Ever wanted to start blogging? What stopped you from actualizing your idea? Did you think your idea was not IT?

Well, for starters, you can blog about literally anything on the face of this earth. You don’t even have to be an epic writer to do so. As you write, you sharpen your writing. Moreover, a blog can be made of pics or videos or commentary on other articles out there.

Is it your cat you love so much? Write about its exploits, complete with cat pics. I can assure you people love cat pics (probably not as much as I do but trust me on that one.) It does not have to be your cat. It could be your dog or your phone.

Express yourself

Travel a lot? Why not blog about it? Express yourself.

Love photography? Where is your blog? Promote your skills.

Cooking maestro? We should get those recipes somewhere bana! Spread the knowhow.

Think you can beat Wikipedia in disseminating information in a particular area? Anza blog. Establish your expertise online.

Promote your trade

By the way, don’t let anyone tell you blogging is a girlish trade. Think all those manly dudes running super cool techie blogs. Defend your gadget loyalty like there is no tomorrow. In fact, there is a super cool Kenyan man who runs a fashion blog. Ask around.

I mean, look at people who write entire posts on how much they hate mukimo. Or how they want a man they can only dream of. I am not saying you should start a blog to pass hate around. On the contrary, I am telling you that a blog is not the preserve of a select few. Actually, if you are so pissed off by such people, start one where you do the complete opposite, like Nation FM dissing Classic FM in the subtle way they do. You know what I am saying?

And no, blogging is not about being a humble-brag. You never know who you are helping when you share your experiences.

blog and help

There is something really cool about having a blog where you unwind. I would know. You may not even be about making money. You just want your space in this Internet. A space not owned by Facebook or Google. A place you can call home.

If you do want to make money, then you definitely want to establish your space first. You want the best design that will actually convert. People have made money from blogs through sheer determination and identifying niches. Think Ghafla!Kenya, Techmoran, This Is Ess, bikozulu and so on.

We can help you own one, complete with support, where you do not have to worry about the technical details. We won’t even charge you much. Think of it as a Christmas gift from us to you. Hit us up.


Posted by bv

10 Lessons from Our First Year of Blogging

About a year ago, the first post went up on this blog. We are growing old! 44 posts later, it has been a terrific journey full of lessons. You know what they say about teaching; “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” Blogging is fun and it gets more fun when you see results. Here is what we have learnt about blogging at Belva Digital.

1. Write for your audience

If you write with the audience in mind, thinking of what affects them and what they need to learn about a subject, your post will be read. If you are an agency or individual in Kenya, where your target audience is, write about Kenya and Kenyans. Be different. Do not focus on writing for an audience in another world where they are already saturated with content by people who know them better. A Kenyan will breathe a sigh of relief when reading about something they can actually relate to, unlike one where they are struggling to connect to the foreign examples given or impractical advice on the ground. Write something you would want to read yourself. Write about a topic you would Google yourself. Otherwise, don’t write at all.

2. Identify tools

Use tools that enhance your blogging, both for you and for your readers. Tools that help you in your research, writing and analysis. Read more on some of those we have discovered on our journey here: 12 Invaluable Blogging Tools. A great place to discover more tools is Buffer’s blog. Great advice. I know because its advice has been a big part of this blog’s growth.

Identify tools

3. Comment spam

There are spammers who raid your blog once it has gained traction in the space we call the web. Especially once your posts are quality and attract a significant amount of traffic from search engines. You have to know how to distinguish between real people’s comments and spammers. Spammers will most likely say the same thing that is completely unrelated to your post, have strange names and attach links to their comments. Get a spam tool like Akismet and always set it comments to be approved before they go up. You’d rather have no comments than spam. It reflects badly to any shrewd person who visits your blog and honestly wants to comment.

4. Social media

Leverage the power of social media. You may not have huge numbers on your social accounts, but once you write a great post, do not be afraid to share it and tag relevant parties. Most times, if it is really quality, they will reshare it, especially when it is touches on their business or cause. Good content will not be discovered if you just sit on it and wait for traffic from heaven.

