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Last weekend, Nigeria hosted Africa at the maiden edition of The Social Media Awards Africa, #SMAA where fifteen winners emerged from 43 finalists at the event tagged ‘a Night of Virtual Wonders’, representing all the regions of the continent except Central Africa.

The #SMAA Winners include: Ben Kiruthi, Kenya – Blogger of the Year, Michael Hlatshwayo, South Africa Social Media Hero and Jimi Tewe, Nigeria – Twitter Handle of the Year. Others are: Barefootlaw, Uganda – Facebook Page of the Year, The Love Tour, Kenya – Influencer of the Year, Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT Rwanda, Best Use by Government/Public Sector, DHL Africa – Best Use by Private Sector, Stand to End Rape, Nigeria – Best Use by Non-Profit. In other categories, Adforumco, Nigeria won the Best Use by Start-up/MSME, KCB Group, Kenya – Best Use by Financial Institution, Afrinolly, Nigeria – App of the Year, #TheNiteTalk, Kenya – Hashtag of the Year, Raha 2.0, Tanzania – Brand of the Year and Nigeria Trade Hub, Nigeria – Best Rated Platform.

Jimi Tewe (M) - Nigeria, receiving the Twitter Handle of the Year Award Plaque.

Jimi Tewe (M) – Nigeria, receiving the Twitter Handle of the Year Award Plaque.

BarefootLaw (L) - Uganda receiving the #SMAA Facebook Page of the Year Award Plaque

BarefootLaw (L) – Uganda receiving the #SMAA Facebook Page of the Year Award Plaque

Winners of the award were rewarded with the one-of-a-kind #SMAA plaque, $1,000 USD prize money, all-expense-paid trip to Nairobi for training with the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) amongst other opportunities and benefits.

One of the finalists who was conspicuously absent is currently serving a 1-year sentence for a Facebook post adjudged to be defamatory, Tunisian Blogger and Activist, Yassine Ayari emerged The #SMAA Social Media Personality of the Year at the just concluded awards ceremony tagged, Night of Virtual Wonders; which held in Lagos, Nigeria last weekend.

One of Ayari’s friends contacted the #SMAA Secretariat and Convening team in an email dated December 26, 2014 to formally notify the conveners of Yassine’s inability attend the awards ceremony due to his trial. Ayari was first sentenced to 3-years in prison albeit in absentia, for criticizing the Tunisian Defence Minister through a Facebook Post. His lawyers appealed the judgment but Ayari was later sentenced to a year in prison by a superior court of law.

The #SMAA Conveners, Development Diaries Ltd/GTE; condemn in strongest terms the actions of the Tunisian Government and re-affirm that the Right to Free Speech is a fundamental Human Right which must not be suppressed or stifled.

Ben Kiruthi (L) - Kenya, receiving the #SMAA Blogger of the Year Award Plaque

Ben Kiruthi (L) – Kenya, receiving the #SMAA Blogger of the Year Award Plaque

DHL Africa (M) receiving the #SMAA Private Sector Award Plaque.

DHL Africa (M) receiving the #SMAA Private Sector Award Plaque.

On another surprising note, three of the continent’s favourites earlier tipped to clinch awards, Xtian Dela from Kenya and Japheth Omojuwa from Nigeria; both with 3 nominations and Vodafone Ghana with 2 nominations across different awards did not emerge winners in all nominations despite overwhelming support from fans and followers.

The Social Media Awards Africa, #SMAA is poised to recognize and reward excellence, creativity and impact in the use of social media tools and platforms by individuals and organizations in Africa. This year, 15 awards across 4 categories recorded over 3,000 entries accounting for about 923 nominations from 26 African countries were received From September 30 – November 28, 2014 when the nomination window was open.

The #SMAA judging process follows a set of criteria: Influence, Originality, Scalability, Creativity and Impact and observed a three-step process which commenced with call for nominations across the continent. After this phase, a virtual council reviewed all entries and shortlisted to 10 Nominees per Award. The nominees were adjudged by their responses on the above-listed criteria. To proceed to the final stage, cumulative scores from amassed votes and Jury scores (each accounting for 50%) was collated. The nominee with the highest average cumulative score emerged winner of the corresponding #SMAA Award.

