internet marketing

Are social networks becoming Kenya’s preferred online destinations?

I had an interesting meeting with a prospective client representative the other day. There I was with a colleague talking about the merits of our firm providing internet marketing services to their bank when he interjected with an anecdote as to why the internet has become so vital to the future of his financial services organization.

He explained that a couple of years ago, he had made a business trip to the US where he acquired a state of the art laptop. The said laptop stayed in its box, unopened and unused, for practically a year by himself, his wife or his daughter. However, he had to get the laptop connected to the Internet for his wife and his daughter so that they could “get on that web site they call Facebook where all their friends and family go”.

Interesting, isn’t it? That a computer can remain unused for a year until a family needs to connect to Facebook since that is where everyone they know goes to spend their time online for personal and professional networking. Its not email or web browsing in general that led them to get online, it was the need to connect and re-connect with friends, family and colleagues, past and present, in and beyond Kenya, on Facebook.

Its no wonder that Facebook and other social networks are some of the most highly trafficked web sites in Kenya. As of June 2009, according to web ranking service Alexa, the most popular social networks in Kenya by overall web traffic:

4. Facebook.com
7. YouTube.com
8. Blogger.com
9. Wikipedia.org
14. Twitter.com
15. Tagged.com
18. WordPress.com
31. Hi5.com
32. Haiya.co.ke
48. MySpace.com

Based on these statistics, it goes to show the increasing importance of social networks for a variety of reasons in Kenya. One of these reasons could be that social networks act as platforms for publishing and distributing internet content that hereto had been a cumbersome, costly and highly proprietary process. At the same time, social networks in Kenya have become key channels for marketing services locally, as well as communicating directly with a broad range of parties. Lastly, social networks give us a voice that can be heard, wide and loud, on a broad range of Kenyan issues and topics, enabling us to trigger and engage in online conversations. In a nutshell, social networks are fast becoming Kenya’s preferred online destinations for these reasons.

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4 Comments

  1. July 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm — Reply

    I can’t agree with you more Moses this is so important… Web 2.0 and social networking is a must for all large corporates and consumer orientated products/services. But also for the small ones as every one has the ability to use these platforms for their own benifit..

    That’s why spotskenya.com has a fully functional social side to it so as to meet the needs of the “social animal”

    great post and i will be ReTweeting this.

  2. July 15, 2009 at 10:32 am — Reply

    @trcwest, thanks for the feedback. Social Media is really taking off in Kenya and the implications are nothing short of HUGE. Thanks for the RT yesterday!

  3. August 27, 2009 at 4:57 am — Reply

    I agree with you on this.Social Networking sites seem to be very popular in Kenya. For example Mashada and Iborian have a sizable audience. May be their appeal seems to be in their areas of focus, from Mkenya wa Kawaida’s daily experiences to Kenyan politics.

  4. December 1, 2009 at 6:17 am — Reply

    EXACTLY I agree social networks have increased the need of internet and maintaining of contacts in as much as relay of information is conserned and thus help a vast majoruty cut on expenses that would have been the alternative.

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