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Maturity of Social Media in Kenya

Maturity of Social Media in Kenya

Last Sunday, we had the 6th Tandaa Event by Kenya ICT Board, sponsored by Google, taking place at Sarova Stanley. I got there late to find our new South African partner Japie from Interactive Concepts had already talked. From the feedback I got from a couple of friends there, the presentation was superb. Japie had to leave because he had a flight back to Cape Town later that day. I stayed on because the line-up of speakers was pretty impressive.

Online Branding Theme

The theme for this Tandaa Event was how Kenyan Businesses can Brand themselves online. But I was surprised that every speaker who came up to speak was on social media. The scopes of these conversations were anchored in social media and that just goes to show the rate at which social media is being adopted by organizations in Kenya. The one statement that really made this point sink home was that by the lady from Capital FM who said that two years ago at Capital FM, they were not supposed to use social media (banned) and now it is a must. It is so entrenched that news anchors tweet they stories etc. I guess given what a powerful media social media has become, it should not be surprising that an online branding event ends up becoming more of a social media event. There is no separating the two.

Questions signifying Maturity

I have participated in a quite a number of events where social media was part of the agenda and this includes quite a number of Tandaa events, two of which I spoke at But in this last Tandaa event, I was pleasantly surprised to see a big difference in the kinds of questions asked. After presenting in the previous events, I would get questions like is it dangerous, isn’t it a waste of time, why etc. But this time round, the questions showed a lot of maturity signifying experimentation on the part of Kenyan businesses. I was elated to hear questions like: How do you know that people who have come to your shop came via social media or just randomly walked in? Can you attach a value to your Fanbase? How do I prevent my username from being hijacked and are there any measures I can take to prevent or get my username back? Can I pay a Radio station one fee to do my online marketing and include social media within that package? How do measure impact? What is the future like?

Not Curious but Actionable Social Media Questions

The beauty of these questions is that they were not curious questions. By curious I mean those questions that we got in the earlier Tandaa events where people asked questions just for the hell of it. These were actionable questions in that they signified previous effort and seeking answers to get by the hurdles encountered. All the questions I heard had an action orientated connotation to them. I have done this but met this hurdle so how do I go about best resolving this? This was the gist of all questions. And I loved it all because I understood that we are reaching that crucial takeoff point for social media in Kenya. Maybe this is why Socialight Media Kenya has had such a busy start to the year (we will be hiring soon by the way.

Congratulations to Tandaa Kenya

It is for this reason that I would like to Congratulate Tandaa Kenya and especially Kaburo Kobia for making this happen. It has been six Tandaa Events so far and I would like to think that the maturity that has been seen in social media has been replicated across the other aspects of local content creation. Google has been the sponsor for the six Tandaa Events. This sponsorship was for six of these events and I sincerely do hope that more companies will come on board to sponsor more of these Tandaa events. I think all of them have been sold out which is always a good thing for sponsors.

Again, I would like to thank Tandaa Kenya and Kaburo Kobia in particular for making this possible.