If you are a Kenyan parent or teacher, you will be horrified at the statistics quoted in a Daily Nation October 10, 2011 article: ‘Internet zombies in class;’ presented by Lenana School students at the National Research Club Of Kenya competition held on September 16 in Nairobi. Among the highlights, many students in high schools and colleges spend up to six hours daily on social networks “… chatting, blogging, updating status, sharing jokes, tweeting, and spreading news, rumours and gossip on Internet and social media…” 87% of them use social networking as their main communication platform and 66% of them being active Facebook users. Furthermore, 74% of them were ‘hooked’ to Facebook and 81% of high school students’ use their mobile phones to access social networks.
But if you are an Internet/social media marketer/SME in Kenya, these statistics are gold dust. Why?
First, they prove that you are spoilt for choice on how to promote your brand using social media, especially if high school and college youth are your primary target audience. Will you take advantage of the ‘spreading news, rumours and gossip’ aspect to start a viral campaign? Will you target influential bloggers to endorse your brand? Will Twitter work better? All of the above?
Second, these students will be tomorrow’s adult ‘unga earning’ consumers who will rely primarily on their peers for information regarding brands and less on advertising. Does your brand have an online reputation management /web PR strategy?
Third, Facebook will still be THE pre-eminent social networking site in the near future, so your brand will need a separate Facebook strategy and tactics.
Fourth, you will have to include mobile marketing in your Internet marketing mix.
Fifth, these statistics, when combined with the latest Communications Commission of Kenya numbers, show that the future of Internet marketing in Kenya is bright.
By all means, be alarmed if you are a parent, but if you also double up as an Internet marketer, give your high school/college offspring a bear hug.