Social media as a strategy in enhancing competitive advantage of firms in the insurance industry in Kenya
Against a backdrop of low uptake levels of insurance and many players, the level of competition in the Insurance sector in Kenya is very high and there is a need for insurance companies to formulate strategies that will enable them to attain a competitive advantage position. Advancements in technology driven tools and devices like applications, computers and hand held devices like tablets and smart phones have expanded our interactions into the World Wide Web. These allow people to get information on the go and have catalyzed the knowledge driven world we now live in and which businesses are seeking to tap into. Insurers must identify the middle ground between using the web to funnel leads to live agents and finding other ways to interact with customers online. Social media provides an avenue for insurance companies to access these clients hence can enhance the competitive advantage of the firm. The study was guided by two objectives: To establish how social media strategies are employed by Insurance companies in Kenya and to establish how social media strategy can enhance competitive advantage among insurance companies in Kenya. A descriptive research design was used since it allowed for the describing of the population with respect to the variables being studied. The population of the study comprised of the 46 member organisations of the Association of Kenya Insurers. Primary data was collected for this study through semi-structured questionnaires administered to the Sales and Marketing Managers. The study found out that all the respondents had work related experience with using social media in their current position with majority using Facebook and Twitter. The study concludes that marketing was the main objective behind social media strategy implementation with social media also used for research and marketing as well as customer care. The study recommends all insurance companies to use social media in order to expand their client base with the marketing departments concentrating on the brand building, advertising and market research aspects of social media while sales should concentrate on the relationship management aspect. Further, company management should play a significant role in the formulation and subsequent implementation of the social media strategy.