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What does it take to be a Digital and Community Manager for East Africa’s biggest music and arts festival?

I will be sharing my experience & learnings from being the Nyege Nyege Festival Digital Communications and Community Management from 2018-2019.

Disclaimer:

I was privileged to take on this role due to my relationship the founder, Derek and Arlene. I was also the digital manager of Talent Africa at the time and I had proven my ability to take on the role.

Lesson: Opportunity & Positioning

Photo: Kenyan Lense

Digital & Community Managers are a beacon of good communication and will often influence the tone of posts from community members.

These skills are key;

  1. Creative writing & editing
  2. Interpersonal skills
  3. Tech savvy
  4. Diplomacy
  5. Eye for detail

 

UNDERSTANDING WHO IS IN THE COMMUNITY.

The community is made up of policy makers, the partners and sponsors, the suppliers and vendors, the entertainers, influencers and party goers and lastly the general public.

Not the usual audience right? Now you know.

MANAGING OPPOSITION

The community is diverse.

Whereas a festival might have brand equity, you shouldn’t strain it lest your community members become your opposers.

Utilize a mix of gender sensitive & inclusive messages & approaches to mitigate opposition

 

BAD NEWS EARLY IS GOOD NEWS

As a community manager, managing expectations is key to communications.

Mitigate any perceived or actual negative experiences with a thread on need to knows about the venue, accommodation, meals, transport etc.

 

CONTENT is KING, BUT CONTEXT is the QUEEN.

Here is a simple formula I used to push content called EAST.

  • Easy – To read & access (Tone)
  • Attractive – Astethics & Story
  • Social – A persona they can connect with.
  • Timely – Responsive & fast delivery of content.

 

BE A BRIDGE.

A community manager is bridge between the audience and the entertainers, the influencer and the content creator, the vendor and the festival goers, media and the next impact story.

Be present and know which partnerships can amplify narratives.

 

BE RESPONSIBLE

A lot “happens” at festivals so encourage festival goers to visit hydration points, first aid centers and meet up points if anyone loses their way during the festival.

Encourage inquiries and check the DM often. You just might avert a crisis.

 

CONNECT CONNECT CONNECT

People come to festivals to connect, recreate old memories, create new memories, experience new things TOGETHER.

Your communication should make the lone traveler feel like they won’t be alone and make the community whole.

 

Don’t sell FOMO! sell the EXPERIENCE.

A festival is not all fomo and that narrative fizzles out quick. Most amplifiers (influencers) go with this lazy approach.

Single out intimate moments both in the day and nocturnal that express a space for every mood.

 

SPOT LIGHT VENDORS

Vending at a festivals is a risky venture due to a number of factors. As a community manager, you should make an effort to spotlight your vendors and send foot traffic their way. A video drop, boomerang etc.. – something yummy or fun.

 

DRESS CODE

Festivals are a fashion affair! Yes dress code does matter but not in the way you think!

As a community manager, working with fashion influencers and writers can help communicate different attires for difference audiences. Confidence is the goal.

 

TEAMWORK

Lastly all this was made possible by working with a team of 10 photographers, influencers, agencies of sponsors and partners, the media and the support of the Nyege Nyege founders Derek and Arlene who believed in me & gave me full autonomy

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What do you think?

Written by Atwine Paul

Hi! Paul Atwine Babigumira is my name. I am a digital communications and community management consultant.

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