Social Media Interview with @Mkaigwa, @Wamathai and @iodyssee

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The use of Social Media was our point of discussion on Tech Made Simple last week, and we had a chat with three social media stars in Kenya. The questions we put to them came directly from  Twitter users.  Mark Kaigwa could not make it for the video interview hosted by Kachwanya.com blogger @NonieMG but he answered most of the questions through email

@NanaNduati:  What are the trends in use of social media by journalists to mine and disseminate information?

Mark Kaigwa:  #TfN ~ Twitter for Newsrooms has been a welcome addition. I’d say journalists typically try to follow credible sources and deal with the firehose that is the web in a unique way by creating a trusted network (which in the ripple effect, grows or alternatively can damage their own credibility)

I had the chance to speak at the UN’s Humanitarian news service, IRIN News a few months ago on the future of journalism and one of the best examples of where traditional meets the real-time web is NPR’s Andy Carvin whose ability to curate and sift through a high volume of voices, news sources, information and media (tweets, photos, videos) made him an unrivalled real-time news source to begin with especially during the Tunisia and Egypt uprisings. His use of curation tool Storify has since been documented. Al Jazeera’s use of Twitter during the uprisings was also turned into a case study by Twitter themselves.

 

@NonieMG: How do you measure ROI?

Mark Kaigwa:   By asking the right question to begin with. This has been a big talking point, that the question “What is the ROI of social media” is actually not the right question. The question is too broad, too general and turns most social media <insert>lofty title</insert> into drivel mode where they just cook up some buzzwords for an answer.

One way that I agree with is how Olivier Blanchard puts it where he asks for it to be defined as a specific question tied to an action or a result e.g. What was the ROI of [insert activity here] in social media for Q3 2011? this way you can get much closer to real-world objectives.

I talked quite a bit about about social media’s uses and practical ways to measure previously in a #mbgeeks twitter chat which I wrote  about at length later in a blog post. But that’s said, even before you get in, it’s critical to manage expectations.·

 

@SprintMedia :  What are the current social media trends and how do you mine data from social media?

Mark Kaigwa:   Need a bit more context for this question so I’m going to skip it. My question: why are you mining data? for what purpose? If I know that I can give you a better answer.

 

@VisionAfrica:   How can we convert online support into offline initiatives that translate into cash not just likes, RT’S and shares?

Mark Kaigwa:  Capturing information for follow-up as you would in a campaign is key. So allocating some resources to actually using the buzz and online reach to get a database of phone numbers and contacts, then following up with each as though they were leads. Sounds commercial, but online commitments of “likes” and “tweets” are great, but to close the deal and get people to make pledges and more importantly to keep them, there needs to be a funnel to actually measure and track success.

E.g. We begin campaign with a Google Doc to capture some basic info and some blog posts linking to the Google Doc. We get +1,000 tweets and retweets but capture 180 phone numbers and 250 email addresses. We follow those down and get pledges made and fulfilled by week’s end of 120 pledges fulfilled from phone and 110 from email. (I’m being hypothetical here, and being quite generous with the estimates) and what that would take is a Google Doc and some airtime, internet access and time to manage and get in touch with people directly to follow-up on their commitments.
@SambubuDo Kenyan CEO’s understand Social Media or is their understanding limited to just a web page?

Mark Kaigwa:  Do Kenyan CEOs understand the full capabilities of the iPad? Maybe not, but that doesn’t stop most of them from owning and using the devices. Kenyan CEOs take trust seriously, and if other competing CEOs are on Twitter, you best believe they’ll consider their options. That said, the early-adopters have all grown to see the value of feedback, interaction and an understanding of social media by participating themselves. As you can see when they go ahead to recommend it to their peers on the golf courses, sports clubs and other gatherings we’ve seen top executives join and take part in the conversation. They don’t need to understand it from the beginning, just to work up the dedication to participate and that’s good enough.

 

@Sambubu  Which is the best tool to determine web traffic?

Mark Kaigwa:   Google Analytics. ‘Nuff said. Get it. Read about it. Understand it.

Thanks to you, Kachwanya for the opportunity!

 

And here is the interview with @iodyssee and @Wamathai

Social Media Interview Part 1

 

Social Media Interview Part2

 

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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