5. Research

Read, read, read. Read on industry trends from both industry leaders and laymen alike then aggregate them into a post once you have weaved it together in your head and in paper. A blog post should be something you do over time. That does not mean that you need to write it for days. No. this post, for instance, has been in the pipeline all year, it was just written down in one day. You know what I am saying?

Read. Read. Read.

6. Experiment

Take time to review what works and what does not. Do not neglect your blog. Do not be afraid to experiment. For instance, we started out writing a lot here, then work caught up with us and we cut down the number of posts. All the same, that did not mean we stopped blogging. We just take time with fewer quality posts.

7. A blog post is not just text

Post different kinds of content. Pictures, videos, news, listicles. Oh, yeah. People love lists. Clearly. That’s why you probably clicked through to this particular listicle. If a listicle delivers what it promises, it gives you great results. Just don’t lie about your content on the title. That’s what we call click-bait/link-bait. It does not go down well with most people. No one wants to be swindled, even on the Internet.

8. Design matters

Design is important. If you want people to subscribe to your blog, do not hide your button somewhere that would require one to look for it. Let it be prominent. It does not need to be an annoying popup or anything of the sort. If a reader reads your post and loves it, then is met by a subscribe button right after it, chances are they will subscribe, because you offered value first, not the other way round. Same goes for your comment box and general blog appearance. Speaking of which, how do you like our new design? 🙂

9. Time pays

Blogging is a venture that requires patience, practice and teamwork. You do not get to the point where you are first on Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results’ Page) in one day. It takes a mastery of the above and more. In a nutshell, it is about taking your passion and putting it into a blog space that you also make a part of your passion to reach out to people with value.

10. Get to work!

You will read many lists and pieces about what works and what doesn’t. But you know what? Simply because something worked for us does not necessarily mean it will work for you. And that is why you need to get to work, rather just read about what works. In a matter of months, you will know what does. Don’t just sit there, write something!

What have you learnt yourself from your personal or corporate blog? We’d love to know!

Posted by bv

12 Invaluable Blogging Tools


You want to write a blog post. The first tool you obviously think of is your word processor or your blog dashboard, right? If you think about it though, blogging begins way before the actual put-pen-to-paper process. It also goes beyond hitting publish. Here are a few modest but powerful blogging tools we use to ensure we create quality content that gets found, read and used.


Blog Topic Generator

You know when you are completely blank about what to write, especially when you have deadlines to meet and several blogs to run? This tool will help you come up with a concrete idea for your blog when you are blank. All you need to do is go to the site and input three nouns that you normally blog about. It will then give you suggestions in the form of titles. It is then up to you to customize them to fit your blog. After all, you do not need a machine to do the work for you, you just need a jump-start!

You can also try Portent’s Content Idea Generator. Pretty nifty.


This is a gem when you are writing about current trends in an industry or if you just need to keep up with blogs/news channels that inspire you. Search for your favourite reads on the dashboard and save the feeds in categories. It is then all available for you, when you want, in one place. What’s more, Feedly is has an app too. So you can keep up with your news on the move.

Another great app that comes in handy in aggregation is Flipboard. Once you understand how it works, you get all your news in one aesthetic app on your phone. It serves as a great morning read too when you are stuck in traffic!

Google Alerts

Google alerts are great when you are working on a post in the long term; research purposes. Say you are interested in writing about the social media trends in Kenya, you can set up a “social media Kenya” alert which sends you an email every time an article is published on the topic. Every day, your arsenal is filled without you wasting time scouring the web for info. And as such your blog post gets richer by the minute.


Related Content by Zemanta

This tool is what you need when you need to tag your post with relevant keywords without a hassle, especially if your post had too much going on (e.g. a collection of news stories). Even if you do not pick the tags it suggests, you can get some head-on ideas from it.

