StrangerConsulting, a social media and web development company based in Germany with affiliates in Cameroon held a social media workshop at the Bamenda City Council on October 13 2014.The agenda for the workshop was the implementation of social media as an important mechanism for advancing government effectiveness. The forum that was directed by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of StrangerConsulting Akwe Marcel was basically on using social media tools to communicate important information to constituents and improve delivery of services. Cameroon Concord gathered that participants were lectured on how to use social media in communications, promoting and updating the Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube pages of the Bamenda City Council and providing minute by minute content to update the city website. The expert from the Federal Republic of Germany gave the delegates tips on how to promote Bamenda city council’s initiatives and to manage a fruitful dialogue with the public through social media. The major areas covered by the workshop included engagement and Listening. In this regard, StrangerConsulting provided the Bamenda City Council delegates and officials with the savoir faire on the use of social media to pay attention to what people are saying regarding the activities of the council. The workshop also did highlight the educational aspect of keeping the Bamenda population informed on public safety, actual food prices, road maintenance policy of the council, current construction sites and deviation alternatives for drivers and above all, pharmacies on call.
Speaking of the Bamenda City Council policy of engagement, Akwe Marcel demonstrated that the city council can reach a large audience with social media and spread messages and information to many of its constituents and employees alike with relatively little or no cost. The German IT guru hinted that Bamenda City Council leadership should be encouraging people to like the pages of Bamenda City Council on social media. This he pointed out will enable them to see all updates from the city council in their news feeds likewise on their respective timelines. StrangerConsulting experts revealed that Facebook and Twitter are of vital importance to all residence of Bamenda as users can communicate instantly with one another about any subject at any time. The workshop provided an opportunity for participants to become more familiar with the specific challenges in using social media for public administrations and institutions. It also teleguided Bamenda City Council workers to the policy of achieving great results with little effort. Some of the participants who spoke to Cameroon Concord at the end of the atelier noted that they were now fully aware of the specific risks and pitfalls and what you have to take into account when using social media in public institutions. The workshop also made available IT insights on how to develop a social media campaign and keep the conversation relevant, the use of social media most efficiently in order to save time, personnel and money and how to improve your already existing social media presence knowing which types of social media supports your company’s objectives and how to engage people and achieve civic participation by using social media.