Business / Technology
Tuesday, 11 Apr 2017 12:37 EATlmakena@kenyafreepress.com
Nominations for the 2017 edition of the prestigious OLX Social Media Awards (SoMA) have opened. Following the launch of this year’s awards, Kenyans now can nominate individuals and organizations who have made a positive impact in the society through the use of various social media platforms.
The annual OLX SoMA now in its fifth year has been supported by the online classified ad service, OLX Kenya, as the title sponsors since its establishment in 2013. Other sponsors are Safaricom, Deloitte, Expose, and Vintage Concepts. The theme for this year’s Awards is “Celebrating Five Years of Impact”.
Social media is really growing at a high rate and a number of individuals are using it to improve their lives and careers by creating awareness about themselves and what they have to offer to the public. It is influencing people positively and adding value, in particular for business people who use it to advertise their products and services online thus attracting many customers to have access to know more about their products.
Among the most popular social media platforms in Kenya are Facebook with over six million active users, Twitter (1.7 million), Instagram (two million) and Snapchat, which is estimated to have about half a million members and still growing, according to latest statistics by the Communications of Authority of Kenya (CAK).
Speaking on today’s launch, SoMA Director Martin Muli said the influential Awards will focus on celebrating achievements that have been realized in the digital space since 2013 while creating awareness on responsible use of social media ahead of the August General Elections.
“Brands have realized the potential of social media in engaging with their clients. They understand very well where the crowd is – and when they are online and active – in a bid to reach as many people as possible with their content. Failure by majority women to tap into the digital revolution has impacted considerably on their ability to learn, access jobs, and enjoy improved livelihoods,” said Mr Muli.
Social media enthusiasts can nominate their individuals and organizations via the website i.e. www.soma.or.ke. The deadline will be on 30th April 2017.
Social media has transformed the lives of many people by creating job opportunities, becoming an inherent player in governance, healthcare and retail businesses by speeding up delivery of services and create accountability to the public.
OLX Kenya Country Manager, Peter Ndiangúi commented: “We are delighted to have another chance to shine the spotlight on the impact of the OLX Social Media Awards on the society for the last five years. We are relishing the opportunity to build on the success of these awards and to accelerate the growth of social media.”
“Invoking the Award that is won through a public vote also gives winners influence and respect and opportunity to up their rate card. Their influence is their currency. When their influence is validated amongst their peers by the community they engage, then their brand endorsement rates have to resonate.”
This awards give nominees recognition as leading players in ICT industry and digital marketing. It also justifies individuals work and influence since it involves public nominations, shortlisting by judges and voting by the online community.
According to a survey on digital gender gap conducted by World Bank GSMA, the number of women using mobile internet in Kenya is 43 percent compared to 61 percent of men. Only 42 percent women who own smartphones and apps phones use Facebook and Wechat compared to 62 percent men. Similarly, only 51 percent of them are technically literate compared to 63 percent of men.
This year’s ceremony will be held in June and will recognize influential social media users in various categories including:
• Social Network
• Social Corporation/brands
• Education institution
• Most Influential Personalities in different fields
Other new categories include:
• Fashion personality Award
• Entrepreneur Award
• Humanitarian Award
Past winners include media personalities Larry Madowo, Jeff Koinange, Julie Gichuru and Caroline Mutoko, comedians and radio presenters Felix Odiwuor aka Jalangó, and Daniel Ndambuki aka Churchill, Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua and Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba.