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How Facebook pages and groups allow for engagements, entertainment and business opportunities

Today, instead of turning the pages of magazines, watching how-to TV shows or stocking up on recipe books and catalogues, millennials look to social media platforms in search of answers, tips, guides and those who share similar interests. BETTY MUINDI outlines some resourceful platforms that Facebook users in Kenya subscribe to in large numbers

Social networking has definitely become a big part of our lives, especially for the post-digital age. For this generation, a considerable amount of time each day is spent online, and some of the many random elements in their social feed are the various virtual communities they subscribe to.

Today, instead of turning the pages of magazines, watching how-to TV shows or stocking up on recipe books and catalogues, millennials look to Facebook and Instagram among other social media platforms in search of answers, tips, guides and those who share similar interests.

Facebook pages and groups offering a wide range of content from gossip, latest trends, fashion and beauty, business advice and mouth-watering recipes among others have allowed for interesting engagements, entertainment, as well as business opportunities.

52-week Savings Challenge Kenya

This is a programme on Facebook aimed at cultivating a saving culture among Kenyans. Every beginning of the year, members encourage each other to start by saving Sh50 every week from the first week of January, then Sh100 the next week, Sh150 the following week and so on, until the last week of December, when they will save Sh2,600, and their savings will have added up to Sh68,900.

The point is to add Sh50 every week to the previous week’s savings. To stay accountable, members are encouraged to print out the 52-Week Challenge worksheet and pin it somewhere visible, save extra or even set a weekly automatic transfer. Members open a savings account with a bank and deposit their savings there, or join a money market fund, Sacco, or use KCB M-Pesa, Equitel or Mshwari Lock Savings accounts. The group has 391,436 members.

Glam Life

Buying or getting a beauty product may not be difficult, but using it properly is another thing altogether. Creation of this Facebook group last year may have come as a breath of fresh air for Kenyan women who love dolling themselves up.

The page has 69,115 members, who share make-up tutorials, beauty tips and learn from each other about beauty products. The group is a resource for non-brand beauty and skincare suggestions, and only allows brand promotions and selling on Wednesdays. Members also alert each other about latest trends and where to buy latest products.

Jacquie Migide (pictured) says she founded Glam Life in 2016 after receiving many likes, comments and inbox messages on Facebook, asking about the make-up products she was using, and how she put them on. “I am a make-up lover, so when people asked questions, I answered to the best of my ability, then one day I stumbled upon a foreign make-up group. It was quite exciting, but I realised I did not relate much to it, since the products they spoke about were not locally available,” she remembers.

She reached out to another make-up lover, Ashamo Mohammed, who also liked sharing images of her well made up face on Facebook, and asked if they could create a group on make-up, to which she agreed. “I created the group and made her admin. We decided jointly on the name of the group, formulated rules and then added members. The group grew quite fast, we could not believe it!” says Jacquie.

“It is not easy managing a group of almost 70,000 women, but the rules on the pinned posts and the zero tolerance to bullying has helped us maintain sanity in the virtual community. The main reason it was formed was to share ideas on make-up and beauty, and also to learn from the gurus. The group also aims to build the self-esteem of women,” she adds.

Being an open space where strangers interact, the admins caution members to sieve information and pick what works for them. “People have different skin types and skin tones. What works for one person might not necessarily work for another,” Jacquie explains, adding that she is proud of being able to lead many women to embrace proper skin care. “The stories we hear from women on what the group has done for them, make us believe we have done something right,” she says.

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