An exploratory study on social media use and Facebook engagement by companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange
Groenewegen, Raphael Wainoga
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The use of social media by businesses is relatively new and is a fast evolving field. The problem is Kenyan businesses are venturing into it without sufficient knowledge of how best to use this new media effectively. However, some companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) are excelling and being recognized for their use of social media. This dissertation tries to solve the problem by looking at how the listed companies of the NSE are using social media in order to identify useful practices for other businesses. Using Facebook as the proxy for social media use, the study identifies what NSE listed companies are using Facebook for and which potential uses are not being exploited. Finally an analysis is performed to see which message strategies are effective in increasing engagement with the public through Facebook. This dissertation includes a two-part methodology. First online searches were conducted to find out which social media platforms are being used by the companies and then a content analysis was carried out on the Facebook message posts of the companies in the month of January 2015. The findings show that 69.35% of the companies are using some form of social media with 61.29% using Facebook. The Banking sector is the most prolific while the Agricultural sector has the lowest uptake of social media on the NSE. The companies are mostly using Facebook for marketing activities, general engagement, customer service and public relations. The companies are not using Facebook for social commerce, crowd-sourcing and shareholder communications. The findings also show that using graphics on posts, inviting a response to a post and offering a potential reward for responding to a post are all message strategies that have a positive effect on increasing a post’s engagement level though there are other variables which contribute to a post’s engagement level which need to be explored. This dissertation concludes that all Kenyan businesses need to be using social media but will have to allow for some experimentation to take place and measure what works and what doesn’t in order to obtain tangible benefits from this tool.