Last Sunday, I hooked up with Social Media Influencer, Copywriter, Digital Marketer and Travel/Tourism Enthusiast, Favour Onyeoziri (Rouvafe) at Silver Cafe in E-Centre, Yaba.
So far, he has visited places like Dubai, Benin Republic, Badadry, Idanre Hills, Ikogosi Warm Spring, Lekki Conservation Centre, Imo, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Abuja, Niger, Yankari Game Reserve, Jos and counting.
On a personal level, Favour is an everyday young Nigerian. He has two degrees from the University of Lagos, both in History, a discipline he is passionate about. If he followed his initial dreams, he would be lecturing in a university today.
In this exciting chat, Favour spilt it all on Influencer Marketing, Tourism in Nigeria, Social Media and what the future holds for Influencers. Enjoy.
What is Favour All About?
I’m into Advertising, Digital Marketing and Social Media Influencing. I have a passion for travelling and I have turned it into my latest business.
I run a content-driven travel brand called wakawaka.ng. Primarily, we aim to bring travel experiences to people through stories, Social Media Posts, Youtube videos, experiences, Interviews and all. For people who can’t afford to travel, we hope to also give them the benefits of travelling through contents.
Our secondary goal is to eventually take people on actual travel experiences. So, people don’t stop at reading about places from us, they can actually come with us and go experience those places first-hand.
How Did All of These Start?
Probably because I made more money and had less financial commitments last year, I realized that I love travelling because I could afford it. So, I and a couple of friends had like a travel group and went to a couple of places.
Eventually, I realized that I love travelling and would love to do it more consciously in 2019. So, I came into 2019 having travelling as one of the pillars for the year.
Few months into 2019, I realized that I was spending a lot on travelling. Travelling in this part of the world costs a lot of money. It was this point that it occurred to me that I could find a way to monetize my passion for travelling so I don’t always have to bear all the expenses.
Then I decided to consciously start sharing my travel experiences, stories and all on a platform where I can eventually monetize my experiences. That was how wakawaka.ng started.
Then I thought of my target audience, people who come to my page and blog because they are actually thinking of travelling. I figured it would be awesome to have an arm of the brand where we can take the people on tours to their destination of choice. This is like a long-term goal for us at wakawaka.ng
Having said that, I actually organized a tour about 3 months into the business. What happened was; a group of friends had organized a tour to La Casa Del Papa in Benin Republic. The tour didn’t really go well. So, I thought of how that tour could have been better with a little more time, follow-up and effort. I decided to do it again and better such that whoever joined in the experience would be excited they did.
Hence, in collaboration with a friend, we were able to pull off a worthwhile trip to Benin Republic. I would say this particular trip was born out of necessity.
We’ve had a few partnerships after that but we’ve not really had a tour outside Nigeria. We’ve taken people to places within Lagos like Lekki Conservation Centre. So, that’s it with regards to wakawaka.ng.
You Seem to be Doing A Lot – What is Your Source of Inspiration and What Keeps You Going?
The number one thing that keeps me going is the fact that I absolutely love what I do, all my friends can attest to this. Even if you call me in the middle of the night to inform me of a tour, as long as I have 70% of the money, I don’t mind borrowing the remaining 30% so I can partake in the tour.
With regards to content; I’m a content person – I’m a very good writer and I have an eye for good content. Basically, I do digital marketing which requires constantly creating and marketing content. I have an advertising background and I did history in school which mostly have to do with writing and accounting for events, places and things.
So, it’s more like fusing two of my passions and core talents together. Even in my worse days, I will still be happy to at least take a picture. I really do not see what I do as work, it’s more like play for me. So, I don’t need a lot of motivation or energy to keep going.
Are There People Doing Something Similar to What You do That You Can Say You Look up to?
There is Wode Maya, a Ghanaian Travel Vlogger. He is very big on Youtube. He says he is on a mission to showcase the positive sides of Africa to the world. So, he goes all over Africa, doing things that even locals may find dangerous to do. He inspires me a lot, especially with the fact that he doesn’t do a lot of professional shoots, doesn’t do much packaging – he just shoots raw footages. He has over 250,000 subscribers on Youtube.
He is like a perfect role model for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of resources or team of videographers and editors. Whenever I feel my content is not what a typical professional travel content should look like, I draw inspiration from him to just continue and hope to get big from here.
There is also Tayo Aina, another Youtube vlogger. He goes around, within and outside Nigeria. He is a videographer and travel/lifestyle person. He has drone footages of places in Lagos that people would love to go to. I get a lot of inspiration from these two people.
You are Obviously Passionate about Tourism; Where Would You Say Nigeria is Today in Terms of Tourism?
In terms of Tourism, Nigeria is actually nowhere. It seems like there is no strategic plan for tourism in the country. Everything about tourism in Nigeria is more or less accidental – Oh, nature has blessed us with Idanre hills, so Idanre Hills!
