Measuring social media influence and top 50 twitter big wigs in Kenya
Written by Steve Biko Wafula
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Social media has been gaining popularity and influence in Kenya with analysts and researchers trying to figure out its implications in business, flow of information and its overall influence on the traditional media.
Twitter has gained currency in the country with every Tom, Dick and Harry, with every Mary, Jane and Beatrice joining twitter and following people of their interests and creating amazing content that has managed to be trending topics around the world.
In Kenya, celebrities, journalists, politicians, CEO’s, brands and teens have joined twitter and acclimatized in their digital tribal inclinations and personal interests.
Depending on your content and how you engage people and your perceived status in society, you will have more followers. Teens with many followers than serious content providers is a clear indication that Kenyans on Twitter prefer sexually oriented content, others prefer gossip and sleazy current affairs and twitter handles with such content will have many followers.
Twitter tweefs as they are normally called has also led to many handles getting more followers and twitter sleepers are activated to help fight off the onslaught. This has diluted the proper flow of information that would otherwise be relevant in one’s life say educational, financial or political.
The migration from facebook aka MKZ has changed just how tweeps interact, with interesting views and analysis and simply making Kenya a small digital village. Despite the amalgamation of tweeps into their tribal digital cocoons and personal interests, the flow of information depending on points on the grid of influence, read twitter influencers has gone rapid. These has brought forth new challenges of information verification and proved research.
This is a trend that many business developers, digital strategists and marketers are trying to figure out and see how they can turn it to their benefit. CEO’s are learning through experience just how treacherous social media can be and journalists are being scooped daily by citizen journalism.
Social media is the new game changer, the catalyst of the converged media and the issue of influence of a tweet, the influence of a tweep is now a key concern to corporates, NGOs, the government and the security agencies. Social media is now even being used in the fight against terrorism and its proved to be a double edged sword, an indication that social media is no longer a luxury but a basic need in our realm of communication. But how do you determine the influence of a tweep and his or her tweet? There are five ways to measure the influence of a tweep. These are;-
a. a)The number of followers a tweep is following
b. b)The number of followers following a tweep
c. c)The topics of engagement that are the foundation of generating the content that the tweep tweets
d. d) The content that tweep generates
e. e) Social media applications that aggregate the activity of the tweep in terms of content, frequency of engagement, mentions, new followers and retweets. An example of such an application is called klout.com.
Reason why klout.com is more accurate in measuring ones influence on social media is because it aggregates everything one does. Unlike using the number of followers one has, or how many tweets one has tweeted since they joined, klout.com looks at the whole picture. This is the best way to measure one’s social media influence unlike any other because you may have thousands of followers but your engagement strategy is not working for you or have few followers but have an engagement plan that makes you feared on social media.
The Klout Score measures influence on a scale of 1 to 100. The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others. The Klout Score uses data from social networks in order to measure.
Your True Reach is the number of people you influence. Klout filters out spam and bots and focus on the people who are acting on your content. When you post a message, these people tend to respond or share it.
Your Amplification is how much you influence people. When you post a message, how many people respond to it or spread it further? If people often act upon your content you have a high Amplification score.
Your Network indicates the influence of the people in your True Reach. How often do top Influencers share and respond to your content? When they do so, they are increasing your Network score.
This is something Kenya’s top CEO need to learn. They need to stop being elitists and only engaging people in their social circle when they represent a brand that especially affects the man at the bottom of the pyramid. If you represent a brand and you get on the social media band wagon, then everyone is in your social media circle, not just those who flatter you or those you go for musicals with.
Social media is now a weapon that can be wielded by the ordinary customer whom you could ignore initially but now you can’t and especially if that ordinary customer has a follower who is on the influence grid, a bad tweet about your brand or product or service will definitely cause you a lot of trouble and soon social media will get into AGM’s and our CEO’s had better engage with this in mind. Research show that 12% of Kenyan CEO’s believe that a brand’s social media engagement drive should be done by them, the rest to be delegated. Wrong.
Social media policies and strategies should be the preserve of the CEO with a downward engagement to the rest of the staff. You are the leader, lead in the social engagement.
Grid points on the grid system of social media are those tweeps who have influence and a retweet from them could either make or break you or a brand, depending on the conversation at hand. Also, social media has made it easier for research to be done by firms without spending much and getting the results in rapid manner.
The table below is the list of the perceived twitter bigwigs in Kenya. The top 50 according to klout.com. The list is generated from the followees of @sokoanalyst hence it marginally represents the true twitter population with a margin error of 13%. If you believe there is a top big wig that is omitted, kindly tweet @sokoanalyst, @davidburudi, @obedmuindi or @westfmkenya and the name will be included into the list.