Nominations have opened for the 2017 edition of the prestigious Olx Social Media Awards (SoMA). Following the launch of this year’s Awards, Kenyans can now nominate individuals and organizations who have made the significant positive impact in the society through the use of the various social media networks.
Speaking on the launch, SoMA Director Mr. 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 the responsible use of social media ahead of the August General Elections. The theme for this year’s Awards is Celebrating Five Years of Impact.
Social media enthusiasts can nominate their preferred individuals and organizations through the website: www.soma.or.ke. The deadline for the nominations is 30th April 2017.
Social media has helped transform lives by creating job and business opportunities and becoming an integral player in governance, healthcare, and retail businesses through speeding up delivery of services and accountability to the public.
“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,” said Muli.
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 inception in 2013. Other sponsors are Safaricom, Deloitte, Expose, and Vintage Concepts.
Among the most popular social media platforms in Kenya are Facebook with over 6 million active users, Twitter (1.7million), Instagram (2 million), LinkedIn (I.3 million) and Snapchat, which is estimated to have about 500,000 members and still growing, according to latest statistics by the Communications of Authority of Kenya (CAK).
Commenting on the recent trends in social media, Muli noted that despite the digital revolution that has been witnessed in the country over the past decade some sections of the society especially women were yet to fully utilize social media opportunities to improve their careers and lives.
He disclosed that only 23 percent of total personality winners have been women for the past four years and pledged that there will be a lot of emphasis on creating awareness among women to get more of them to participate.
“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 Muli.
According to a survey on the digital gender gap in Kenya by World Bank GSMA Intelligence, the number of women using mobile internet in Kenya is 43% compared to 61% of men. Only 42 % women who own smartphones and apps phones use Facebook and Wechat compared to 62% men. Similarly, only 51% of them are technically literate compared to 63% of men.
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.”
The Awards give nominees recognition as leading players in the ICT industry and specifically in digital marketing. It also validates individuals’ and organizations work and influence since it is a process that involves public nomination, shortlisting by judges and voting by the Online community.
“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,” said Ndiang’ui.
This year’s ceremony will be held in June and will recognize influential social media users in various categories including:
Some of the new categories include:
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, Budalangi MP, Ababu Namwamba.