Digital Influencers in Social Commerce

Search for Digital Influencers in Social Commerce Begins As SOMA Nominations Open

Wednesday July 4th, 2018: Nominations are open until July 29th, for the prestigious Kenya Social Media Awards (SOMA) which recognizes individuals and organisations that use social networks to influence the society positively.

This year’s Awards themed: Promote Social Commerce, is aimed at encouraging the use of social media as a market place and highlighting the influence of brands and content creators in consumers’ decision making.

“We want to emphasize the need to track social media return on investment that is why we have redefined the process of winning a SOMA to not only reward merit but also measure influence,” Mr. Martin Muli, the founder and Director of SOMA has said.

Since 2013 SOMA has been heavily involved in the adoption of social media in Kenya by directly empowering 615 content creators, brands and thought leaders as nominees.

It has engaged more than 1,800 agencies and brands representative, forged direct partnership with the ministry of ICT through ICTA and other government agencies, and directly engaged more than 160,000 Kenyans.

Mr. Muli said social media has grown in relevance and importance hence the need to continue building a vibrant ecosystem of influencers, agencies and brands to help them harness greater value from the digital networks.

The public are required to nominate preferred personalities and brands, then judges will review and shortlist the best top five nominees per category. The five nominees will be subjected to a public vote where the nominee with the highest number of votes will be declared the winner. One mobile number or email address will not be able to vote more than once.

Voting for the five nominees in every category will take place from August 21st to September 19th while the Awards ceremony will be held on September 21st.

This year’s Awards has seen the introduction of new categories in line with the theme and the Big Four Agenda being pursued by the Government. They include Manufacturing, Health Care, Property & Housing, agribusiness, Insurance and Entrepreneur Awards.

The previous winners include Bonfire Adventures, Safaricom, Jumia Kenya, KCB Group, Expeditions Masai Safaris, Equity Bank, BIDCO, University of Nairobi, Huduma Kenya, Propesa, Churchill, Joe Muchiri, Caroline Mutoko, Maggie Ireri, Xtian Dela,  and Betty Kyallo.

Mr. Muli has also announced the creation of the SOMA Council, which will act as a social media hub of community managers designed to create a network that will enjoy regular training, information on industry trends and career growth opportunities among other things.

“The SOMA Council will exist alongside the SOMA Bigwigs, which is an initiative aimed at discovering micro influencers and empowering them with the right skills and networks to monetize their work,” said Mr. Muli.

The annual SOMA awards has rebranded to its generic name following the expiry of a five-year title sponsorship deal with Olx Kenya, which moved its offices from the local market early in the year.

July 4, 2018 / by / in
Safaricom announces sponsorship

NAIROBI, Tuesday 29th, September 2015…Safaricom has announced its support of the iconic OLX Social Media Awards (SOMA 2015). A repeat sponsor over the last two years, the Kenya Social Media Awards, the organizers, said they are delighted to be continuing this partnership.

Kenya Social Media Awards Director, Martin Muli, said: “We are proud to be taking this partnership into its third year. This initiative is a manifestation of Safaricom’s overall commitment to the continued growth of data, and we are delighted that our Awards are the annual cornerstone of this commitment.”

Safaricom Director – Corporate Affairs, Stephen Chege, praised social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as useful tools for impacting people’s lives.

Chege sees effective utilization of digital communication as a way to utilize a variety of channels to communicate to various groups.

“Social media has transformed the way corporate organizations communicate with both our customers and an ever-increasing group of stakeholders. It has also enhanced opportunities to impact the lives of people by catalyzing groups towards tangible action and provides the basis for increased economic empowerment,” he said.

Safaricom, who are the Awards gold sponsors, will also provide free Wi-Fi interconnection during SOMA Experience, a pre-event engagement that will allow offline activations for the social media community to engage with each other, interact with brands through their offerings. It will take place at the same venue as the Awards ceremony.

The voting for the Awards – whose title sponsor is online classified service, OLX – are ongoing and the ceremony will be held at the Safaricom Indoor Arena, Kasarani on October 10.

This year’s Awards theme is Social Media for Economic Empowerment and is designed to highlight the influence of social media on economy by identifying and celebrating individuals and organizations that have effectively used the various networks to improve lives.

Muli said “We have created a platform that will enhance brand and consumer engagement through creativity and innovation and highlight the influence of social media on brand building.”

About Olx Social Media Awards

The Olx Social Media Awards, an annual event now in its third year, is sponsored by OLX and several other corporate organizations and aims at celebrating individuals and corporate institutions who have contributed towards improvement of lives through good use of various social media platforms.