Afrinolly (M) Nigeria, receiving the #SMAA App of the Year Award Plaque

Afrinolly (M) Nigeria, receiving the #SMAA App of the Year Award Plaque

The event lived up to its billing as a Night of Virtual Wonders with a fantastic treat of inspiration, and a glamorous blend of music, dance, comedy, stunts and other artistic displays and competitions. The guests, many of whom were visiting Nigeria for the first time, were thrilled by Award-winning performers such as songstress Yemi Alade; enchanting vocalist Timi Dakolo; Award-winning R&B-turned-Gospel artiste, Obiora Obiwon; South African Best Selling Music Star, Simphiwe Dana; Jazz Star; Kunle Ayo; DVD the Comedia and DJ Jimmy Jatt. The Lead anchors were Beat FM’s OAP, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi and Kelvin Igbodo whilst Award-winning Denrele Edun and Chigolicious MC supported with hilarious stints to promote the #SterlingSelfie Contest.

Yemi Alade giving Africa the Johnny melody at the Social Media Awards Africa #SMAA ceremony.

Yemi Alade giving Africa the Johnny melody at the Social Media Awards Africa #SMAA ceremony.

DJ Jimmy Jatt spinning the African audience to good music. #SMAA

DJ Jimmy Jatt spinning the African audience to good music. #SMAA

Nigerian Gospel Music-star, Obiora Obiwon and the Rebirth Band kick started the event with the powerful #SMAA Theme Song entitled, ‘One Voice’. And in a very rhythmic transition, he sang some popular inspirational songs – all with a gospel undertone. Then, he wrapped his very vocal performance with hit track ‘Testify’ supported by electrifying dance routines from Alien Nation, which left the captive audience begging for more.

Lead Anchors, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi of Beat FM, Official Radio Partner, #SMAA and Kelvin Igbodo of Corporate Communications Unit of Sterling Bank welcomed guests to the Night of Virtual Wonders cracking them up with jokes about Pen Pals, Hi 5 and old social media platforms and the use of social media to verify blind dates or dating interests.

Voice Maestro, Timi Dakolo serenaded the audience with his hit song, ‘Iyawo Mi’ after which he left them spell bound with ‘Great Nation’ to make way for a few remarks from Sponsors, Conveners and Jury. With a short word from the #SMAA Sponsors, Sterling Bank Plc.; represented by Shina Atilola, Group Head, Strategy & Communications; Duncan Onyango, East Africa Director, Acumen Fund shared his experiences and key learning outcomes from the #SMAA Judging processes. Femi Aderibigbe, Project Lead, #SMAA and Co-Founder, Development Diaries Ltd/GTE explained to the guests the inspiration for creating the #SMAA at a time like this for the continent.

Timi Dakolo thrills the award audience to some soulful melody.

After the speeches, the awards came in batches with the first four (4) award presentations. DVD the Comedian thrilled the guests with a few local and African-themed jokes and another round of presentations were made to deserving finalists.

The night’s surprise package emerged when Award-winning On-Air Personality, Denrele Edun and Chigolicious, a fast-rising female compere presented the #SterlingSelfie Segment encouraging guests to take and promote selfies in order to win exciting prizes.

Denerele Edun and Chigo, dominated the stage with exciting audience engagement banters. #SMAA

#SMAA Lead Sponsors, Sterling Bank promoted a competition to find the most exciting selfie using the hashtag, #SterlingSelfie. All through the night, guests took selfies and encouraged their friends to like and promote their images for a chance to win prizes. Two (2) guests emerged winners at the end of the event and each took home a tablet device courtesy the bank.

And then it was time to welcome on stage Simphiwe Dana, South African Award-winning & Best Selling Songstress. She performed songs from her album, Firebrand accompanied by strings from the guitar by Award-winning Jazz Artiste, Kunle Ayo.

With more award presentations to the excitement of the audience as it seemed as though #TeamKenya had clinched many more awards than all other represented countries, it was time to welcome Yemi Alade. Her electrifying performances of hit singles, ‘Kissing’, ‘Johnny’ and ‘Marry Me’, wrapped the performances for the night with many guests singing and dancing along. Yemi Alade showed the visiting guests how to party the Nigerian way.  Immediately after Yemi Alade’s powerful performance, DJ Jimmy Jatt; one of the continent’s most respected Disc Jockeys showed why he is a veteran as he spun hit track after hit track compelling many more guests to take to their feet.

Far into the night, it was time to deliver the vote of thanks and Emilia Asim – Ita, Co-Founder of Development Diaries Ltd/GTE did justice to her note of gratitude to the admiration of all guests. She thanked #SMAA Lead Sponsors, Partners, Event Vendors, Performers, and key individuals who were outstanding in upholding the vision of the #SMAA to its successful birth.

As the Lead Anchors returned to bid farewell, guests were waiting to continue the treat from the wheels of DJ Jimmy Jatt as the Night of Virtual Wonders climaxed.

