of Pan-Africanism to the rest of Africa.
Burkina Faso lies in a landlocked region of West Africa, a small country that is not often spoken about. The country, which encompasses a rich savanna and pockets of semi-desert, is generally not on the topic of trending conversation. This is unsurprising, as internet penetration stands only at 4.4 percent from a total population of 18.365 million people in 2014.
However, one shouldn’t discredit the rich, thriving cultural backbone that upholds this fascinating nation.
French is Burkina Faso’s official language. More than 60 native tribes, using over 70 native languages, are sparsely pocketed throughout the country’s beautiful geography.
Like many other Pan-African nations, those who use social media in Burkina Faso mostly follow much-loved politicians who have garnered a “likeable” presence.
Festival Waga Hip Hop is just one of multiple yearly events. It helps to nurture the social threads of the country by promoting one of its fastest-growing music genres. It seeks to develop a shared bond and encourage the development of African music. Since its inception in 2001, Festival Waga has toured overseas and showcased African urban music at the Centre Musical Fleury Goutte d’Or Barbara in Paris. The cultural synergy has made a big impact for hip hop fans, as this relatively quiet nation can finally appeal to youth culture.
International brands have an untapped market to sponsor a few of these events. In Burkina Faso, agencies would need to use traditional brand touchpoints to the best of their abilities. Billboards and print ads would fair well, especially when advertising in and around public transport hubs, as only 11 out of 1,000 people use private transport in the form of motor vehicles.
A renowned Burkinabé Twitter celeb is former president Blaise Compaoré (resigned 2014). He boasts over 14 400 following his handle. This is again consistent with a pan-African social media trend — politics. Many developing African countries’ Twitter users follow respected politicians that have improved social development or just outright resonate with the public. Although the reach and traffic might be small at first, there is a relatively large growth rate in internet penetration, by 16 percent per year.
Samuel Eto’o, a striker for the Cameroonian national football team is very popular in Burkina Faso’s social media, with roughly 68,500 local likes on Facebook. This suggests that pan-Africanism support, whereby Africans are united in football regardless of country, is very much alive and well.
This may be nurtured by the branding scene, perhaps using a Facebook campaign with Eto’o as the spokesperson. A perfect brand for this would be Coca-Cola, as it is about sharing open happiness and the spirit of pan-African football is being networked across borders.
Read more at MarkLives.com.