“We join hands in this venture as a sign that we fully understand the critical role that social media now plays in brand visibility,” said Martin Oduor-Otieno, Deloitte East Africa Partner in charge of Clients and Markets and a senior advisor in Financial Services Industry.
“Social media is now one of the key platforms used by firms to build image, brand and disseminate information on services and products offered.”
Rapid rise in the number of internet users in Kenya has accelerated the use of social media, igniting a steady increase in the number of businesses using social media platforms for brand awareness and customer service.
Presently, 17 million Kenyans, 36 percent of the population, have access to internet according to the Communications Commission of Kenya. However, there are grim statistics that indicate the businesses are yet to optimize the use of social media platforms.
For instance, 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored; this is according to all AllTwitter, an unofficial twitter resource. Martin Muli, one of the organisers of the recently unveiled OLX Social Media Awards, says most organisations have dormant social media accounts, and the active ones often bombard the public with bland company information.
A quick review of comments from SOMA Facebook and Twitter accounts shows a serious contest between Safaricom and Kenya power shaping up for the customer care category of the Awards, with Orange and Faiba battling for the video of the year category.
Churchil Show, Tujuane, The trend TV are equally emerging as the favourites under the show of the year category, with Maina kangeni and Larry Madowo winning the minds of “netizens” for the media personality category as the voting process begins.
“The OLX Social Media Awards are meant to spur professional use of social media and sustained conversation on these platforms,” says Mr Muli. The Awards will bring together different social media enthusiasts and organizations to celebrate the tremendous contributions brought about by social media and at the same time appreciate and acknowledge those who have immensely contributed to the growth of social Media in Kenya.
“The power has truly shifted to consumers. A recent survey by TNS RMS, a research agency, showed that in contrast to Global internet use, Social Media is far more relevant then e-mail in Kenya. The survey actually discovered that out that 57 % of Kenyans believe that what other people say about brands online can be trusted more than what the brands say,” Peter Ndiangui, the General Manager of OLX, the leading online market place.
The Awards will culminate to a gala event to be held on 9th August 2013. “This is a first in Kenya, we’ve roped in experts from various fields to make sure the Awards are a success,” says Mr Muli. Other partners in the award include Trinc Media, the Public Relations Society of Kenya and Thinck, a content development firm, Bloggers Association of Kenya and Niaje.