Prior to the awards ceremony, finalists, Jury Members and other Social Media professionals had converged for the maiden edition of the Social Media Africa Summit with the theme: Social Media for Governance, Leadership and Development. The event featured inspiring presentations by many speakers and experts Rich Simmonds, Author, Mug & Tweet and Communications Expert; Thebe Ikalafeng, Chairman, Brand Leadership South Africa & Brand Africa and Ojoma Ochai, Arts Director, British Council.

The #SMAA was presented by Sterling Bank and supported by: African Media Initiative (AMI), AIESEC AfricaWest African NGO Network (WANGONET)Beat FMFan Milk Nigeria, Enplug Africa, Zisat, Trace TV, and ONTV.

#SMAA Jury: Founder and Executive Chairman, African Leadership Academy, Fred Swaniker; Chief Executive Officer, African Media Institute, Eric Chinje; Founder,, Ken Banks; Director Operations, Mara Group of Companies, Hetal Shah; Vice President, VAS, Airtel Nigeria, Francis Ebuehi; Chief, New Technologies and Innovation, UNECA, Dr. Kasirim Nwuke; Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Africa, Louis Onyango Otieno; Founder and Chairman, Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng; Executive Director, Strategy and Finance, Sterling Bank Plc, Abubakar Suleiman; Chief Operating Officer, Popimedia, South Africa, Ryan Silberman; Communications Co-ordinator, Royal African Society, London, Dele Fatunla; Founder, Dragon Africa, Obi Asika; East Africa Director, Acumen, Duncan Onyango; Special Adviser Communication Technology Development – Cross River State Government, Odo Effiong; External Relations Lead, IBM West Africa, Muyiwa Moyela and Nigeria Director, Open Society Initiative for West Africa, Udo Jude Ilo.

#SMAA Advisory Board: Executive Director, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Abdul Tejan-Cole; Co-founder and CEO Crowdcentric, Toby Daniels; Lead Consultant/CEO, ThistlePraxis Consulting, Ini Onuk; Executive Director, West African NGO Network, Tunji Lardner and Head of Social Anthropology University of Cape Town, Prof. Francis Nyanmojoh.

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All is now set for the maiden Social Media Africa Summit and Award events in Lagos – Nigeria.

The two-in-one event billed to hold on Saturday 24, 2015 will during the summit session host Africa’s best from various sectors to discuss, analyze and forge a new development path for Africa through social media while the award event will recognize and reward excellence, creativity and impact of social media on human socio-economic development – through its tools and platforms – by individuals and organizations across the continent.

According to the Project Lead, Social Media Awards Africa, Femi Aderibigbe ,  ‘The reality of advancing sustainable development through digital and social media in Africa is been established whilst we recognise and reward the productive usage and best practices on the continent’s social space’.


With the theme ‘Social Media for Leadership, Governance and Development’, the summit  represents a unique opportunity for participants to discuss social media impact and applications at the highest level, and produce strategic recommendations and action imperatives for the future of the social media sphere for continental development.

During the Award ceremony tagged ‘Night of Virtual Wonders’ Fifteen (15) out of the Forty-three (43) Finalists from across the continent will be rewarded with award prizes for the featured 15 Awards across 4 Categories for the 2014 edition of the awards which opened with a continent-wide call for nomination and recorded over 3,000 entries accounting for about 923 nominations.

Winners of the 2014 Social Media Awards Africa will be rewarded with US$1,000, SMAA Plaque, Institutional Trainings, Access to relevant social influencers amongst other benefits.

The summit starts at 9.00am while the Award Ceremony starts at 6.00pm.  Both events will be streamed live online via www.sterlingbankas well as covered online using the hashtag, #SMAA

The Social Media Awards Africa is an initiative of Development Diaries and sponsored by Sterling Bank PlcAIESEC AfricaWest African NGO Network (WANGONET)Beat FMFan Milk NigeriaZisat,Trace TV and African Media Initiative (AMI)  are also Partners.

For more information on SMAA: ProcessJuryAdvisory Board; visit


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5 Festive Tips for Holiday Social Media Marketing