So, if we had to construct hills for the sake of tourism, then Nigeria will have no hills. We are not getting new tourist centers and the ones we currently have are falling into the state of disrepair.
The quality of Obudu Cattle Ranch, for instance, has dropped drastically. Most of the facilities there are no longer functioning and no one seems to be doing anything about it.
I was in Jos Wild Life Park earlier this year and it was terrible. First of all, I went on Easter Break that was supposed to be peak of tourism and there was not a single tour guide on ground. Loads of school buses came in but there was no one to show those kids round.
When we eventually entered, it was not worth it. It’s actually fast becoming a botanical garden because it was filled mostly with plants and no animal worthwhile. The only animal of note I saw was an elephant and I sincerely wish I didn’t see that elephant. The elephant was an eyesore. I made an Instagram post on it.
View this post on Instagram
I was excited when I heard we were visiting Jos Wildlife Park. I wasn’t too happy when we left. I saw an elephant starve, it had teary eyes, it was thirsty and obviously regretted the day it was brought into that facility; all the animals there have regrets written on their foreheads. #elephants #JosWildLifePark #Tourism #WakaWakaNG #Jos #PlateauState #wildlifephotography
The only encouraging one is Yankari Game Reserve – I feel that one has been well maintained over time. Apart from that, tourism in Nigeria has been nowhere. Even the quality at Whispering Palms has dropped drastically.
The problem is just a typical Nigerian poor maintenance culture. Once in a while you get people who come around and create things, then some others come to destroy them.
Your Twitter Account was Suspended Early this Year. What Do You Think Was Responsible for That and How Did You Handle it?
The reason they gave was artificial engagement. Basically, they said I performed activities that looked like it was automated i.e using a bot or a third-party app. And I didn’t do anything like that.
This was what happened. As an influencer, you get lots of requests – people who want you to create awareness, retweet their businesses and all of that. So, the evening my account was suspended I had lots of that lining up in my dm.
I was going to get a haircut, but I just pause to look at all the requests. Then I decided to quickly retweet about eight of such requests that I felt was worth it, and went ahead to have my haircut. By the time I came out, I was already suspended.
You can’t fight them, they own the platform and they have their rules. So, no hard feelings – we move.
You Must Have Noticed Some Changes on Social Media Lately in Terms of Algorithm and Design. Looking at All of These, What Do You Think the Future Looks Like for Influencers on Social Media?
There is no past, present or future. Influence has always been about how people perceive you which often depends on how you relate with them and what they can benefit from you. At the heart of influence has always been content – what you have and can give.
So, for you to be perceived as influential, you must be seen as someone capable of giving something in your field.
The dynamics, mode, technology will always change. But content will always be at the heart of influencer marketing. As long as you have awesome content on any of the social media platforms, you shouldn’t be bothered about the changes.
People Tend to React Differently to The Same Contents on Different Social Media Platforms. For Instance, What Some People May Find Funny on Instagram May Lead to Serious Backlash on Twitter…Sydney Talker Skit As A Case Study
Behaviour on social media platforms are different. Also, people react to contents based on experiences or past. For instance, the Sydney Talker case… It was more about the history of who was involved. There are people who have posted similar contents on twitter and got away with it. Wizkid (and Tiwa), for instance, gets away with it every time.
So, people were looking at the history and things that have happened before – putting it in context. Everything is contextual. This also explains why the same contents that people on Twitter will consider intellectual, Instagram users would say it’s too long o, somebody should epp us summarize.
The truth is that; if you are an influencer and you know your niche, you should know that you are not talking to everybody, you can never appeal to everybody. Your concern should always be the people in your niche.
Bothering about negative comments from people who are not in your niche may make you want to water down your content. This may cost you your target audience.
A Lot of People Look Up to You and it was Evident in The Reactions That Followed Your Suspension on Twitter Earlier This Year. What Advice Do You Have for These People, Some of Whom “Want To Be Like You When They Grow Up“?
I will advise them to remember that you are on social media to socialize, as the name implies – not to make money. Once you start chasing money, it starts changing the whole dynamics and making you narrow-minded.
The moment you realize that making money off social media is an outcome of interacting, then it becomes easier. So, you constantly chase creating awesome contents.
The emphasis on making money online as an influencer is actually misplaced. The truth is most influencers never make enough money online. Those we think are making enough money are actually not making the money from being influencers. It’s more like their influence online helped to open doors for them offline.
People should also realize that being an influencer is not the only way to make money online. There are several other options. You can make money by selling yourself. You do this by constantly creating contents on what you are skilled/passionate about. Many have gotten jobs from social media through this approach.
You can also do social media management. Or work as a freelance writer. For instance, I have people who write for me at wakawaka.ng and I met them all on social media. So, there are lots of ways you can make money off social media.
Take a Side
Favourite Football Club: Chelsea (whenever they win)
Which influencer would you like us to talk to next? Leave a comment.