Rush for Twitter trend driving Kenyan businesses off-focus

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Something strange is happening around Kenya’s corporate circles – businesses want to positively trend on Twitter, at all times and at all costs.

This craze for “trending unusual” has seen many companies, including media houses outdoing each other, spending huge amounts of their time and resources cleaning their images.

Those raking in millions are individuals with huge amounts of followers. Some bloggers are being hired to do “dirty work” for companies against competition.

Politicians also see a huge potential in popularizing themselves through media.

“It appears that if you are not on Kenya’s Twitter platform today, then you either don’t exist and or you are not in business. It is a battle of hashtags. Not necessarily the truth”, said one blogger who spoke to Cofek.

But the downside of this development is that Twitter is changing customer care relations – from the traditional call centres to “Twitter Centres”.

This has both positive and negative impacts to both service providers and consumers.

“If you report a service provider’s complaint to Cofek, that company will respond fast – most often by dropping Cofek out of the reply and insist on a DM (direct message). That way, they effectively pull you to an offline mode. In some cases they caution you about reporting to Cofek”, added the blogger.

Today companies are spending less on mainstream media advertising – especially on print media. 

As such connection with consumers outside social media is fast dwindling.

Clearly, the Twitter trending mad rush has found most marketing and PR departments of Kenya’s corporate businesses ill-prepared.

Shall they cope? Time will tell.

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