Factors influencing a company’s choice of social media as a communication channel in security companies in Kenya
It is estimated that over 1 billion people in the world are currently engaged and active on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These large numbers are inclusive of corporate organizations who have embraced this exciting phenomenon to communicate to various stakeholders. Kenya is no exception in the adoption of social media, with various companies using the platform to assist client queries, advertise on products and for general public relations. Despite the popularity perceived that Social Media holds, not all companies have embraced this idea. The world is currently estimated by the latest WHO figures to have over seven billion people, which would mean that the majority are not using social media. A number of factors could attribute to this lack of adoption by individuals, including access to computers and the internet, age of the respondent e.g. small children, lack of know-how from the illiterate and a general lack of interest. Similar to individuals, corporate companies have their own reasons as to why they would adopt or not adopt social media. The main aim of an organisation is primarily to pool resources with the aim of achieving a common goal. Any investment put into an organisation is based on the output. Therefore companies that invest in social media expect some form of gain from their investment whereas companies that don’t would refrain because they anticipate that there would be no return on the investment. Returns for a company can be categorised into two; tangibles like profit and intangibles like better brand image and team cohesion. The researcher set out to find out why certain corporate companies adopt social media while others don’t, could it be some come companies get greater value from the platform? Or is it based on the amount of input required compared to the output received? Is Social Media suitable for all organisations? To have a manageable scope the researcher focused on the researcher an almost equal platform for comparison purposes. The research focused on Security Companies, with qualitative data collected from 28 organisations registered to the Kenya Security Industry Association (KSIA) and are located in Nairobi. A number of observations were made on the unique use of social media by security companies and how companies in that industry chose to adopt or not to adopt the platform. The findings were quite insightful as they gave indications that the choice to use Social Media by security companies is not only pegged on financial gain but also on various other factors. Reasons why individuals or groups adopt one form of communication & reject the other have baffled and intrigued scholars for decades. The information received from this research can be useful to explore this field further, plus it will help commercial companies in future to plan on how they can set up their social media teams or communication teams.