Wednesday, 14 March 2012

5 Social Media Lessons for brands from #SomeOneTellCNN.

Social networking has become integral to the lives of many. To zoom in Kenya's Twitter and Facebook users represent the most influential and economically able section of the population. This number continues to grow as access to the Internet’s tool of choice, the mobile phone, makes astronomical inroads even in areas considered remote. A recent research by InMobi showed that the Internet is accessed mostly on ordinary mobile phones, not necessarily smart phones. Brands are slowly but surely becoming aware of this fact and beginning to find ways of selling to this audience. Consumers are spending more time than ever using social media, as demonstrated in the Social Media Report recently published by Nielsen and NM Incite.
There were grenade attacks in Nairobi on Saturday where 6 people died and least 68 injured. Instead of reporting it as such CNN went on to claim that there was violence in Kenya with misleading graphics and implied that the violence was widespread and did not specify that this was an isolated terrorist attack in a specific part of the country. Disappointed, angry and frustrated, Kenyans then stated a twitter hashtag #SomeoneTellCNN which trended worldwide. This was one element of patriotism that really impressed me. Brand Kenya Board and you too can listen to the patriotic Kenyan who called CNN Here. This simply tells brand managers and PR managers/Communication experts that indeed social media can be a nightmare if not well utilised.

Here are 5 lessons to pick from #SomeoneTellCNN
 1    1. Don’t mess with Kenyans.
When you want to promote your brand on twitter please ensure your game is on point. We already have Sunny Bindra’s #TwitterBigStick for companies with poor customer service and TwitterThumbsUp for companies with excellent customer services. Kenyans are using these hash tags to share their customer experiences on Twitter. Please ensure your brand gets less of the Bigstick and bashing from the no nonsense Kenyans! 

2.                                                                                                2.Retain control.
Social media is a notorious vehicle for losing control. As a matter of fact the very definition of social media is that you give up a certain measure of control of your brand to its followers (and hope for the best).
It makes sense to try and create some kind of guidance and scope by controlling what can be discussed. The #MeetTheFarmers hashtag focused the mind upon what was the true message of the McDonald’s Twitter campaign and limited any scope for widening the field to anything beyond the current conversation. Don’t use hash tags that throw the field wide open to anything especially where you know the feedback was bound to be less than positive. The hash tags you choose to use should also help others understand what the discussion is all about. This helps guys to join the conversation easily knowing what hashtag is all about!Mc Donalds got the opposite when they used #McDStories and angry customers used the channel to air their bad experiences

3.     Do not fail to respond.
The social media bandwagon is too sweet to resist, so expect more abject lessons in the next few months. Brands don’t dictate the conversation on social media platforms, the public do.  Safaricom has taken a bold step in setting up a customer care handle on Twitter. You cannot do this if you don’t have the time to respond to customer’s problems in real time and responding immediately. Safaricom has enhanced customer loyalty because of this. The firm simply has a voice on social Media. They Listen!!!The best way to show you are listening is to respond!!

 4.       Be self-aware.
Know your brand. “If your brand is controversial, political, has been getting bad press, has fierce competition, promoting your tweet may not be a good idea. If you set up a hashtag to promote a particular subject area, be sure it’s one your audience wants to talk about as much as you do, and in the same way. Politicians may be tempted to use twitter to promote one’s manifesto but you need a robust online communication team that can push your agenda on Twitter. It’s tricky here, imagine the kind of bashing Anyang Nyong’o got from tweeting Kenyans after his interview with Lilian Muli on Citizen Tv. I don’t want to comment on this issue but such outbursts on Tv are very inappropriate.
5.Know when to pull the plug.
If your promoted item is getting out of hand, pull the plug ASAP and start your damage control. Have a damage-control plan for your social media efforts, Hoping it will go away is not an effective social media marketing strategy. Another recent scenario is when Safaricom got a rude response when they asked individuals to redeem 10000 bonga points and top up with 3K to get a new Huawei Ideos worth 7999. Guys felt cheated.10K points is 100K spent on airtime and reacted angrily to the offer!!!
                                                     Lets get social--- 

Friday, 9 March 2012

5 Amazing Kenyans to follow on Twitter.

He is a member of the Safaricom Innovation Board and Founding Chairperson of Mobile Monday Kenya, the CEO of Symbiotic Media  which is hybrid tech company that mainly builds mobile applications and services for companies.  He is also a founding member of the Mobile Marketing Association (EA) whose mandate is to pretty much entrench mobile into the daily mix of things,the founding chairman of Mobile Monday (Kenya).
Mbugua currently “thinks” while at the Nailab  helping mentor start-ups in their quest to build business.
You can also read more about Mbugua Njihia and his work on his personal blog, company website and follow him on Twitter as @mbuguanjihia

He is the director of Sales at InMobi for Africa, responsible for the functional management and leadership of sales activities for InMobi throughout Africa. A key member of InMobi’s management team in Africa, actively shaping the business with his digital marketing and technology industry expertise and leadership.
He has held various other positions such as Regional Manager, Dealfish East Africa, MIH Internet Africa – Nairobi, Kenya (September 2010 to December 2011)
Co-founder and Managing Director, Dotsavvy - Nairobi, Kenya (October 2002 to September 2010) a leading digital agency based in Nairobi, Kenya. 
Business Development Manager, 3mice interactive media – Nairobi, Kenya (November 2000 to October 2002)
Major Account Manager, Africa Online - Mombasa, Kenya (August 1997 to November 2000)
Chairman: Rotaract Club of Bahari-Mombasa for 1998/9.
Board Member and Head of Marketing Committee: Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC)
Winner: Youth Entrepreneur Award in the 2008 Kenya Institute of Management Annual Business Awards (KIM KABA Awards)