April 20, 2018 / by / in
Uber announce Transport

UBER has announced its partnership with the iconic OLX Social Media Awards (SOMA 2015).

Uber is a transportation network company that develops and operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. Their mobile app and internet usage to do their operations explains why they are the perfect partners with OLX Social Media Awards.

Uber is the transport partner for OLX Social Media Awards, this will involve providing transport to the nominees and guests. A maximum of 200guests, 1 trip limit and a 1500ksh amounts off. The Kenya Social Media Awards organizers said they are delighted to partner with uber and wish to keep working together.

Uber launched its service in Kenya, on January 21, 2015. Nairobi was Uber’s first city in Kenya and in the East African region.

About Olx Social Media Awards

The Olx Social Media Awards, an annual event now in its third year, is sponsored by OLX and several other corporate organizations and aims at celebrating individuals and corporate

April 20, 2018 / by / in
OLX Social Media Awards 2015 Winners

The OLX SoMA Awards 2015 finally took place at the Safaricom Kasarani Indoor Arena, on October 10th, 2015. The event honored companies and the people who crafted their online strategies that broke the mold in social media communications. These are the people who took chances, went against the grain and made great strides through their understanding of the power of social media.

Martin Muli SOMA Director opened with remarks and explained how he came up with this idea. He continued by explaining the huge impact social media can have on brands and how important social media is in marketing.

The keynote address at the Event was delivered by Nzioka Waita. He spoke about social media’s huge impact on companies and acknowledged all the nominees. Other speakers were, OLX Country Director- Peter Ndiangui and Digital Director Office of the President Mr Dennis Itumbi.

The Mcee of the night was Mwaniki Mageria and with no doubt the crowd was well entertained with close to all Kenyan comedians doing a piece on stage, from Eric Omondi, Chipukeezy, Karis, Sleepy, Owago and Mamito.

The OLX SoMA Awards are sponsored OLX.

Below is a list of the OLX SoMA Award winners.


NEW BLOGGER AWARD girlsansdoubts.com



TECH-TELECOM AWARD Safaricom Limited


Sports Award Sportpesa
BIZYANGU AWARD Bonfire Adventures and Events
ACTIVISM AWARD Boniface Mwangi



MOST SOCIAL RADIO SHOW AWARD Radio Maisha – #AlexnaJalas
Most Influential Media Personality Award Churchill -Daniel Ndambuki









By Kelley Boss

April 20, 2018 / by / in
The Impact Of Social Media To Society

Social media has had a tremendous impact on our culture, business and on the country’s economy-at-large. Social media websites are some of the most popular haunts on the Internet. They have transformed the way people communicate and socialize online.

Apart from seeing your friends’ progress and following twitter informative hashtags, there are some of the real impacts, both positive and negative, that social media has had on our society, from the effect on politics, business, socialization to some of the negative effects such as cyber bullying and privacy.

Social media has made it possible for like-minded individuals to discuss important topics, widen their personal knowledge and discover things they never knew before. Young people around the world are now more involved than ever in their country’s politics. The last general elections is proof of that. Social media has contributed to that increase in a big way.

Non-profits are seeing the benefits of using social media for their awareness campaigns. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others are a cost effective means of spreading the word and getting support. Not to mention socially shared petitions from sites like Causes.org, reaching hundreds of thousands of people.

Every politician who wants his word to go out to the locals needs to jump on the social media bandwagon. This is because social websites have played an important role in local elections and many elections around the world, including in the U.S., Iran, and India. They have also inspired mass movements and political unrests in many countries.

Unfortunately, If you are not careful, what you post on the Net can come back to haunt you. Revealing personal information on social sites can make users vulnerable to crimes like identity theft, stalking, etc. Many companies perform a background check on the Internet before hiring an employee. If a prospective employee has posted something embarrassing on social media, it can drastically affect their chances of getting the job.

With no doubt Social media has benefits but it is up to each user to use social sites wisely to enhance their professional and social life.

By Kelley Boss

April 20, 2018 / by / in
2016 SoMA Awards Survey

Dear Participants,

Welcome to the 2016 SoMA Awards

  • About SoMA
  • What We Are Looking For
  • what’s In It for You
  • Campaigning
  • Nomination Process
  • Award Ceremony
  • How We Judge SoMA Awards
  • Judging Criteria
  • Contact Information


About SoMA Awards

SoMA Awards is an annual event that seeks to celebrate the growing influence by and through social media in Kenya. As Kenya continues to make strides in digital revolution, the role of social media influencers and enthusiasts has become a key component in business growth, government concerns and community development. Over time, different organizations have adopted different social media platforms for communication as part of their digital marketing and communication strategies. In addition, there is an emerging group of influencers and opinion shapers on a variety of socio-economic issues in our society; truly showcasing the import of social media in today’s way of life. SOMA seeks to not only acknowledge the development of social media, but more so to celebrate its impact in generating and sustaining change in the corporate world, public sector and at the individual level of millions of Kenyans.

