Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month or so you are probably aware of the growing social juggernaut and movement #ThisFlag led by Pastor Evan Mawarire.
Such has been the impact that businesses and economic activities ground to a halt for a full day with the protests reaching fever pitch as he was arrested and subsequently set free.
His story is remarkable.
Evan Mawarire, a previously ‘little’ known pastor, who using only a smartphone and the internet as well as the bible, has done something astonishing and received so much coverage that previously was ‘impossible’ to do without connections and a big budget.
Naturally, this got me thinking about the social media lessons we can learn from Evan Mawarire.
Lets delve into Evan’s impressive social media tactics.
Evan Mawarire struck a chord
What struck a chord with Zimbabweans is the way Evan took issues that are affecting everyone and put them in the spotlight.
It’s not stretching the truth to say most people would like to see decadence such as rampant corruption, poor service delivery dealt with, and Zimbabweans living a better life compared to what they are doing right now.
Lesson: Tell a story that is relatable to your audience
Before engaging in social media marketing learn and educate yourself about your audience. Find out what matters to them, what interests them, what they are looking for. Find out how you can meet their needs with a compelling message, be it a status update, video or tweet.
Always remember, people love instant solutions.
If your solution is what they are looking for, just sit back and relax as your post will only take minutes to spread like wild fire.
Evan uses short snack sized videos, which are easy to consume and do not use a lot of data, to push his message across. Crucially, he channels his emotion, making it a poignant and moving experience.
Until recently video wasn’t popular. Maybe it was the cost of data and lack of quality affordable devices that can make viewing videos a good experience.
However, Evan’s success with videos show Zimbabweans shift towards visual consumption. This is a trend which is likely to continue and only grow especially with the introduction of cost effective data bundles.
The availability of good low end smartphones people mean that people can now stream videos on WhatsApp and Facebook even YouTube. Evan Mawarire message got through because people could see him in videos preaching his message.
It was authentic, trustworthy and genuine. None of the mediums available could have communicated that as much as video has done.
Lesson: Invest in videos. Think Multi – media
If your marketing still relies on just text, you are doing it wrong.
There are just too many options available to entertain and educate your audience. You can use Videos (YouTube and Facebook), photos (Instagram), infographics an charts (Pinterest)) to tell your story.
Using different channels and mediums can help attract leads and increase brand awareness.
Evan always involves his audience
Whilst it may appear as if Evan is some sort of superman or has superpowers his strength lies in getting people involved through his videos and posts.
Evan includes a rallying call and always, a take away point where he asks his audience to participate or get involved.
This might be something seemingly trivial as asking his audience to take a picture with a flag wrapped round their neck like a scarf and share it on social media or urging people to stay away from work as way to get a point across to the government.
Either way collaboration is key
Lesson: Make it collaborative
Social media and digital marketing is now a multi channel and needs the involvement of all teams. It is a sign if strength.
Different people bring different skills and views to the table. This makes your content fresh, unique and inventive.
Draw up inspiration from different places and things.
Do not be afraid to experiment.
Wrapping it up
Evan’s approach was unconventional, but given its tremendous success it shows taking a risk can pay off with amazing results.
As a marketer you need to rethink your current marketing concepts and embrace social media and other new ways of getting your message out there.
I really look forward to your comments about what other lessons you learned from Evan’s #ThisFlag as well as sentiments. If you enjoyed the article please pause before you leave this page and share.