The use of social media in Kenya today is very different from how it was a few years ago. It has seen a tremendous growth over the years, and it is now better and more diverse, it’s at an all-time high. Social media as we used to know was just mainly used for creation, sharing of ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. Now social media is more than just that, and is now an office to many people. Individuals can make their business grow and also make an extra coin through the social media sites. Social media has helped in the growth of revenue and sales of not just one but most of the businesses that have set up an active social media presence. By gaining a huge social media following, both individuals and businesses build stronger reputation with clients and followers.
Businesses and individuals are now more aggressive and engaging on social media with the aim of pushing forward their brands and content. Safaricom, Airtel, KCB Bank, Kenya Power and Gotv have topped the list of firms that use social media platforms to engage their customers. As we all know ensuring your customers are happy is the key of never running out of business and this is exactly what these brands are doing. They have ensured more than 70% of the questions asked and queries made about their services are answered to and attended to at adequate timing. Well, we might disagree on the effectiveness of their services but the point is that they are out there to engage with their customers and solve issues that would a while ago take longer than expected.
Social media had gained a reputation for being just a passing marketing trend, making it an unprofitable one. As time goes by this has been proved wrong by statistics showing that 92% of marketers claimed that social media was good for their business with 80% saying that their efforts increased penetration to their websites. The use of Social Media In Kenya has been embraced by both private institutions, individuals and government organizations. For instance, APA insurance admits that it has been able to get more clients through their social media interactions by providing information about their policies and interacting with their customers personally. APA Insurance did what every marketing campaign should do, that is touching people’s lives and sparking emotion. Their videos were shared widely and actually helped individuals understand the importance of having insurance covers and why exactly you should choose them to do that job. By sharing powerful real-life stories, people relate with your brand and it makes individuals to see the need of getting involved. Another example on this would be Safaricom’s “Twaweza” slogan. Real stories are shared on how great things have happened because people joined hands and worked on them.
Both individuals and companies are using social media platforms to monitor and gauge the growth of their brands. Individuals can be able to know if their brands are doing well based on the number of followers and how often people talk about the individual or company. Though I believe we shouldn’t measure the effectiveness of social media based on the number of likes or followers. You might have the following but very dormant with very minimal engagement.
The social media platforms are used for marketing of both goods and services. Jumia Kenya, one of the online shopping platforms in Kenya uses social media to push for its products. They have greatly invested in fun adds and quality videos of their products. Through this, they have been able to popularize their brand and make it bigger and better. I checked out another one called Kenya outdoors tours and travel which has made a great use of social media by promoting local tourism with a budget. When you checkout there Facebook page, you will be literally ready to take your next trip as soon as possible. They have pictures showing how people are having fun at different locations within Kenya. They sure do know how to make good use of visual content for advertising. This also goes to Bonfire Adventures who have mastered the art of showcasing different destinations both local and international with different offers that I believe appeal to many people.
And lastly, I will not forget Individuals who are also making a great mark on social media through their personal pages, blogs and vlogs. Through these blogs people are able to communicate with people, review and give out their honest comments about everything be it food, fashion, lifestyle and so on. While checking out the different blogs in Kenya, I stumbled upon a Over 25, this is one of the blogs which is really popular among young women. The blog has four very outspoken individuals who give out advice on love, relationship and sex. On individuals, the likes of Boniface Mwangi and Edwin Kiama are social justice activists who use their twitter and Facebook accounts to stir up conversations that are more often than not thrown under the carpet.
So, there is a lot that can now be done with social media unlike before. Social Media In Kenya is growing both in the positive and negative trajectories. It is up to you to choose which side of social media you want to be on. Some are really good at spewing hatred and Fake news while other users use it to mentor and inspire others.