What we are looking for:

The annual SoMA Awards celebrates brands and organizations that are using Social Media platforms in innovative ways for economic development and build business value. These brands and organizations create more efficient services to their customers and also add value to their audiences through social media.

These are people who reach more through social media by choosing to save money or to get more out of little invested in marketing of their brand or organizations.

They access new audiences and customers through social media

To be nominated, brands must show that they have executed their online presence well and also innovated ways to reach out to more in a positive way and pioneer economic development. And they must add value, not just get social media benefits.

What’s In It For You

A SoMA Award is an acknowledged mark of social media excellence. The award is given to both companies and individuals, it’s an honor that everyone can take pride in. Being honored among your peers or recognized as the best company over the others is a huge step towards a brand’s and company’s success.


Nominees are welcome to campaign and encourage friends to vote for them.

Offering anything of value in exchange for Shorty nominations is not permitted.

Nomination Process

Unless otherwise noted, each Official Category will have 5 nominees.

SoMA nominees will be selected by the public Nomination and 5 are picked from the top nominees with the most nominations after the nominating period ends.

Awards Ceremony

An awards ceremony will be held in Nairobi City to honor the SoMA Award winners from the categories.

Tickets will be available to the public.

To learn more about the Awards http://soma.or.ke/

Judging Criteria

The Social media awards is driven by the users of different social media networks who interact with different personalities, brands and organizations on a daily basis. The users are given an opportunity to nominate different personalities, brands and organizations according to predetermined categories available.
These nominees are then presented to a panel of judges who shortlist five nominees per category based on the following criteria:


Contact Information

For questions regarding the SoMA Awards or the application, please email the survey support desk


April 20, 2018 / by / in
How to Improve Your Company’s Social Media Presence

Social media is an essential marketing tool for businesses. You have created a Facebook and/or Twitter page for your company, but how do you make them effective? What should you post? Who is your audience? How do you keep track of mentions? How do you make people engage with your content?

While you get focused and begin to refine your strategy, here are a few simple things you can do today to help you ramp up your social media presence:

Build a company page on all the primary social networks.

Potential customers are likely to look you up on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A presence on the most-frequently used networks will ensure your customers can find you when they’re looking for you. You should also make sure to check these sites pretty frequently.

Be consistent.

There’s a fine line between engaging your audience and being obnoxious. Find a comfortable posting frequency and stick to it.

Add Value your consumers.

Don’t stick to posting promotional information about your business. Instead, focus on offering value-added content that solves a problem, provides pleasure or reduces your customer’s pain points. Gaining pleasure and solving pain points are two primary driving forces behind purchasing decisions. So rather than sell your product or service, inform your readers on how they can accomplish their goals using your product.

Take advantage of multiple formats.

The written word is powerful, but visual representations are appealing and can help readers understand complex concepts. Try creating an infographic, an ebook, a video or even a podcast.

Be yourself. Social networking is meant to be genuine.

Let your company’s personality shine through your posts and you’ll better connect with consumers. You shouldn’t be unprofessional, but you also don’t need to try to sound like a rocket scientist. (Unless, of course, you are a rocket scientist.)

Note your analytics.

If you have access to analytics, use them. Facebook insights, for example, offers some simple analytics on posts, indicating the number of responses, views and interactions each post receives. Monitor and track these stats to determine your most successful posts, and use it as a framework for future updates.

If you want to increase your social media presence, you have to be willing to put in the work. Hiring social media content writers can be a valuable tool in helping your readers feel more connected to you and encouraging them to become your customers. With the help of these and other tips, you will be able to improve your social media success so you can reach your online sales goals and make your business a leader in your field.

If you’re looking for social media content writers to help with this aspect of your online presence, contact us. We can put together a package that gets results.

By Kelley Boss

April 20, 2018 / by / in

Social media networks are a recent phenomenon but have become an increasingly important part of any business’s marketing and client base development platform.