Aly-Khan Satchu was born in Mombasa , read Law at the University of Durham and worked for 15 years in the City Of London . He ran global trading desks for Credit Suisse First Boston (Emerging Markets).
Since 2003 Aly-Khan has been trading his own funds primarily Commodities (particularly Oil) Currency Futures and Options, Equity Indices and Single Stocks.
For the last three years, Aly-Khan has been an active Investor at the Nairobi Stock Exchange, The USE and various other African Stock markets.
His book "How to Get Rich in Africa" sold well in Kenya and abroad, and gave insight to business and the minds behind the businesses. 
Check his website gives financial data daily; subscribe and get insights from one of Kenya's brilliant finance gurus. Or tweet him @AlyKhanSatchu
Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. Has an educational background in accountancy. Focused and striving to retire at 30. Evans has started, run and managed several business and NGOs and has in years accumulated experience in project management and event planning. He is the Typical Nairobi hustler. Runs Kuna Vijana Youth initiative, Wanadamu initiave an online database that allows volunteers around the country to register as blood donors , Lets and sells houses, Does car sales & hire runs all operations in Kenya for At Africa Gathering. Evans is also the let us celebrate the Spread the Love 2011 Innovation Recipient. Check his website here Evans Muriu
He is the only Chief on Twitter.I personally like this guy.He is simply amazing. Chief Francis Kariuki or,@Chiefkariuki, as he’s known online — tweets to defeat thugs and thieves, locate missing children and farm animals, and organize village logistical matters.
His Twitter account is so popular that, he says, even the thieves in his village follow him.
He has talked to CNN, Associated Press, BBC, Daily Telegraph and e-Africa, all this is thanks to the tech-savvy chief’s innovative use of Twitter to fight crime.
In my Next Post i will write on 5 more amazing kenyans you  should also follow on twitter.
Follow me @KenyanMarketer il share with you the latest on Social Media,Ad reviews,Brands and issues revolving around marketing.                                                                                                

Sunday, 4 March 2012

How to Effectively Engage People on Social Media.

5 lessons from Churchill(Mwalimu King'ang'i)
How often do you check your social Media accounts? What do you do when you log in to your accounts? Is your influence on social media based on the numbers on your friend list? Or is it based on your reputation and respect or in the fanatical following you have?
Social influence involves much more than a popularity contest. Actual influence is composed of the ability to influence opinions,outcomes and actions.
Do you once in a while check on your friends and acquaintances or get to know your new friends better when you accept a friend request? Do you use your photo or company logo as your profile photo? Do you post engaging content to encourages interactivity on your page or profile?
Why do some updates have so many Likes and comments while others have barely any or none at all?
Here are the 5 tips;
1. Engage regularly.
Social engagement refers to the relationships or involvements – both positive and negative with your friends, fans and followers.Mwalimu king’angi is active on social media thus keeps his fans and followers engaged and interacting. Most of his updates encourage interactivity and conversation; Updates that end with a question mark attract more comments. Funny content gives you more Likes and Shares. If you want people to spend more time on your profile simply ask questions. 
Or post content that prompts one to leave a comment,not just like the update.Such as this;

2. Don’t over promote yourself.
Social media can be extremely beneficial to you and your business. It is effectively cost-neutral and if executed correctly it’s a well-targeted form of marketing. Whist sharing your own content online (marketing) This makes sure it is not the only activity. Those who only share their own content are transparent and audiences online look at that as purely selfish and switch off quickly.
 • A good ratio of sharing to promoting your own content is 4:1 as a minimum (the more you share about other valuable content i.e. less marketing messages, the more you get in return).

• Be sure you only share content that adds value to your community – content which they’ll find useful. This means that you should understand the demographics of your friends or fans. If it’s a mixed up case scenario share content that benefits people across the board.
3. Keep private things private.
As Facebook and twitter is very much in the public domain (yet it’s often perceived as private at the same time), there are numerous examples of how private (often extremely personal) information has ended up in the public domain. If you say the wrong things, it could damage your professional reputation. Mwalimu King’ang’ doesn’t share information on his private life. It’s just an update; don’t share info on your recent breakups, social places you frequent regularly for security reasons, don’t post vital information on people’s wall. Simply inbox them. A few people tend to also tweet when drunk, you may end up releasing nasty stuff!Try avoid this~!!!!
Totally wrong!
4. Vary your content.
Providing different types of content has been proven to engage audiences more effectively. Once in a while discuss football, politics, trending topics , business, jokes or even relationships and marriage.
If someone shares your content, thank them. If it’s possible, engage them in a conversation about the topic – enhancing your reputation as a specialist.
Look at how this update got many likes, comments and shares.
This simply shows if you once in a while engage your fans with what you don’t update  normally you are likely going to attract attention from your ‘dead’ or quiet fans.
5. Push products wisely.

I had to come up with this because at one point you have to use social Media for marketing, corporate communications and PR or even customer service to promote your personal brand or business.
However this has been abused terribly. Excessive self promotional content is so annoying and literally turns your profile into a billboard. People hate that! Small business owners literally do all manner of things to promote their products or services. This includes Spamming other people’s pages or groups with wall posts, Tagging people on your fliers, regularly promoting your own self and sending mass messages to friends online. 
Look at how Mwalimu ties in a promotional message wisely in his update. Can you do better than this?
Do you have any other lessons you could share with us? What are the annoying things your friends, fans or followers do on your profile or page?