A while back, I wrote an article here called “what if KPLC was on Twitter?” and sure enough, they have just recently officially set foot on Twitter (@kenyapower) but are having a rough time there. I would like to think they read my article but given their activities on Twitter, apparently not. I took it upon myself to send them the article again via twitter but after some of the tweets I saw last night, I believe they will need to combine that article with this one.
I searched for KenyaPower on twitter yester night and just laughed my ass off at some of the results. No wonder KPLC asked people to be civil in one of their tweets? A quick look at this search results page on Twitter reveals quite nasty and satirical tweets directed at KPLC. Some read as follows:
Hell hath no fury like a tweep scorned is the lesson for KPLC here. Let me not lie to you (KPLC), it has always been a rough ride for KPLC on Twitter even when you were not there. Your participation in twitter was always bound to get rougher for you guys once you got on twitter. Previously, people were cursing you from the darkness (pun intended) but now that you have put a candle to your face and they can see you, they are coming at you with all they got. You see, we all react differently when suddenly in the middle of our work, a sudden power blackout ensues. These blackouts will find us with half our heads or beards shaved, with deadlines to beat, half a document printed, with half a movie watched, and with that elusive attachment barely sent or in the middle of a download. Whenever these happen, it is almost certain that the first words we utter will be curse words. And now with Twitter, we curse simultaneously with our months and on twitter. That’s where the uncivil curses come from and KPLC will just have to deal with it until they can manage the situation better.
Ignorance has been bliss for KPLC. We all curse them from the comfort of our own homes and offices and now increasingly on social networks. Occasionally, we get to see someone on TV or in the Papers have a go at them but these are few and far between hence not very memorable. You see, that Kenyans hate and have been cursing KPLC is nothing new to anybody except KPLC. To KPLC, the lack of a feedback mechanism has kept them blissfully insulated from our “uncivil” attacks on who they are and everything they stand for. However, their entry into social media has suddenly left them exposed. It has opened the floodgates for us to finally directly tell them what we have been unable to for years hence the sudden outburst of vitriol against them. Listening is always the first step when planning to use social media and if KPLC had listened prior to launching in social media, they would have seen just how much negative sentiments they attract. This would have reduced the shock factor they are suffering from now and helped them manage it better.
I doubt that there is a Kenyan company people mention on Twitter more than KPLC, albeit negatively. And that is a good thing. I was mildly impressed by a tweet by KPLC urging people to be civil when leaving comments on their newly revamped website. They are missing the point by a mile. It does not matter how cute your website (which appears to be down at the moment) actually is. People are not there to stare, though a nice looking website helps. What people appreciate more is the functionality that allows them to give you feedback and converse with you, something we have been unable to do for a long time now. Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs are the ideal platforms for engaging and instead of asking people to be civil, only delivery of service will ensure civility in these social networks. When I curse you and you help me with my problem anyway, chances are the next time I tweet about you, I will not use obscenities. It’s your way of turning the other cheek. Only service and genuine help will save you…
Twitter can be quite an impeccable tool for businesses if utilized right. KPLC already have the advantage of (probably) being the most talked about Kenyan Company on Twitter. Their agenda now will not be to get people talking but rather to change how people perceive and talk about them. There are a number of ways they can use twitter and I will just mention a few now or else this post might get quite long… I may outline them further in a different post or advice them in-house if they HIRE ME TO HANDLE THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA INITIATIVES. Obvious options for using twitter include:
I am interested to see how this plays out. It will certainly continue to make for a very interesting social media case study in Kenya.
What say you?