The perception of social media marketing has shifted quickly, no longer viewed as just trendy, having a flexible and well-managed presence in each of the “big three” Facebook, Twitter,and Google+ has become a must for any business seeking to secure a place in both the traditional and digital marketplace. And today the importance of social media is no longer debated. Yes, businesses have definitely realized the power of social media and accepted that social media marketing has to be part of their marketing and PR box. What could be done only by a website posting is no longer enough until it is supplemented by social media.

7 years ago social media were just there, was only fancy to few young people and considered bad by old people in the society. But all cards are changed, big CEO’s and companies have a great following on these platforms and use them both to empower, market and reach out to their target market.

Investing in social media marketing sets a direct path towards economic empowerment, online idling eradication and inclusive economic growth. Young people make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home. So using social media to do marketing will directly impact young people in the society.

Thanks to SoMA Awards held yearly a brilliant idea by SoMA Director Mr Martin Muli. They award and celebrate the very best in Social Media Communications and reward the individuals, companies and organizations that are using online platforms to communicate in fresh and innovative ways. The awards are open to all corporate, creative, design, digital, marketing, advertising, media and public relations organizations. And with such awards in place the cooperate market is able to identify with the platforms that take social media seriously and work with them which in turn both empowers the social media managers and boosts economic growth.

“And with this many people will be used and employed online to do all this which is direct empowerment to I.T personalities and with the mileage it gives to companies it will in turn translate to economic empowerment.”

In my opinion if government wants to go all out in terms of making sure every initiative is taken seriously, not only should they just do press releases and website adds but also take it to social media because that’s where word spreads. And the further the word goes the better the reach that way initiatives won’t end in offices but to people, and all companies that have fully embraced social media marketing have grown business partnerships and reduced marketing expense.

With no doubt it’s obvious that social media will continue to have a significant impact in 2016 on marketers and business owners: They now have the ability to reach out and communicate on a personal level with their target audience on a daily basis. This is a game changer for businesses engaging in marketing, sales, customer service and other business activities. And with this many people will be used and employed online to do all this which is direct empowerment to I.T personalities and with the mileage it gives to companies it will in turn boost the economy. These days we sort our things via social media, ask companies from Safaricom to KPLC where you tweet or inbox your issue and they respond immediately this creates efficiency which in turn translates to economy empowerment.

Finally what does it mean to be awarded for being in social media? Means you take the work more serious, good example is the likes of Brian Mbunde who since the Award has gone more cooperate and is reaching out wider and more positive, and many others from Equity Bank to online forums like #FatumasVoice which have since positively grown.

By Kelley Boss

April 20, 2018 / by / in
OLX SOMA Awards Nominations Open

Nominations have been open for 2017 OLX Social Media Awards

NAIROBI, April 2017…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 organisations who have made significant positive impact in the society through use of the various social media networks.

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. The theme for this year’s Awards is Celebrating Five Years of Impact.

Speaking on the launch, SoMA Director Martin Muli said the influential Awards will focus on celebrating achievements that have been realised in the digital space since 2013 while creating awareness on responsible use of social media ahead of the August General Elections.

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.

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 utilise 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 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 organisations 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 recognise influential social media users in various categories including:

  • Social Network
  • Social Corporation/brands
  • Government
  • Media
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Education institution
  • Most Influential Personalities in different fields

Some of the 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 Jalangó, and Churchil, Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua, Budalangi MP, Ababu Namwamba.

Social media enthusiasts can nominate their preferred individuals and organisations through the website: www.soma.or.ke. The deadline for the nominations is 30th April 2017.

April 20, 2018 / by / in
SOMA Judge – Brian Mung’ei

Brian Mung’ei has over 8 years experience in the Kenyan digital space. Previously, he has been involved in setting up one of the first locally-owned digital agencies in Kenya, worked with an NGO. Most recently he has been leading the Digital Communication and Social Media strategy for Safaricom where he has been instrumental in rolling out award-winning and stand out digital campaigns and projects over the last 4 years for East Africa’s most profitable company. He is now a Director at Novato Africa, a Kenyan company that develops robust digital-led strategic and technical communication solutions for Private and Government institutions.

Mr Mung’ei is an active AIESEC Alumni who graduated from Kenyatta University with a BSc in Software Engineering and in currently in the process of completing an MBA in Strategic Management. He is considered one of Kenya’s leading digital strategists and is well respected in digital media and corporate communication circles. He is focused on growing the use of digital and new media as the leading channel for crisis communication and stakeholder engagement through focus on emerging technologies and digitally-focused business strategies.

He is always live on Twitter under the handle @Mungei – follow him to get a peak into his mind and interests.

April 20, 2018 / by / in