Re: Kenyans ‘Do Not Like’ Firms in Social Sites

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This is in response to the article recently published on The Daily Nation that quotes a study by TNS on Kenyan’s perspective on social media presence of businesses. According to the study 57% of Kenyan’s do not like to engage with brands on social networks. Am going to use my own experience here to put a point across. Before twitter, whenever I had issues with my Safaricom services I would call their customer care and would be put on hold forever if I was ever lucky to get through. And every Safaricom user knows that the only way you could get to them was if you called past midnight. Now, a few days ago I had a problem with my Safaricom Internet bundles. I sent a tweet to @safaricomltd with my grievances. Less than a minute later I was notified that someone from Safaricom would call me to hear me out. And almost as soon as I finished reading the tweet I got a call from the magic number – 0722000000. The rest is history.
My point? A few people might find posts by brands on their wall annoying, but it doesn’t mean the brands should not use social media. Social media is by far the most revolutionary tool for businesses in the 21st century. It has enabled instant access to businesses, it helps brands put their word out there, get feedback and assist their customers. The statement by TNS CEO that brands are wasting money on new media marketing is not well thought out.
It is true that some brands may advertise to their followers too many times. But they usually learn and stop when they notice that some of their followers are dropping them. What brands need to do is to be more personal on social networks, and become more innovative in promoting their products. Safaricom’s competitions that give participants chances to win airtime, phones among other things is a perfect example of how to do it. And Kenyans also need to be more 2.0 and appreciate the way social media is improving the businesses-client interaction.

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