Meet TK, the man behind the City’s epic social media strategy

Since Tumelo Komape, better know on Twitter as TK, took over, the City of Johannesburg’s social media presence changed drastically.

He is the digital manager responsible for the City’s website and online marketing strategies

The increase the municipality has enjoyed in followers in recent years shows that Komape’s recipe is a success. Passionate about the City and service delivery, the enthusiastic digital manager works when he doesn’t sleep.

Komape has been with the municipality since 2012, shortly after he moved up to Gauteng from Cape Town. Since then, the City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts saw a tremendous increase from 200 likes to over 12 000 likes and from 2 800 to 430 000 followers. It is arguably the biggest government Twitter page (President Jacob Zuma falls short with 418 000 followers).

Komape welcomes the overwhelmingly positive feedback from followers on social media. The account @CityofJoburgZA is known to jump onto interesting trends giving its own two cents worth, which mostly make people laugh. But this is expertly crafted as a way to engage and attract people who live in Joburg, he said.

It was Komape’s major strategy change that has the City now reaping all the ‘likes’.

“We changed from only 20 per cent engagement to 80 percent,” he explained.

Anticipating that growth on Twitter will get to 700 000 to 1 million followers by December this year, Komape said it is essential that they increase their response rate to around 15 minutes. This means that any query you have, whether there is a water leak, long grass at your nearest park or no waste removal the past week, the City will reply to you on Twitter within 15 minutes.

But he has had to face some negativity too. “I think some people dislike me because of how I put my foot down. I am a public servant and I work very hard, but I am not a sissy. I don’t like being bullied.

“But those that like me, like me because of service delivery. We all love a person who does customer services well,” he said.

Komape is studying communication science and web development and plans on graduating this year in software engineering at the University of Johannesburg. He recently won an award for Future ICT Leader of the Year because of how he has used technology to impact the lives of Joburg residents.

In 2015 he became a father – while working and attending evening classes. “… 2015 and 2016 saw a lot of interaction during midnight because my son kept me awake,” Komape laughed.

He said he took advantage of being woken up during that time because he could interact with residents who needed information about the infamous power outages.

“As long as I’m awake I am going to assist customers.”


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Chantelle Fourie

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