What’s more, it also gives you content recommendations based on what you write. These come in the form of pictures you can add to your post to complement the information and related articles you can link to. Word of advice though: If you spot a great photo you want for your post on the tool, do not add it directly from Zemanta. Instead, click on the link it is sourced from and download it from there, then upload it to your post. If you do not do this, the picture will be stored elsewhere on the Web, which is not a good thing any way you look at it. Zemata comes as a WordPress plugin or as a Chrome extension. The Chrome extension is great since you do not need to install the plugin on all the blogs you run; it pops up on all your dashboards, whether Blogger or WordPress.


Zemanta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WordPress SEO by Yoast

This is a neat plugin that lets you optimize your blog content to be found through search engines. I will pinpoint some of the post features it gives you.

  1. Focus keyword – This lets you pick a search keyword that would be most appropriate for your post. One that you think an audience you are writing for would type in Google search. After that, you can see if you have actually used that keyword in your content, title, meta description and other places. Remember, it is up to your own discretion to add the right keywords as naturally as possible. You do not want to stuff your post with meaningless keywords. WordPress SEO allows you to add just the right amount.
  2. Meta Description – This allows you to add the exact excerpt that you want to appear in share links on Facebook and search engines. This is important for click-through, your chance to tell the potential readers what they will find inside.
  3. Page Analysis – This analyses your post. How readable is it? How optimized are your images? How many links do you have? Have you written on the topic before? Great improvement points from a single tool.


This is that one website that allows you to come up with beautiful graphics without any skill whatsoever in design like yours truly. From templates for your blog images to social images, you have no excuse for having a blog filled with just text. You need to be visual to pass across a message sometimes. The graphic above was made using Canva.

Flickr, Unsplash

So you do not have your own quality photos to add to your content for that pop. No worries! There is Flickr which has the Creative Commons section filled with professional photos that you can use provided you attribute them to the owners and follow the conditions in the individual Creative Commons licences.

Unsplash is the Internet’s gift to all of us. Beautiful pictures available to anyone to do with what you want. There are ten free pictures every ten days. No credit, no charge. Download and do what you want with the picture. Seriously. Try it out.




If you run your blog on WordPress and do not know about Jetpack, you need to thank me profusely any time now. Jetpack brings most of the perks that users enjoy into your sites. To name but a few:

  1. Site Stats – You get to see real time stats to your blog broken down in a daily chart, in addition to referral traffic numbers, search engine terms, traffic to posts and number of subscribers if you have the Jetpack subscription feature.
  2. Publicize – this lets you share your posts immediately you publish to all the popular social channels you allow.
  3. Sharing – Jetpack adds share buttons to your posts in the design that suits you best and as many as you want.
  4. Related Posts – the plugin adds a list of three posts that are related to your post, which keeps your readers clicking through deeper into your blog.
  5. Monitor – sends you email if and when your site is down.

Google Analytics

You need this to get more detailed traffic insights in addition to Jetpack stats. From Audience to Behaviour statistics, Google Analytics lets you know what you are doing right or wrong to improve on your future posts. To set Google Analytics up, all you need is to add a few lines of code to your website and you are good to go. The more you get acquainted with the tool, the more functionalities you discover within it. A few things you can view with Google Analytics:

  • Audience – How many new and returning visitors are reading your content? How fast are they getting out? How old are they? Are they male or female? The last two metrics (Demographics) need an extra line of code added to your blog.
  • Acquisition – Where are your readers coming from? This section gives you your sources of traffic either from Organic Search, Direct, Social, Referral, Email or Paid Search.
  • Behaviour – What to do your readers do once they read one post? Do they keep digging deeper and deeper into the site?
  • Conversions – If you set up goals for your blog, then this is where you see how badly or well you are meeting them. A goal does not have to be a huge deal. It can be as simple as the time a visitor spends on the site.


