How firms can ride on X Spaces to net masses

X Spaces has proven to be a powerful feature on X.

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For the longest time, whenever Kenyan marketers wanted to engage masses on social media platforms, they have relied on uploading posts.

In recent weeks, however, X has emerged as a powerhouse in assembling mass audiences through its ‘Spaces’. The feature allows conveners to connect to audiences, share ideas as well as gather feedback.

It allows for a maximum of up to 13 speakers including the host and two co-hosts at any given time, while the number of listeners who can join is unlimited.

At the height of the anti-Finance Bill protests, organisers shattered records by setting up interactions that saw listeners hit highs of over 130,000, demonstrating the efficiency of the platform to gather mass audiences of diverse walks of life using minimal resources.

Unveiled in December 2020 to encourage individuals and businesses to build more personal connections with their audiences, the feature which acts like a virtual room allows users to have live audio conversations.

Other rival offerings, which have not gained as much traction, include Meta’s beta app for Oculus Rift which allows Facebook friends to hang out in virtual reality as well as WhatsApp channels and WhatsApp communities which are close-knit group tools used to organise and manage conversations.

According to digital marketing strategist Egline Samoei, X emerged as an effective tool for mobilisation during the protests because of its open structure that allows prioritisation of topics in feeds as opposed to individual relationships between interacting accounts.

“It’s an open and public platform in that you don’t have to be friends with someone to view their postings hence the content reaches as many people as possible,” she opines.

“X Spaces has proven to be a powerful feature on X. Businesses can leverage this feature for brand awareness, driving engagements and community-building conversations around products to provide a deeper level understanding which will in turn foster brand loyalty,” she adds noting that the engagements are also fertile ground from which businesses would pick valuable customer insights.

Her sentiments are echoed by Dennis Maina, managing partner at digital marketing agency Suss Digital Africa, who calls on marketers to stay adaptive and forward-thinking.

“The digital marketing landscape is in a constant state of flux, and success lies in the ability to not just ride the waves but to anticipate and leverage the currents that propel the industry forward,” he states. “Marketers need to ensure each interaction contributes to a unified brand image and a consistent narrative.”

Other gains derived from hosting the conversations include increased visibility on the general platform, helping businesses network with relevant influencers, offering an opening to demonstrate expertise as a specialised authority as well as strengthening relationships with customers.

But how do you amass the numbers?

The pundits explain that the first step is always building a strong community that discusses topics of collective interest, while also taking care to occasionally throw in themes around general trends to sustain interest.

According to Ms Samoei, one of the key primary challenges that businesses seeking to pursue the route will grapple with is maintaining a consistency of high-quality topics that keep audiences engaged throughout.

“Also, since the x Spaces is public, one may face brand hijacking or brand safety issues. It’s worth mentioning that sometimes the X Space may experience glitches making the Spaces inaccessible for some users,” she states.

According to research conducted by X whose findings were published last year, every 10 percent increase in conversations powered by the Spaces resulted in a three percent increase in sales volumes.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.