Social media & the Nairobi Stock Exchange
Of all companies/ organizations using social media, the last one that I would imagine using social media is the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). They are using Facebook and twitter to educate the public about their stock exchange and general investing. It’s interesting that a government entity that is usually private is using such a public platform to educate and connect with their target audience. I applaud them for using social media to reach interested persons, but there is definitely room for improvement.
NSE has 1,778 fans on Facebook and 582 followers on twitter. On these pages, they are providing fans and followers with information about the stocks they manage, links to articles, and asking for target audience member’s input on specific items, such as The Exchange Magazine, for which they co-create with other East African stock exchanges. They also post how the stocks end for the day.
Through my research I discovered that using twitter and Facebook to engage customers and address concerns is the new trend for regional companies in Kenya. Facebook currently has a 24 percent Facebook penetration amongst online users in Kenya (I was unable to find twitter penetration information). This information is helpful because it allows companies to reach approximately one-fourth of Kenyans that use the Internet and the number is likely to grow.
NSE has the opportunity to improve their communications on Facebook and twitter, while using it in the same manner that they currently are. The biggest problem with NSE using social media is their lack of engagement with fans and followers. On their Facebook page, fans are talking more with one another than they are to NSE. NSE does respond to fans’ queries; however, majority of the conversations are occurring amongst fans. On their twitter page, they are just posting information; they are not retweeting or using hash tags. Overall, they aren’t conducting too many conversations through social media, which is the main use of social media for companies.
NSE can create more questions to ask their target audience, such as investment trivia questions and continually to ask for feedback from the fans/ followers, etc, post more pictures, post videos from recent events, retweet messages, and direct fun comments/ statements at followers. Adding these suggestions will help NSE engage their audience more effectively. Hopefully, by seeing these types of interactions a page visitor would be enticed to join the pages and in the long-run, buy more investments listed on the NSE.
Other investment companies should begin using social media to engage their audience as well, as long as there is a sizable portion of the population that uses the internet. As in Kenya, there is an opportunity to engage an audience that has never been engaged in this format, and the opportunity is global. Out of the East African nations represented by the East African Community, Kenya is the only one that is using social media to engage their audience. Investing is a topic that a lot of people know little about and using social media to educate their target audience is innovative. Even the New York Stock Exchange is not using social media in this manner, and they are well-known.