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The Power of Social Media: Lessons from Nigerian Youths

Nigerian Usage Stats Online and on Social Media

The catchphrase that this generation of Nigerian youth has been tagged with is – “phone-pressing generation.” That is understanding knowing according to the Q1 2020 Internet World Stats, Nigeria remains the leading African country with the highest number of Internet users. Nigeria is number 6 of top internet users in the world, with a user range of 126,078,999 and a population of 206,139,589. Thus after China, India, United States, Indonesia and Brazil, Nigeria takes the lead.

But when it comes to social media usage, that is, the use of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc, it is reported by Statista 2019, that Nigeria has the lowest usage rate with a percentage of 12, while other African countries beats Nigeria to it. The data findings by GlobalWebIndex, GSMIntelligence, Statista, Locowise, and SimilarWeb as at 2018 was pretty similar and placed Nigeria on the low rate.

At DeCritic, we have often queried the social media usage statistics because it is hard to sever the presence of Nigerians on the internet with Nigerians on social media handles. The process of data gathering, we believed must have been flawed. It would be recalled that Google had reported the major activities of Nigerians on the internet to include entertainment, and entertainment in Nigeria are usually social media driven. Datareportal reports Nigerian Social Media Users to be 27.00 million as at January 2020.  This justifies our suspicion of Statista 2019 reports.

During Covid-19 2020, most Nigerians lost their jobs and the Youths greatly took the heat. The use of data increased even more and the duration rate of the average Nigerian Youth on the internet, based on our sampling, increased to approximately 9hours per day. Other authorities are still sampling the usage rate during COVID-19.

The Influence and Power of Social Media: Lessons from Nigerian Youths.

The Nigerian government has failed to realise the attachment of Nigerian Youths to social media. In fact, the President has been recorded calling the youths ‘Lazy’. What they failed to understand is that the use of social media can become a great tool in the hands of a determined generation as witnessed in the current #ENDSARS protests which were fostered by the Nigerian youths – without a sole leader – through social media.

We are in the twenty-first century and the undeniable truth is that social media is a much needed and powerful tool for this generation to thrive. From enhancing marketing to aiding business branding and fostering policy change, social media has been of immense use to individuals across computer-age generations, including this generation. For the Nigerian youth, social media is a platform of self-expression and community building. It also allows a medium to escape into a world where one can recreate one’s reality, which is what Nigerian youths are doing in the #ENDSARS protests going on in the country. One would never have believed that a couple of tweets could spark this outrage against the brutality meted out by officials of the now-dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

 The impact of social media is not limited to the online space; it is a component of a much larger sphere of influence, the power of which would create word of mouth advocacy regarding a topic, brand or activity. Through this power of influence, Nigerian youth have been able to spread the word, provoke a number of Nigerian celebrities and even the older generation to join this fight of freedom from “the system” that continues to suppress the growth of the country.

Nigerian youths have also attracted the attention of the International Community through tweeting about the protests, reposting evidence of the cruelties of the Nigerian government and lending their voices in the way that they can, through social media platforms. Only a few days ago, the #ENDSARS protests got the attention of one of the founders of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, who in turn lent his voice to the cause.

 However, while the fact that social media comes with its fair share of abuse cannot be overlooked, it should be accepted that social media have done a whole lot of good to Nigeria and the global community at large in fostering communication, aiding business development, academics, and presently, protests.

Brands tapping into the power of social media

Many brands at first waited to see if the #ENDSARS protest is a debased cause or if it will be shut down, so that bad publicity does not rub off on their brand. As soon as it became a public outcry, the majority of brands tapped into it and started supporting the campaign i.e. Gtbank, Nike, Twitter, Flutterwave, Chopnownow, etc. People seeing their support developed a sentimental attachment to these brands and started promoting them on social media handles.

The lesson is simple – when there is war, buy property; that is, when the social media is hot, carefully tap into it. If you do not know how to do that effectively, get a media PR agency.

De Critic is a copywriting and social media PR agency in Nigeria and has been awarded to be among the top 10 best and nominated for the MEA Africa Excellence Award. We help brands promote their image online. Reach us at – +2348119832176


2 Responses

  1. Wonderful stats. Indeed, brands should pay more heed to their social media handles. Nice one, A.O Azuma.

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Emmanuel Okonkwo

Emmanuel Okonkwo is a professional content/creative/copywriter; and a critic. He is a published writer internationally and locally; the founder and editor of DeCritic. He holds a bachelor degree in Philosophy & Communications; a diploma degree in Copywriting & Marketing; and others. Crazy right? He has worked for and written for some of the world best marketing agencies, influencers, blogs and magazines. He is unique, rational, fun, radical and balanced.

Chinenye Chukwudebelu

Chinenye Chukwudebelu is a professional copywriter/content writer that enjoys writing about brand's products/services and lifestyles. She is also an investment banker and a data analysis enthusiast. She has a great voice and she is shy.

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Felix Echeta is a copywriter, video editor, and PR expert with lots of experience to show for it. He is straight-face funny and the spirit of the PR department. Felix is also a blunt writer and he loves to play around with video content.

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