This is handy social sharing tool that lets you schedule posts for days for free. You can add Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts and pages. Of course if you want to add more, you need to get into the Awesome Plan (Buffer’s premium service).

What makes Buffer stand out as a sharing tool is the fact that you can Buffer content from anywhere you are on the Web provided you have the browser extension. So if you are on a post you wrote and, say, select a section of text, clicking the Buffer button on your Chrome grabs the text and lets you share or schedule it there and then.


So there you have it; these are some tools we use on blogs we run to keep that juice going. What’s that one blogging tool you cannot do without?

Posted by bv

New Google+ Features: Hangouts App and Polls

Yesterday, Google+ was awash with excitement about two new features: Hangouts app for Chrome and Google+ Polls. One lets you chat better on your desktop, the other lets you create polls and see what others think about anything.

Hangouts Standalone App

If you are an avid chatter on Gmail or Google+, you know how unsettling it can get to have to have an open tab to chat on Hangouts. Not any more!

Hangouts App

The new Hangouts app is available to you on Windows or Chrome OS machine and is available on the Chrome Web Store. This is how it works. Once you click install, it installs like any other Chrome extension but then launches the Chrome App Launcher. As such, once it’s live, it runs whether you open your Chrome browser or not. It’s prominent feature is the chat heads that pop up immediately someone sends you a new message. You can drag and drop the app wherever you want it on the desktop. What’s more, the chat heads disappear after a while, taking care of clutter. You can launch it from your Taskbar or Start menu.

If you are like me, you probably Google Talk specifically installed to go around the open tab issue but now that is sorted out.


Remember when Google bought Polar for Google+? Well, it was not for nothing. We now have polls on Google+! And immediately the news came out, I had polls all over my Home Stream. I am sure you did too.

This a new feature on your Share button where “you can use polls on Google+ to settle the burning issues of our generation…or at least find out what your friends are thinking.” It’s available both on the Web and Android. You only see the percentage of votes after you vote yourself and it’s turning out to be quite interesting.

How do you create a poll? Simply click on your share button and find the option added next to the ones that have been there before. Click on Poll, type your question, type your options, add an image if you want and click share. And you are live!

Google+ Polls lol

CircleCount is counting polls already. And people there happen to think the feature increased engagement on Google+.

We don’t know about you but we are pretty excited about this. What do you think?

Posted by bv

What’s Up on Google+?

Google+ is alive and well (despite what you have heard) but several things have changed. We still love it, all the same!

Google Authorship

For starters, Google Authorship is gone. Sigh. It was an experiment that didn’t work out, according to Googler John Mueller. He wrote:

(If you’re curious — in our tests, removing authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites. Nor does it increase clicks on ads. We make these kinds of changes to improve our users’ experience.)

Don’t fret though. Google+ posts continue to show up on search if they are relevant to the query when private results is on.

Google+ and Gmail

If you have followed the Google+ news, you have heard that you can now open a Gmail account and keep out of Google+ without the usual ‘force’ that comes with it. I have other Gmail accounts that are not attached to Google+ in any way. I know you do too. Therefore, I have no idea why the media decided to go with the whole story that you needed a mandatory Google+ account. Just the experience of signing up changed.

Google+ Wants to Know How You Feel

And Google+ is now running surveys. I saw this on my Google+ app a day ago. As you scroll down, you get the form below, complete with smileys. After you pick how you feel, you get the response on the right. You can also change your answer or dismiss the survey.

Google+ Are You SatisfiedGoogle+ Thank You

I know you know what my answer was. 😉

All the same, never has Google+ been more lively. It’s still churning out awesome stories and getting us connected to people with similar interest and so we can be sure nothing much is up except the usual media hype.

What do you think? Actually, how satisfied are you with Google+?


Posted by bv

Google My Business

You have probably heard of Google My Business in the past few months. So what exactly is it and why should you care?

