Thursday, 19 January 2012

LESSONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR KENYAN COMPANIES

Online and web revenue is certainly growing at an astronomical rate; therefore, advertisers and marketers have little choice but to take notice. The days of mass marketing to all consumers are long gone, and marketers are now forced to think more strategically about their objectives then they have in years past. The population of Kenyans online is now larger and growing quickly due to access of internet via mobile phones. Social media plays an important role in
Advertising
Communication
Brand Awareness
Customer service
Public relations.Etc.
Just look at how the issue of Nancy Baraza gun saga at the village market blew up on social media, what about the recent miguna miguna issue with the PM without forgetting the jokes about Kisii schools on the KCPE results.
Social media is THE FUTURE.PR practitioners are in a dilemma, they just cant respond to issues on time, because people now have a forum to rant, spread gossip and share classified stuff online.
Here are lessons business executives and marketers in Kenya could learn from these fortune 500 companies on blogging.
Starbucks does a lot of things right and running My Starbucks Idea blog is one of them. It’s a perfect example of what they call crowdsourcing.
The benefits of crowdsourcing include:
  • You can explore problems inexpensively and quickly.
  • You can tap a wider audience of talent than what your business or organization has in house.
  • You can gain insights on your customers by listening to the crowd.
  • You can build your brand as the community engages in common tasks like idea creation.
Starbucks opens up the blog for members to share product ideas. Members then get to vote or comment on the idea.  As the idea gains attraction among members, it gains the attention of the company. EABL and Safaricom for example could use this too to get ideas from their consumers. Such a forum would help people share ideas; insights that could help them develop products and services that satisfy customer needs. Safaricom customer care for example is very much active on Twitter, which helps save us time from the queues in their care centres, however the forum really cant keep track of customer complaints and complaints, let alone important suggestions from customers. A corporate blog would solve this.
If you are a person who likes Coke and history, then you’ll love their blog. It’s Coca-Cola’s Conversation Blog, a blog dedicated to the history of the soda producer.
The truth this blog is its all about one thing… marketing.
Here’s how:
  • It’s about deepening the brand – in a very subtle way, with all the historical items they share, this blog shows you that not much of the Coca-cola brand has really changed
  • It’s about deepening loyalty – because Coca-cola can reach back and bring up historical documents that are over 125 years old they are communicating to their customers “you can trust us to take care of you and your children.”
  • It’s about deepening the experience – experience marketing is hot these days, so it’s natural Coca-cola would jump on that train, giving fans a taste of what the brand was like in the past. It’s truly a unique experience. Patricia mbatia, Country manager Exp Momentum definitely knows the potential of experiential marketing. Tusker, KCC, Colgate, Daily nation for example are all brands with rich history, heritage and legacy. A blog would share the brands history, achievements and developments over time. It gets even better because over time you could engage your audiences in product development, relaunches or innovation incase you need to launch a new line of products.

Set up your blog but don’t abandon Facebook or Twitter
In Kenya, most companies and people know that social media is all about being on Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. Well it’s not the case.
Now, while it’s wise not to ignore the 800 million member social site, giving up your blog is a bad idea. Here why:
  • You can’t fully brand your Fan Page experience –you can customize certain aspects about your Fan Page, but you won’t have control over such things as color, logos and messages.
  • Facebook notes suck compared to blog posts – there is no comparison between the two. Besides, Facebook Notes hardly get read, right?
  • They own the content – of course you could download the content if you wanted to, but why go through the hassle when you can publish the content on your site?
  • Lack of SEO – inside Facebook it’s tough to control meta tags connected to photos, videos, updates and notes. On the other hand, you can easily optimize your blog. SEO on your blog will help you control your content’s ranking, bringing you greater visibility unlike Facebook.
Facebook is great for deepening your engagement with your readers, but it should never replace blogging.
Let me know your thoughts on this and what your company is doing about its online presence. A blog is one way of getting in touch with your key publics.
EMAIL; muthurikinyamu@gmail.com for comments, complaints and compliments.

1 comment:

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