Tigo Tanzania makes a million on Facebook

Facebook account 1000 WordsThe rising use of social media in Tanzania has led to more and more people using Facebook in recent years. (Image source: 1000 Words)East African operator Tigo Tanzania has accumulated a million followers on Facebook, the highest such figure in Tanzania, effectively reinforcing Tigo’s position as a leading digital lifestyle enterprise in the country

Tigo’s Facebook page was created in June 2011 and has grown to become an ideal platform for interaction for its customers, where they learn about the company’s new products and services and latest innovations. In a recent Tanzania Leadership Awards ceremony, acknowledging Tanzania’s best organisations and individuals, Tigo won two trophies - for 'The Hall of Fame in Brand Excellence' and 'The Best use of Social Media in Marketing'.

The upsurge in the use of social media in Tanzania has spurred the use of Facebook in the country in recent years. According to analysts at marketing company Socialbakers, Tanzania currently has 4,144,040 Facebook users. So, as Tigo general manager Diego Gutierrez said recently, these numbers effectively meant Tigo has nearly a quarter of the total Facebook users in the country.
Gutierrez commented, "Our platform on Facebook and our official twitter handle (Tigo_TZ) have become essential tools for us to listen and learn from our growing technology-savvy customers and the public in general. We are proud to have reached this milestone and thank our customers for their evangelistic loyalty to us. Tigo Tanzania will continue to cater for its customers’ digital needs and offer even richer and more interactive digital content.”

Increasing community engagement in Kiswahili

The sustained interest in Tigo Facebook followers has undoubtedly been buoyed by the launch, in 2014, of Facebook in Kiswahili, Tanzania’s national language-an innovative collaboration between Tigo Tanzania and Facebook. Tigo customers are able to access Facebook in both English and Kiswahili through their mobile phones without incurring additional data charges.

Tanzania, the largest East African country by land mass, has more than 130 ethnic groups that constitute its 45mn population, more than 80 per cent of whom speak fluent Kiswahili in addition to other local dialects. Spoken by 120-150mn people globally, Kiswahili is the national language in both Tanzania and Kenya and it is also widely gaining ground in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Being the lingua franca in much of Southeast Africa, Kiswahili has been adopted as one of the working languages of The African Union (AU) and one of the languages of The East African Community (EAC).

By launching Tigo Facebook in Kiswahili, Tigo Tanzania has, therefore, not only enabled most Tanzanians to access Facebook in a language they can fully understand, but it has also contributed immensely to the regional growth of the language that Tanzania, and indeed the rest of the countries in the region, have been working hard to develop.

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