Google My Business is the new interface from Google that connects you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+. As such, customers searching for you will get info about your business right there, complete with ratings, directions and photos you have uploaded to your Google+ Page. This happens regardless of where they search you on, be it phone, tablet or PC. Google My Business is accessible on your Page’s account or on the Android or iPhone/iPad app.

My Business Dashboard

This is one of the most significant changes that came with the Google My Business. The Google+ page dashboard now has:

  • Insights on how users interact with your content on Google
  • YouTube account insights
  • Hangouts access

In addition, you get to access your apps on the right of your Google+ page at the top and your web analytics.

My Business Dashboard


With Insights, you have access to metrics on how wide your audience is, how visible you are on Google and how engaging your content is.

Views are calculated everyday with an all-time total at the top of the Visibility tab. The views are further broken down into profile, post and photo views. That way you can tell what works with your audience and what you should share more often.

The engagement tab gives you insight into the number of times people +1d, shared or commented on your content. It also gives the number of times a post was viewed. Finally, you have the average actions by post type, be it text, link, photo or video.

The audience tab shows you the number of followers you gain every day in a graph. The demographics by country breakdown is only accessible if your page has at least 200 followers. This is something you can work on fast if you are determined to get there.

You can view metrics from the last 7, 30, 90 days or all-time.

Google+ Insights

The App

The app looks a lot like the Google+ app but for your page, exclusively. “Keep your business info up-to-date and connect with your customers, wherever life takes you.” is the message that welcomes you to Google My Business app.

You can access all the features of the interface within the app and share photos straight from your phone. However, you cannot delete your page, change page settings or view reviews.

With the My Business app, you can upload photos directly for your customers to see them on Search and Maps. From it, you can access your Google+ page too and switch between all the pages you manage. To access your page’s Home Stream however, you still need to use your Google+ app. Get it on Google Play Store or App Store.

Google My Business Android        My Business Android

Why Google My Business

Google My Business is perfect for any small business out there trying to reach an audience online at absolutely no cost (except, of  course, your time). They search for you for your specific kind of business, they are likely to find you on Google is you update your description and information to be as detailed as possible. In addition, the ones you have currently raise your SEO when they engage with your content.

With all your analytics and insights in one place, you coordinate most of your digital marketing efforts on Google in one place and know what to do and when.

Another reason why your business should be on Google+. Get on Google now. The steps are quite straightforward once you get onto the page.


Posted by bv

Google+ Updates

Here is what went down on Google+ in the month of July. More to come in coming weeks with rumours of the social network separating its Photos app from the service. Here is what you may have missed.

You can now use a pseudonym on Google+

When Google+ launched, it had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. The brains behind it thought that this would help create a community made up of real people. Gradually, it loosened the restrictions and starting July 15, 2014, there are no more restrictions on what name you can use. I know a lot of people who are glad this happened. More inclusivity on Google+ thanks to this change.




No more photos on Google Search for authors

Google announced the decision to remove pictures and circle count from Authorship through a post on Google+. According to the post, this is to improve mobile experience. All the same, it has been said that the images would affect click through rates, despite the fact that this is denied on this post.




On the Google+ Weekly Update

If you signed up for the Google+ Weekly Newsletter that we talked about last time, you have been getting tips on how to tweak your content strategy to grow your Google+ Page. Last week, we were reminded of the new Showcase App which is a “feature for Hangouts On Air (HOA) that allows creators to direct users to websites, merchandise, YouTube videos and Google Play content right from an HOA. This is a great way to help viewers discover additional content relevant to your live broadcast, plus build a Google+ following and deepen your audience interactions.” The newsletter showed brands using the app in action. If you haven’t signed up yet, do it here: Subscribe to the Google+ Weekly Newsletter.

Posted by bv

Rethinking Online Advertising

If you walked into a room of, at least, an Internet savvy audience and asked whether they find YouTube Ads annoying or have blocked Ads altogether from their web experience or tend to exit a website with too many banner Ads, you would be surprised (maybe not) by the number of people who raise their hands or nod in agreement. You don’t even need a room, just turn to your neighbor and do this quick survey. The results are the same, aren’t they?

