The past year has seen exponential growth of social media use in Kenya. Facebook clearly is leading, but use of Twitter and velocity of information transfer via Twitter is extremely encouraging. Local personalities, brands and organisations are increasingly flocking to Twitter. The question however is what value does this additional information bring to the already cluttered life of an average mwananchi?

Social media and community management in general traverses various domains and processes within an organisation. From sales, publicity, outreach, product development, customer service to market research amongst others. As Vadim Lavrusik rightly puts it, “After all, the primary purpose of social media is enabling connectivity and just to connect with other people,……And that need isn’t going anywhere.”

Social media today is probably what the telephone was in its early days. Organisations remodelled themselves to work with the new communication medium and use cases evolved from post office leased telephone lines to internet based call centres that in some cases were continents apart. As much the focus is on social media today, community management thrives in non hyped media such as e-mail lists and interactive SMS groups. These are the stories I personally would like to hear from Phares Kaboro of Skunkwords and Philip Etale of ODM.

As you ponder on the same, the basic question is what value additions are you bringing about to the communities you are involved with?

PS. The is 2nd Annual CMAD and Africa’s first, so it will be nice to see you make a bit of history, make the most of it :)

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