Telecommunication companies, banks and big corporate brands are experiencing marginal losses with the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.
The federal government had earlier clamped down on the micro blogging platform for deleting the tweet made by President Muhammadu Buhari that referred to the Nigerian civil war.
With the suspension and ban on Twitter transactions in Nigeria, over 39 million active users have been prevented from accessing their twitter accounts to drive business and other engagements.
To this end, banks, Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), prominent religious bodies and media houses, among other corporate organisations, according to LEADERSHIP Sunday findings, have informed their clients and followers to utilise alternative channels to engage them.
However, it seems the process of transition by customers to other social networks will not be immediate as company-customer relationship continues to suffer while it lasts.
Twitter has been the major source of interaction between companies as customers’ complaints through this medium are quickly addressed.
Millions of subscribers who do business with their Twitter handles to promote and market brands have been blocked from accessing their handles and this is devastating to their economic survival and well being.
Twitter influences the growth of corporate and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands to break even through online adverts, key messaging and promotional sales by driving publicity and leveraging opportunities for brands to increase traffic and to target their audience by commenting and sharing business posts to drive sales and market shares.
The value chain of people benefiting from Twitter as a marketing tool to share information and network business ideas is huge and this ban is destructive to a vast number of users.
The economy of e-commerce businesses thrives online on digital platforms with the majority of business partners surfing the internet and using their Twitter handles to buy, sell and network ideas, but with the indefinite suspension of Twitter, the majority of businesses and clientele may suffer a hard hit.
Speaking in a media chat with LEADERSHIP Sunday, communication expert and chief creative director, Noah Ark Media, Mr. Lanre Adisa, said that the suspension of Twitter handles would have a negative impact on investors’ confidence, adding that the economy would have more losers reaping from the ban than gainers.
“Therefore, it doesn’t speak well of any modern nation to clamp down on the media,” he said.
According to him, the clampdown could break the trust of foreign partners and investors who may consider coming into Nigeria to invest as they would always consider the socio-political environment, among others.
He hinted that the panacea for dealing with issues such as this is not for the government to go by the jugular and hold online freedom to ransom.
Adisa suggested that the government should try and resolve this dispute with Twitter as quickly as possible towards revamping the economy, bringing orderliness to the system and restoring investors’ confidence.
He advised government to bring in the representatives of Twitter to settle all misgivings about their conduct within the ambit of the law. According to him, this will restore investors’ confidence and reassure the business community and international and foreign partners that Nigeria is open for business.
“This will be achieved through dialogue, more collaborative efforts and consultations with foreign partners to create the right impression as regards revamping the Nigerian economy,” he said.
On his part, the director, Reignite Public Affairs, CMC Connect Group, Omoba Adetola Odusote, said Twitter’s suspension in Nigeria had further complicated the perception of the country in the international community, noting that the government and its communication team should have followed legislative process rather than using autocratic style to clamp down on the media space.
On the business side, Odusote affirmed that the business community is losing a lot right now and that the e-commerce platform is at the lowest ebb.
He remarked that the masses of Nigerian youths who are entrepreneurs run businesses through social media, one of which is Twitter which enables entrepreneurs to drive their enterprise.
He noted that the Twitter handle is a medium for mass mobilisation that creates platforms for virtual marketing to drive seamless operations and create conversational marketing for clients.
“Government uses Twitter to exchange ideas, release information, educate the populace and share their policies and Executive orders via their Twitter handles,” he added.
Speaking on investors’ confidence, Odusote said it had been completely eroded in the country.
He lamented that local investments were dying and foreign investors were divesting from the country, “and this had further proven that the government is incapable of providing security in the country which is the key factor to attract investors.”
He further explained that the top losers of the Twitter ban would send signals to the real sector, business environment, influencers, Small Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), entertainment sector, local media and Nigerians.
Similarly, Chief Ideas Officer, Lilvera Group of Company, Mr. Buchi Johnson, revealed that following the ban of Twitter, about N4.4 billion was lost in just two days as widely reported by wearesocial, which reports that advertising on Twitter reached over 3.05 million active users on the platform.
He disclosed that the increasing penetration of smartphones and access to the Nigerian market of over 200 million population has helped in creating thriving jobs for young entrepreneurs, and influencers in social media platforms, which Twitter boasts of as one of its largest users of its social media handles to drive engagements.
He further described Twitter as a viable marketing tool for influencers, financial institutions, consultants and a strong tool for social commentary in Nigeria even as he said that a lot of youths who have embraced social media as a career path have all lost their jobs.
Job positions like customer service representatives, online news curators, Twitter amplifiers and Twitter media buyers have lost jobs and businesses due to the ban.