internet marketing

Kenyan and African brands, are you ready for real-time internet search?

There is a revolution afoot and its known as real-time internet search. Most recently, Twitter has shown us just how important real-time internet search is in the case of the disputed Iran election results as well as the recent death of Michael Jackson. In both cases, Twitter proved to be the most current source of information and even eclipsed both CNN and Google in terms of having the latest updates.

The most compelling aspect of real-time internet search is that it is largely crowd sourced, meaning that people like you and me are the agents of creating and distributing the latest search results. In this manner, certain topics of interest start to trend and massive levels of traffic can be realized on web sites that have the most current information.

This brings me to the main thrust of this post – are Kenyan and other African brands ready for real-time internet search? In fact, are they even aware as to what the online conversation on their brands is, and what it means in terms of brand reputation and positioning, real-time? I did a couple of searches today for several iconic Kenyan brands on Twitter, below is what I found (I have highlighted bad tweets in bold and good tweets in italic font):

Search: Safaricom

#  mamboleo How is it the Safaricom customer service center is the most difficult place to buy credit?   about 1 hour ago from TwitterBerry
# 1mrsrnyawaaae_iffpa3dqnb-ia__ sportinkenya Ndereba, Kungu, Nanyim victorious in Safaricom Lewa event http://bit.ly/HEJ3m about 1 hour ago from Mobile Tweete
# Chicken_head_normal lostwhitekenyan What’s with the new safaricom mobile browser home page. Looks good. Nice headings but then nothing . . . No content at all? ? ? about 7 hours ago from TwitterBerry
# Tweet_photo_normal africaholidays Safaricom Lewa Marathon was this morning.Was superb,attendance was great.Time records were not broken but it was fan,sweat & noble.see u ’10 1 day ago from web
# Viatu_normal siraf_2 the safaricom lewa marathon is on.the most challening marathon run in the equator and in the wild.may the best man win 1 day ago from web

Search: kenya airways

#  Faisalkili09 Getting ready to board kenya airways to nairobi. . Im already having fun!   1 day ago from txt
# Seagull_w_normal stilgherrian Did I misread that in my tiredness? Kenya Airways KQ0887 departs Bangkok for Nairobi at 0035, not for 40 mins? Damn. #toto 1 day ago from txt
# Picture_035_normal jeanfrancis Kenya Airways : Bientot des vols vers Malabo ( Via Douala ) 2 days ago from web
# Seagull_w_normal stilgherrian Whoever asked, I’m flying Thai to Bangkok, then Kenya Airways to Nairobi, same to Dar es Salaam, and a local airline to Zanzibar. #toto 2 days ago from TweetDeck
# Feeding_the_kids_normal beltanefire Well the worst thing occuredDespite getting all my visas etc for KENYA Kenya airways website collapsed 2 days ago

Search: EABL

#  coldtusker @bankelele uhuru could have been favouring keroche over EABL. Same situation where Mastermind gets favorable treatment over BAT   4 days ago from web
# Tweep_known_as_gream_normal SupremeGREAM @nziokxs did u read the eabl is increasing the price of distilleds after tax reduction!!? it was jargonized didnt get much 5 days ago from mobile web
# Print_tusker_normal coldtusker @alykhansatchu Things are looking shaky today as EABL & safcom are down today. 6 days ago from web
# Weta-brca_normal natrlvisions All 3 bluebirds are, no doubt, very stunning. Had to work a little to find EABL where I lived in FL, but would just to go see them! 8 days ago from ChirpTracker

Search: Tusker

#  greenroutes Beautiful tusker in wet forest at madumalai   24 minutes ago from fring
# Twitter_pic_for_web_page_normal michell_van_zyl my first tusker malt lager – mmmmmm about 16 hours ago from web
# Avatar_normal PinkM @MoMaalim mmmhhh…I don’t know how Tusker tastes but I’m not sure it’s @lyfSaMystry’s choice food. How do you do Mo? 1 day ago from web
# 3n_normal ntatu @inexes a good morning tusker, enjoy! 1 day ago from web

