Nigerian entertainers are rising in numbers, and distributed across a rapidly expanding collection of enterprises in the entertainment sector. They include talented people in the music, comedy, acting, fashion, and e-gaming entertainment sectors.
The rise in popularity and earning power of Nigerian entertainers, particularly in the last two decades, is unprecedented to say the least. However it is clear for all to see – that their activities on social media, as well as digital streaming platforms is largely responsible. Just how much has social media contributed to the financial bounty and fame of contemporary Nigerian entertainers? Let’s examine how social media has contributed to the phenomenal success of Nigerian entertainers, and learn lessons from them.
Nigeria and Social Media Usage
Social media refers to internet sites (and apps) through which people of diverse backgrounds connect, interact and share information. More often than not, social media platforms have become arenas for social, business and professional interactions. They are also booming centers for learning, research, government, and international relations – besides trade.
The Datareportal website presents an interesting statistical report about the use of social media in Nigeria. As of February 2023:
– There were 122.5 million internet users in Nigeria.
– About 31.60 million social media users were recorded in Nigeria as of January 2023, (about 14.3 percent of the total population).
– A record 193.9 million active cellular mobile connections were recorded in Nigeria by early 2023 (roughly 87.7 percent of the entire population).
– Roughly 76.3% of the entire population of Nigeria (standing at over 221.2 million as of January 2023) are youths between the ages of 0 and 34 years. Suffice it to say, that a huge percentage of Nigeria’s internet users are conspicuously youths within this age bracket.
– On the flip side, about 28.2 million internet users in Nigeria are adults – that is, 18 years and above. That represents about 25% of the total population.
– Early in 2023, social media usage statistics in Nigeria had reached the following numbers (with the likelihood that it would exceed it later on):
- Facebook: 21.75 million
- Youtube: 31.60 million
- Instagram: 7.1 million
- Facebook Messenger: 3.5 million
- LinkedIn: 7.5 million
- Snapchat: 12.35 million
- Twitter: 4.95 million
And that is not counting the statistics of other less-popular but useful social media apps in Nigeria. Such staggering numbers of internet and social media users in Nigeria alone (and still increasing) is a great resource. It would be counterproductive not to engage social media to promote the entertainment industry.
In fact, no sector produces steady income flow in the range of millions of Dollars almost on a daily basis. Compared to the entertainment industry.
The Positive Contributions of Social Media to the Business of Nigerian Entertainers
Growing of Followership (Fan Base)
It is common knowledge that the more friends/followers any one personality gains on social media, the richer he/she becomes. Literally speaking. Because a large fan base or followership would automatically attract the attention of advertisers, big corporations, small enterprises, and even the social media monetization team/staff themselves. Such an entertainer or celebrity becomes a magnet of attention, an influence on a large section of social media users. Of course these followers are the potential customers and consumers that businesses across the internet crave to have.
Having a large fanbase and interacting with them also fosters close bonding and loyalty between entertainers/celebrities and their followers. And such fans are constantly on the lookout for the latest news about favorite celebrities. That includes their upcoming shows, events, movies and all. In another breath, that also translates to more revenue for the entertainers in question. Imagine that your music show, film or event is already fully booked or sold out, even before its official release. That is the magic worked by loyal and large followership on social media.
One of the easiest methods for any celebrity – including Nigerian entertainers, to get fairly quick publicity is through social media. Entertainers can post videos and pictures of their activities and performances to engage followers and get feedback from them. Ultimately, such followers repost and share the contents on their own pages, further inviting more admirers. Music, film, and comedy entertainers in Nigeria who have received so much publicity through social media promotion are increasing everyday. This is an effective way to market and promote their works.
Cheap Access to a Huge International Audience
A whole lot of Nigerian entertainers have acquired fans both in Nigeria and beyond. Their reach goes as far as neighbouring African countries and far-away Europe, US, Australia and Asia. That is the bounty that comes with internet exposure through social media. Myriads of Nigerian entertainers have gotten international recognition that led to signing international deals and endorsements.
It also brings them to interact with other international celebrities to collaborate on music, film, fashion and other projects worth hefty amounts of money. It is also a way of creating a positive image on the international and local scene.
Influence of Entertainment Journalism
There is no doubt that online blogs and news feeds contribute to promoting the online presence and awareness of Nigerian entertainers. Entertainment and lifestyle sites and blogs actually expose local celebrity news and entertainers to the rest of the world. Sites such as Linda Ikeji’s blog, or Pulse Nigeria have been active in exposing Nigerian entertainers, movies, music and events to the international community. It makes it easier for interested parties across the world to target and invite specific talents for business and collaboration.
The Downside of Social Media for Nigerian Entertainers
We cannot deny the fact that social media has been negatively used against a lot of people. That surely includes many Nigerian entertainers and celebrities. A word of caution here – social media is public space that can easily be abused against people.
Fake News, Scandals and Unhealthy Rumours
Fake news are rife on social media, and they spread fast as well. Followers usually make quick but false conclusions about celebrities concerning a story or another, without confirming the truth. Even where such happenings are confirmed and they are unfavourable, the negative publicity is damaging. The mental, emotional and physical impact of such scandals and false stories on such celebrities can go far indeed.
The damage done to the reputation of such celebrities could even interfere with their ability to earn successfully. Or even enter into endorsements and deals. It would be deemed unethical to sign up an artist or celebrity involved in a big scandal or a serious case of negative publicity.
Cyberbullying and Cyberstalking
There have been many unfortunate cases of cyberstalking, verbal attacks and other cases of cyberbullying on social media. Social media accounts have also been mischievously taken over or blocked by unruly people. And scammers as well as greedy followers have targeted many celebrities. Nigerian entertainers are not exempted from these attacks. Naturally these foul events impact on their mental health as well. As such, Nigerian entertainers need to guard their activities on social media, not merely focus on publicity and money-making.
Seeking Social Media Validation and Lack of Privacy
For many Nigerian entertainers (as with other compulsive online users), they refuse to respect their own privacy. They are constantly exposing sensitive content about their private lives, and seeking validation from followers. The tendency to attract criminal-minded or mischievous persons, including blackmailers, to their social media accounts is unavoidable in such cases.
This excessive focus on social media validation by followers can cause any Nigerian entertainer to lose focus and become less creative.
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