Why is this the case? Agencies, publishers and advertisers alike are seemingly more occupied with getting the job done than delivering on business results. You want a banner ad? You get a banner ad. You want to promote a Facebook page? Consider it done! What about a video YouTube ad that I can’t wait to skip? That also shall be done and we won’t even frequency cap it! Research shows 94% of people who see pre-roll ads can’t wait to skip them. The remaining 6% are the advertisers.*

The thing is we are not analysing and measuring the ROI. For instance, what was the click-through rate for that banner ad? What is the conversion rate for search engine advertising? How much are we paying per thousand impressions? How can we get it lower? Is e-commerce enabled on Google Analytics? Such questions take you to the drawing board and force you to face the elephant in the room. But who cares, we have a marketing budget, it needs to be spent, not necessarily accounted for.

Here is the thing! The tides are changing. The power has shifted to the consumer. The user, mostly Generation C, is using multiple devices, on multiple channels, to consume various forms of digital content. Their goldfish attention span is as fragmented as the media they consume. This calls for a data driven approach to online advertising. Avoid guesswork and assumptions by drawing on insights to make decisions and as IBM puts it, predict with confidence what will happen next so you can make smarter decisions and improve business outcomes.

So, where exactly do I start?

Start by listening. The online listening should be directed towards social media networks, blogs, review boards – channels where consumers are likely to engage with your brand. The beauty is, there are a number of free and paid online tools that can enable you to achieve this. Some of the most recommended are Radian6, SysomosRankur and SocialMention.

The importance of online listening cannot be understated. It’s a research methodology that will enable you understand your consumers better. Where are they located? What are they saying about my brand, products and services? Is it negative, positive or neutral? Who are the influencers? Which channel are they conversing on? These and more can be broken into four broad categories: Brand, Consumer, Category and Culture.

online-listeningFor considerably large businesses, there is certainly a lot of talk about you online, and these tools enable you to sieve through the noise to find meaningful conversations, manage your reputation and generally, build a solid social affinity. Further, listening is not a start and stop activity but a continuous process in this data driven approach.

Secondly, put your customer at the centre and identify the channels of engagement.  After listening, map out the opportunity for your brand to connect with your target audience. Some of the leading questions to help with this are: What is the search volume for your products and services on, say, Google? Which influencers can I work with to shape my brand message to the masses? Which popular websites and blogs are thematic to my services and could give me value? Is the social media conversation going on ripe for conversion?

As you identify the channels of engagement, craft a strategy as well. And be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) about it. An overview of that would be similar to this: “I will use Audience and Placement Marketing to drive brand awareness, and then combine Search Engine Marketing and Remarketing to achieve conversion. Additionally, I will look to social media to drive conversation about my products and services and with a keen eye on conversion and customer retention. I will lump that with email campaigns because a segment of my target audience are spending more time on email than social media.”

Adopt an integrated multi-channel approach because your customer is not monolithic. And talking of customer, put him/her at the centre of your strategy such that priorities and budgets change to singularly respond to his/her needs. It is about what the customer does and less about what marketing seeks to achieve.

Thirdly and finally, strategically buy your online media. Before driving a car, there is always insistence to have a driving license, right? The same applies to buying online media. Get Adwords Certified. It qualifies you and earns you industry credibility. Google requires one to do at least two tests, the Advertising Fundamentals exam which is mandatory and a choice between, Advanced Search and Advanced Display. While Facebook and Twitter don’t have official certifications going on, you can go with thorough understanding of the platforms. Go slow with your first buys, perhaps a daily budget of $20 until you comfortable to pump in significant amounts.

