It’s was the last week in October 2022, when I got a call from the management of HSF Wellness – I have been recommended to handle their social media pages – my ability was questioned and pages I handle requested; after some days I was called that I will be resuming the job from 1st November 2022.
But what’s HSF Wellness about, ow! I see, but none of its pages has been touched for over two years – reviving, understanding it’s audience and directing it to become effective was definitely going to be priority and to avoid it being marked for anything snoopy, definitely have to be as organic as possible.
While all this was on my head, a strange but serious contract came in. We don’t normally sign contracts in this case (debate opened) but since it’s hybrid, no problem, but it made me take them serious even the more.
I said to myself, if they can make pages of contract for job this little, then I take it that the change Africa need is coming.
Basically what does my contract with HSF Wellness says;
- That I can’t use any of the creatives I make for them with another company until after 2years
That I must not deal with its clients directly
That everything I need from the company will be provided by “a” manager who happened to also be the person that recommended me
that for either of us to terminate our contract, “two weeks (14days)” notification must be given by either parties (and payment for job done will be cleared)
that I will be paid on or before the end of every month (this already went contrary to why I should be paid from the beginning of every month).
must be present online minimum 10hours a day.
It was beautiful. With my years of experience, there are jobs you do, and do with so much peace because you know what you will achieve for them.
Now every media personnel or pr who has been in this job for long will understand this pattern;
- the company ‘starts to stress you’ by providing every details you need – passwords, emails, company’s ideaology, sometimes, product they want to launch toworrow, etc. They let you know what they need from you and how important your position is to them;
But not HSF it took them nearly two weeks of me now constantly asking, for them to finally provide me with an Instagram username and password, and later Twitter, which needs a verification code from their email address to finally access, don’t even bother about the other accounts, this business belongs to Zeus.
At some point I wondered if they ever needed a social media manager!
Work must be done right, I focused my energy on the Instagram page, such a fine page, ‘very feminine’, especially with the massage photos, but nice, so I planned how best to progress since ‘my manager’s’ instruction was to focus on the gym promotion.
I ran my analysis and discovered three major things;
- the page literarily had no followers’, it was following
it follows competitions instead of monitoring competitions
the page was following family and friends and most of these family and friends do not follow back the page and they do not ever like anything on the page – a support that tiny, even though they see the post (you can easily know this by studying impression for each post)
Over years we have proven families and friends are the worst people to depend on for business growth. Of a hundred, only about two will come through and almost never till the end.
Solution on month one:
- I Unfollow everyone not following back, and as expected they tried following back, but definitely done following, it’s now a business page.
Responded to every missed messages within the last six months (before November) in 2022.
Created top notch contents for general audience of health and fitness.
Increased contents interraction by +2,500%; account engagement by +2,200%; account reach by +826% and followers by +0.7%, and more.
Always present online
The issue of Payment and Contract breach 1
For November, payment didn’t come in until 9pm on the last day.
Again I ask, did they ever need a digital marketer?
No, the job didn’t run smoothly. Now towards the end of November, manager one rudely called me around 10pm that there would be another manager, an expert in Digital Marketing, who will be reviewing my contents before I publish them – it takes common sense to know he was also called around that same time (a circle that must stop in Africa – except the persons job description mentions that, you don’t do that, I really feel for tech guys).
Now, as a journalist, I am very fine with someone reviewing my contents before it goes out but as a PR dealing with a company’s public, that’s pure insult. Please not that both manager 1 and the company never found time to have a meeting with me or get anyone to brief me about the company, all I had is what you will still find if you Google it.
Well manger 1 created a group, added I and manager 2 who will now manage me to manage the social media page. But manager 2 dissapeard for almost three weeks only to return (first week in December 2022) with the most silly excuse and demand “take down every posts you have made”, ‘I don’t like them’. I don’t like the photos but that was all. The point is all contents I have made must come down because she doesn’t like it!
She went further to explain in this summaries;
- captions doesn’t yet fit with what HSF wants
– Images switched to downloads (because my photo quality is not up to how she wants it, I have to go download them – provided no solution and definitely doesn’t care about copyrights)
– reduce videos to 15-30 seconds to always meet trends
– HSF – positive caption, motivation, guru kind of captions, no happiness, no reshare except HSF UGC, no salutation of any kind.
Digital creators will understand this, you know that page where it seems you are being restricted to use any song in 2000s but songs from the 90’s back, this is one of them; you have to tweak it to make it fit.
Then she demanded I create all my contents for the month and submit to her (majesty) so she can go through it and approve it once – she is a very busy person – I carry her hand bag you know.
Digital marketing is like crypto, forex, shares, it doesn’t come to you, you go to it; you follow the trend, the trend doesn’t follow you. I bluntly told her I couldn’t do that, though out of curiosity I checked if any app works that way – where you can make a 30days calender with contents infused in each day but found none, I even asked her to help me with the one she knows, she didn’t reply – she never replies anything. I am a creative person, j don’t receive order for execution without understanding it. Never!
I moved my created to one side – every creative is gold – then started creating fresh ones for Manager 2 – it was obvious at this point that manager 2 directly or indirectly owns the company.
15th December 2022 and Contract breach 2
Got a call from HSF Wellness saying I have been relieved – I needed to stop that day. I wanted burst, but the Sensei in me was much stronger, and the voice behind the call was between sad and angry – I am a very detailed person. I said ok, and within hours I was sent a letter, which also promised to pay half the agreement. You would expect them to pay immediately or that week and be done with it, but they didn’t, even month end, even as you read this short piece.
Its the emotion for me always, when you know you have to do something but bluntly refuse to do it, either by listening to devilish ideas and reasons or just being you – cocky.
….and the male folks are loving it, they started practicing too.
I know of companies in Nigeria, where the owner makes the HR or manager sign resignation letter for being relieved, no reason, no explanation, they just don’t like you.
I know of companies in Africa, where workers get whipped for one reason or the other.
I know of many companies where the owners think the world stop at their feet and everyone must eat grass.
Call it whatever you like, but it’s theft. A strategic delay and forget move.
If Africa has to change, if Nigeria has to change, people like this must go. Businesses like this must go, because they bring shame to other owners that are trying.
When you feel you can cheat people, be cocky because you think there is nothing they can do, then that’s where you missed it, people can do a lot of things, they just believe in leaving it to God or the gods…some people just can’t.
PR Expert, Publisher, Sensei, Peaceful Watchdog.