When one thinks of social media, the main thought is a tool for staying connected with friends and getting to know what the cool people have to say about their latest escapades, fashion and gossip. They have no time to think of this platform as a tool of engaging, networking and even advertising. Strathmore business school held its annual strategy summit to discuss the power of social media and how they can harness its power.
The summit was facilitated by Sunny Bindra, a leading management consultant and business advisor and Dr. Anderson Uvie-Emegbo, a leading Pan-African focused digital media practitioner. Both facilitators stressed on the importance of social media to an organization and its brand and stated that organisations can no longer afford to ignore social media. For most of the participants, social media was said to be an important tool that helps in engaging with their clients and getting prompt feedback.
The summit culminated with a round table panel session with notable speakers who were key in driving the use of social media in their organisations. The speakers were James Wambugu, MD, UAP Insurance Company Kenya, Peter Nduati, CEO, Resolution Insurance and Al Kags , Group CEO, The Goode Group.
Peter Nduatis interest in social media began with an interest in blogs, which were purely for promoting his music. Micro blogging soon overtook blogs and Peter joined other social platforms such as Twitter, where he gained a following of 500 people. Twitter then became a tool for engaging with people and shifted to become a customer service tool and later a sales tool.
Al Kags journey into social media began when he joined Mashada forum in 2001, due to his interest in journalism. He then joined blogging in 2003 and eventually Facebook. He is present in every social media platform and joins with an aim of understanding how each is different from the other. Social media has allowed him to engage with people while he is on the move and also discuss topical issues. It has enabled him to connect with a lot of people helping him to prove that he is not his business. He has received job offers because of social media and has made great connections. He credits social media, where he attributes it to the reason he met his wife.
James Wambugu joined social media in 2009. He joined the platforms in a bid to understand them in order to connect with people. He stated the importance of social media in his organization as he is able to receive prompt feedback from clients and have a feel of how the business is running from the public perception. Social media is a place where the business gets to know what the customer wants. Social media will tell you how to run your business effectively and what your clients think of your company services and products, said James.
The summit concluded with the consensus that social media is a force that cannot be ignored and it would soon become an industry requirement to understand it.