As a media buyer ensure every buying leads to results, which start trickling in from the onset. To ensure the results are positive, perform keyword analysis, A/B testing, etc to identify performing and non-performing Ads. It is an industry open to disruptive technologies, so whatever works today might not work tomorrow.

Look, these are just three steps – it is not the ultimate cheat-sheet but it’s a place to start. I don’t have a decade’s experience in this industry neither am I IAB but it doesn’t need any of that to take stock of worrying trends. How many times have you heard a client say ‘online advertising doesn’t work’ or ‘we can’t measure ROI on that channel’ or ‘we can’t justify the budgets’? A dime a dozen, right? And every time it comes up, I feel like it’s our fault – the media buyers, planners, strategists, whatever fancy name you have. That client’s initial contact might have been with someone who didn’t follow due process. Money was spent. Results were a mirage. All the client got was some views, impressions and a bunch of likes but not what they were looking for – leads and sales.

Online Advertising is a fairly new concept and quite unregulated in Kenya which means mistakes will be made. Somebody will be hit. A dent here and there. A missing side mirror. Cops. This is what happens when you are a newbie driving around without a license. So first and simple things first. Get certified. It’s free, and you do it at your convenience – this means you can take as short or as long as you want. I would take the shortest time possible.

Posted by bv

Weekly Wrap-up: The World Cup on Digital

Your weekly wrap is back after the World Cup. I guess we all got a bit distracted. 😉 And here is how it was during that World Cup month on social media and the digital space in general. Crunching the mind-blowing numbers from Twitter to Google to Facebook.

World Cup on Twitter

There were 672 million Tweets sent related to the 2014 #WorldCup.

“Whether the crowd was reacting to a big goal, predicting the outcome of the next match, or discussing the latest injury or controversy, fans came to Twitter to discuss the games 672 million times.”

Fans shared the most during the Brazil vs Germany semi-final match. Understandable. Brazil’s Neymar was the most mentioned player in the World Cup, followed by Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Uruguay’s Luis Suárez made it to third position and we all know why; the infamous bite that led to an outpouring of memes on the Internet.

Read more on this from Twitter’s blog.


World Cup on Facebook

Over 300 million Facebookers generated over 2 billion interactions (posts, comments, likes) related to the World Cup. What’s interesting is the fact that Facebook’s data editors had never measured an event that had topped a billion interactions before this.

As expected, posts by players in the World Cup drove a lot of engagement. Facebook player posts with the most likes included Neymar, David Luiz, Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Eleven player posts had more than a million likes by the time Facebook released the data here. And then there was the fan migration in different stages below. Read more on the Facebook phenomenon on the link above.



World Cup on Google

There were more than 2.1 billion World Cup related searches on Google. Just like on the other websites, the 2014 World Cup was the most searched global event Google has ever seen. And of course, the most searched match memes list was topped by Suarez yet again. For more figures and trends, read Google’s blog post.



Some of the World Cup Ads

Pick your choice, let’s us know which one really caught you.

Not to forget Volkswagen’s real time celebratory videos.

They were more adverts and hashtags leveraging the World Cup and it’s our hope that we glean something from the wins and fails.

Posted by bv

This #SMDay We Look at What Banks Are Doing on Social Media

The global rise of social media as a force to reckon with continues, and banks have not been left behind. Social media has given banks in Kenya and around the world another avenue to offer customer service, push their agendas and demonstrate corporate responsibility at little cost. All the same, a recent report by the Centre for Research on Financial Markets & Policy, Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) revealed that most Kenyan banks have avoided social media or rather, do not engage customers on the platforms. Indeed after a search you will find pages up but with customers complaining and no one replying to their queries. At the time of the release of the report, only 19 out of 43 banks engaged with customers.

There are banks in Kenya that have stood out on social media in delivering their services to current and potential customers. We will point out a few that have been on the front line.

