From Fear to Fan: How Kenyans Are Embracing the Police Online

3 min read

Sometime back, living in Kenya meant trying to avoid interactions with the police. The only times people willingly engaged with law enforcement is when reporting a burglary or negotiating the release of a loved one detained during a weekend raid-the ones they do on Friday nights.

That’s the Kenyan police for you-at least that is what we knew for the longest time.

There has been recent development though. These boys in blue have adopted a strategy to reach out to us- using social media platforms to engage the public and share their thrilling, colorful, and almost unreal, – like scenes lifted from the movies- crime-busting escapades.

This move has received overwhelming support from the public as In recent months, the directorate’s Twitter account has become some of the most titillating reading in Kenya. The director, George Kenotic, the country’s top detective has this to say about that:

“For a very long time in Kenya, police have been thought of as killers. See a policeman? You run. Nothing good could come of it,” he said. “If we want the public’s confidence, we have to show them we are not all like that — we do work for them.”

Has this borne the desired fruit? Absolutely! Commenting on this, Inspector Michael Mugo, who leads the team says “A lot of information slides directly into our DMs, especially now that we are tweeting more often. I’d like to think we’ve made crime fighting more accessible to people, by speaking their language.”

Well, skeptics are quick to say that this is pure PR and that the police are keen to wash off the red in their ledger- but this is my take on the same, PR or no PR the force is winning and that is what the interactions on Twitter is meant for. People are wired to mistrust, criticize, and fight what they don’t understand.

This being, any serious firm will consider having a social media management strategy to fill this knowledge gap and dispel any misinformation surrounding the brand.

Gone are the days when brands relied solely on traditional advertising methods like print media and TV commercials to establish their brand presence. Social media has become a powerful tool for businesses to reach their target audience and create brand awareness.

Today, there are 5.07 billion social media users worldwide, which accounts for 62.3% of the global population. This staggering number highlights the importance of social media platforms in expanding a brand’s reach.

Let’s bring this closer home.  Research done by Statista shows roughly 92 percent of internet users aged 16-64 years in Kenya used at least one kind of social media platform to find information about brands and products. Social networks were the preferred platform, cited by nearly 72.2 percent of respondents. This is such a large audience, you wouldn’t want to miss out on it, would you?

 Transition to digital, mainly social media,   not only opens new avenues for brands to connect with consumers but also creates an environment where brands can engage in storytelling, create community-driven experiences, and foster direct conversations with their audience.

Think about it. Don’t get left behind. Adapt, engage, and let your brand thrive in the social media spotlight.

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