Thursday, February 24, 2011

Do Corporations Understand Social Media?

Millward Brown, a qualitative research firm which set up shop in Kenya, had a talk last week about research & statistics on modern engagement. They did a study in 15 countries and their findings on Kenya showed the increasing use of Facebook, Youtube, and mobile internet, some of which has been covered before in other studies and recent Communication Commission of Kenya – CCK stats - but theirs was from the perspectives of corporates and how they can engage better.

Through their Firefly initiative, Millward Brown can help local companies navigate the online space using tools like ideablogs to find the right mix.

They noted that:
- Locally, Safaricom and Kenya Airways are actively engaging, while Manchester United and Arsenal also do this well with Kenyans
- Kenyans are not yet keen on online marketplace transactions
- The niche may be easier for small retailers than large corporates to navigate
- Marketers are only now coming to grasp the changes in advertising & communications away from traditional media and seeking new ways to engage brands 7 consumers
- Social media allows two way communications (unlike TV & radio) and there are effective (and free) social media monitoring tools available
- Social media allows even brands considered boring like detergents to connect with potential & new customer and engage more with current customers

Some tips they shared include:
- Don’t put the corporate Facebook/Twitter account in the hands of new employee or intern; it should be by an experienced hand who know what they are doing
- Don’t recreate your homepage in social media
- Give your brand a face & talk like a friend
- Offer something of value e.g. discounts, coupons
- Talk like a friend not a corporate entity
- Don’t ask for personal information too soon


PKW said...

I enjoyed getting an instant response from Safaricom Ltd from their twitter account- @SafaricomLtd. Given that their customer care line is always busy, and I'm across the border so couldn't use the 100 number anyway,it was very helpful.

Politicians can also benefit much from it.

bankelele said...

PKW: Agreed - with @Twitter, you get better response, if a company has chosen to engage that way.

This week, I emailed the 'customer care' address of two large corporations and from one I got an 'out of office' auto reply, while with the other it came back as 'Undeliverable: lost item'

kainvestor said...

I think most Kenyan corporates have not yet appreciated social media as formal communication channel. Speaks volumes about what kind of board members and management they have.

Bata Kenya seems to have got it right.

Wainaina said...

Scanad are doing pretty well managing social media through their company Squad Digital. KQ & Safaricom have benefited from their expertise. I tip Squad Digital to be one of the larger success stories of the Scangroup family.

p.s. they're hiring!


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