Chase Bank Kenya


Posts on the Chase Bank Kenya Facebook Page are accompanied with creative pictures. Their campaigns are coordinated and someone is answering questions round the clock on both Facebook and Twitter. And it’s not a Monday to Friday thing. They keep this up into the weekend. They even have monthly hashtags on Twitter where tweeps are engaged in debate on various issues; #ChaseStories and #ChaseDebate. This is backed up by the bank blog that puts a human face to the business. The bank joined Instagram recently, joining other corporates embracing Instagram in Kenya. It also runs competitions every so often for its loyal fans and customers online, the latest being #ChaseYourDreams where one wins Ksh. 10,000 to ‘chase their dreams’.

KCB Bank Group


If you are familiar with this bank’s page you are definitely familiar with KCB Rallies. Proclaiming its position as East Africa’s largest bank, KCB Bank Group Facebook Page is filled with pictures of M-Benki and any other product they may be pushing at that particular time. Over on Twitter, their customer service is exemplary with 33.7K followers at the time of writing this. On frequency of posting, the page nails it with no specific amount of posts that can go up on any day, especially if there’s an event on the said day. The page put up a social media disclaimer recently outlining how the bank interacts with customers on social. KCB staff are also quick to answer queries on Twitter, calling people up on relevant issues raised on the platform. It also recently joined Instagram.

Equity Bank


You know how popular Equity is on the ground, turns out the same is replicated online. With a follower base or 238,000, The Equity Bank Kenya Facebook Page does pretty much what the rest do. This World Cup season though, it has differentiated itself by integrating financial tips in football talk. There are prizes up for grabs when one registers the virtual League of Champions on its site. On Twitter, Equity Bank is pretty clear on what it is there for, “We’re here to provide customer support, share news & updates.” its bio reads.

Barclays Bank Kenya


Barclays Bank Facebook Page has an active page with about 5 posts per day pushing different ideas. At the moment, it is running a competition where the first person who gets all the answers correct on its #BankAnywhere campaign wins a new phone at the end of the week. It accompanies the posts with pictures that ooze with that Barclays blue and font. There’s also the umbrella Barclays Africa page which has been quite fervent in pushing the word out on Facebook. On Twitter, Barclays has two accounts which it says are both legitimate. The active Twitter account responds to queries commendably and has a bio that urges all not to disclose personal banking information for security reasons.

Quick Dos and Don’ts

1. Respond in a timely way to both negative and positive feedback where necessary on the bank’s social media accounts.

2. If a customer query requires the disclosure of confidential information, urge them to take it inbox or DM as necessary.

3. Ensure the bank accounts are ran in a coordinated and accountable way to avoid situations where individuals go on quests to quench personal vendettas on your corporate account.

4. Make your mission on social media clear on the account’s bio and description. KCB’s disclaimer is an example of setting the record straight.

5. Don’t leave your established social media accounts inactive. That breeds ground for bad comments filling the timeline in the case of Facebook which paints a bad picture for the bank.


It is necessary to mention some other Kenyan banks that have taken to social media to engage with customers. Some just resuscitated their efforts on Facebook and Twitter in these recent months. To name a few: Family Bank, NIC Bank, ABC Bank, Co-op Bank Kenya, National Bank, Imperial Bank Group and The Gulf African Bank. There are a lot of sponsored updates and adverts from banks on our News Feeds too in recent days. You have probably seen the newcomer GTBank’s adverts as you swiped down your feed on your phone or browser. Most banks are also leveraging competitions to get the word out.

For those out there that started a page and left it open with no activity, imagine all those dissatisfied clients who search for your bank on Facebook then let out the bad feedback they have on your service on the ground on the page. Then imagine a potential customer who searches you on Facebook then finds the page, only to find negative comments dotting your timeline. What do you think they will do? I thought so too. So you’d rather get back on and attend to them or shut down the page until you get a strategy to engage with customers online. It saves both you and your customer the negative publicity and the walk to the bank respectively. And who knows how many social media users you will convert into your advocates after that. Win-win situation.

Posted by bv