Social networking sites burst on the scene a few years ago and have now become our lifeblood. Hate it or love it, most people are part of it. Fiona Kamikazi Rutagengwa, a talent advocate at AkilahNet and also, a social media marketer, had a chat with Society Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa about her relationship with social media and its importance in our daily lives.
As a social media enthusiast, how would you define social media?
For me, it’s a place that provides me with a superb platform to discuss societal issues, have fun, work and complain a lot.
How long have you been engaged in social media channels?
13 years, since I opened my first Hi5 account.
What sparked your passion?
I love the diversity on social media channels; we are all different and can learn from one another.
Of what importance is social media to our daily lives?
To me, it’s something I need because Iuse it to interact with different people on various topics and check trending news without having to check all the feeds available online.
Which personalities do you look up to on social media?
There are many but I think our President, HE Paul Kagame, is my favourite because he is interactive and is not always discussing politics. You’ll see sports and other social related topics. It’s really cool.
Which social media platform are you most conversant with? What sets it apart from others?
That would be Twitter because I think it is the quickest way of getting information. When something trends on Twitter, we always joke that people on Facebook will hear about it five days later.
Do your posts affect your work or people’s attitude towards you?
Yes and a lot actually – it has an effect at work, home, on the streets, everywhere.
What are some of the characteristics of a social media enthusiast? Can one make a career out of it?
That’s a difficult question because it all depends on your target audience, but I know one needs to continuously listen and monitor feeds and know what the audience is talking about and their interests. From there, you can know how to approach them and which tricks to use. Yes, these days I get approached for full-time jobs, which means companies understand how much social media can add to their books.
Which new social media platform do you think has the most potential and why?
Snapchat. It’s not really new but I see more activities there lately. Some of us hate being very serious all the time, it tires me out so taking snaps and watching my friends’ snaps relaxes me.
Social media is something so many people cannot do without. Do you think it is an addiction like any other?
Social media can be addictive but it’s not only social media, too much of anything could destroy you, even honey or salads.
Which platform do you have the most followers and why’s that?
Twitter. I don’t know, I will ask them.
Which topics are you most passionate about?
Social life, education, jokes and sometimes politics. But I don’t go deep, I just ask questions to understand more and our government institutions are really helpful.
What is your perception of social media marketing and how can it help business goals?
It provides a new and cool communication method to reach customers. When you use social media, you make it easier for your customers to find and interact with you and also, if you need blunt feedback on your products or services, engage social media users, plus, you can stalk competition.