Search: Orange Kenya

#  gachigi orange internet in kenya is so bad i haven’t been online for one week now..thanks orange   1 day ago from TwitterFox
# _mg_0258_normal larrymadowo Dominic Saint-Jean leaves Telkom Kenya, to be France Telecom EA ‘Advisor,’ replaced by Mickael Ghossein from Orange Jordan. Hmmmh… 1 day ago from web
# Moses2007_normal moseskemibaro New blog post: Orange Kenya’s “Niaje” Tariff and Safaricom Live http://moseskemibaro.com/?p=483 4 days ago from Twitter Tools
# Aly_khan_satchu_photo_normal alykhansatchu The Sun is a glorious orange disc this morning rising over Nairobi #NAIROBI #KENYA and Good Morning. 4 days ago from web
# Databank_main_r1_c1_normal DatabankGroup Kenya: Orange chief set for exit after 18 months at helm http://bit.ly/g6ftL 5 days ago from web

Search: Safari Sevens

#  alykhansatchu @coldtusker WELL at least he is not blowing it on #CNNFAIL though they did feature the #safari sevens   1 day ago from web
# Logo2_normal UR7s Does anyone think that #Safari #Sevens is good enough to be part of the IRB series? 2 days ago from web
# Blupantherlogo_normal alusainc Jamati Sports Kenya Remains the Tusker Safari Sevens Champion: Kenya prevails against talented Sout.. http://tinyurl.com/nvxn9g 2 days ago from twitterfeed
# Jamati_1_normal jamati Kenya Remains the Tusker Safari Sevens Champion: Kenya prevails against talented South Africa http://tinyurl.com/nvxn9g 2 days ago from twitterfeed

# 86423296_6513d5dd8f_m_normal RugbyUnionNews [RugbyDump] Kenyan rugby and Safari Sevens tournament growing in popularity http://bit.ly/aZcP6 3 days ago from twitterfeed
# Rugby_normal Rugby_Nation Kenyan rugby and Safari Sevens tournament growing in popularity http://minurl.org/YdXT #rugby 3 days ago from web

Search: KTN Kenya

larrymadowo Look out for the Kenya tourism ad to air on CNN on #KTN Business Today, plus where the money is coming from   11 days ago from web

Search: NTV Kenya

#  bankelele Did NTV just mention ‘Telkom Kenya’ and ‘95% market share’ in same breath?   2 days ago from mobile web

# Hon moseskoinange I forgot i was watchin Ntv kenya news. 5 days ago from Gravity
# Ephy_tw_normal ephymwangi @NTV kenya I like your presentation 8 days ago from TwitterFox
# Logo_ntv_normal ntvkenya Check out our ‘NTV Kenya’ facebook page and comment on the various news items and programmes aired on NTV 9 days ago from web

Search: Harambee Stars

#  kenyangirl2 Whatever happened to harambee stars out kenyan team, i hope they are taking lessons from team USA that beat spain today GO TEAM USA!!!   3 days ago from web
# Savvy_normal savvykenya New post..how the Harambee Stars match on Sato went down http://bit.ly/13il8h 4 days ago from web
# Default_profile_normal wescute harambee stars r on a role……….. 6 days ago from web
# 2917_74243554593_694244593_1581052_4441031_s_normal CKigwe Am happy of harambee stars victory! 4 Southafrica nicegame too! 7 days ago from mobile web
# Logo_ntv_normal ntvkenya Stars defeat Black Mambas to record first win: Harambee Stars collected their first three points from group B in.. http://tinyurl.com/ljp3ac

In a nutshell, the above twitter searches go to show that Kenyan brands are definitely part of the real-time internet search phenomenon, and that’s whether they know it, or not. Going forward, its up to them to “plug in” to the online conversation to enhance their brand visibility and relevance through real-time internet search.

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2 Comments

  1. GEORGE GOPAL
    June 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm — Reply

    am beginning to get doubtful of this widely publicised fibre optic cable thing,at least going by the reports in the sunday nation back page.

  2. Justin
    June 29, 2009 at 12:13 am — Reply

    Well, most don’t seem to care too much about their online brand presence, otherwise they’d be out there engaging us. I think there should be a brand management office in every Kenyan multinational.

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