social jingle

This time of year, your potential customers are likely to have the holiday season on their minds. Why not attract attention by incorporating the excitement and spirit of winter holidays into your own social media campaigns? Other brands, from authors to tech giants, have already figured out that the holiday season is, indeed, the most wonderful time of year for their brands. Consider these five tips to add a little holiday spirit to your social media pages.
1. Holiday Decorations
While you’re putting up lights and ornaments around your home, why not perk up your website and social media pages? Add some holiday or seasonal touches to the cover images on your social pages. Alternatively, you could simply take a photo of yourself with an elf hat on to use as a fun profile photo for a few weeks. Either way, you are bound to earn a second glance, and possibly, you will increase engagement as your followers comment on the decorations.
2. Give Away Prizes and Presents
Who doesn’t like holiday presents? Contests are proven ways to increase engagement, social sharing, and fan bases. You have an opportunity to get more attention while the contest runs, and you also have a chance to get the attention of the winners’ social circles after you announce the winners at the conclusion of your giveaway.
3. Sponsor a Good Cause
Truly get into the spirit of giving by sponsoring a worthy foundation or charity that is likely to appeal to potential customers. If this worthy cause is somehow related to your own brand and products, even better. In the spirit of enlightened self-interest, you may find good causes that also use their social networks to mention their sponsors.
4. Ask for Shared Stories
Never forget that social media is meant to be social. Ask your existing community of fans and followers to share some of their holiday stories. For example, you might create a post about one of your own favorite holiday memories or traditions. Ask your social network to add replies with their reactions to your story or events that your story reminded them of. You are likely to increase engagement and get some attention from the social circles of community members who share.
5. Hijack Holiday Hashtags (Ho Ho Ho!)
Hijacking sounds more naughty than nice, but using trending social media hashtags is a proven way to get noticed on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Depending upon your product, you might look for trending discussions or campaigns like the #12DaysofChristmas.
Make a New Year’s Resolution to Plan Ahead Next Year
It’s better to plan holiday social media campaigns in advance, but these simple tips can still get planned and implemented quickly. While you’re implementing your seasonal media campaigns, don’t forget to track your success. You can always use this information to help prepare for an even more jolly holiday social marketing season next year.

Source: Business2community

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Your Brand’s Social Media Identity: How to Protect It

Social media wordcloud
By Shelly Kramer

Social media marketing is probably something that you’re engaged in, whether your business is large or small. But all too often people hand over set up and management of these valuable business assets to people who aren’t as qualified as they should be and/or they don’t protect their social media accounts. As a result, businesses can find their accounts compromised, stolen, and/or completely swiped by a rogue employee. If those things aren’t a major pain in the you-know-what, I don’t know what is. Here are some things you can think about, and put into place so that you can hopefully avoid a nightmare down the line — here’s what you can do to protect yourself.

Be Smart About Social Media Accounts

Many times companies let just anyone set up their social media accounts, which later opens them up to trouble. Make sure you control who creates accounts, the names in which they are created, and retain a document that contains all relevant information in a central location, under your control. Don’t let an agency or a consultant be in charge of your social media accounts without knowing the particulars of what they’ve done. Don’t let employees go rogue and create accounts under their names. Be smart about whose name accounts are created under and who has ultimate ownership, control of and access to those accounts. A little thinking up front can prevent many headaches later down the line. Also, if it’s possible to have a “verified” account, do that.

Protect Your Brand Online – and on Social

There are a ton of social media outposts and even though you might only be using a few right now, it’s important to “own” your name across multiple platforms. This is good for reputation management in general and it protects you from others using your name in a channel you haven’t yet discovered. You can use a tool like Namecheckr, which will help you not only see what iteration of your brand name is available across multiple platforms, it’ll help you reserve it in one fell swoop. We’ve long been fans of this handy tool and you should definitely check it out.

Using a tool like Namecheckr, you can not only discover social networks you might not have known about, you can make sure that some bored college student or just someone with a lot of time on their hands with a great sense of humor doesn’t swoop in, claim a channel you didn’t know about and start sharing content posing as your brand.

Get Password Savvy Now, Save Yourself Heartache Later

Crummy passwords are the number one reason accounts are hacked and compromised. If you’re using the same password across multiple accounts or using a stupid password (like 123456, password, or abc123), you’re just asking for trouble. In fact, if your password is on the list of 25 worst passwords below and you don’t immediately stop to change it, well, don’t blame us when your accounts are hacked. Use strong passwords, ones that contain numbers, letters, and characters. Make them at least nine characters in length, or longer, and use different passwords for different accounts. We’re great fans of LastPass, Dashlane, or 1Password, any of which will provide you with the protection you need.  Great passwords are a lot like condoms: protect yourself now or pay the price later.

Use Alerts

It’s imperative to have a monitoring system in place to monitor the web for mentions. And if you’ve been relying on Google Alerts alone, well, that’s just a bad strategy. Like many of Google’s products, Google Alerts kind of got killed off in the last year, so if you’ve not yet moved to something else, it’s time to do it now. We use a number of different alerts, our favorites include Talkwalker and Mention. We also use keyword alerts from Twitter, which you can get by using SocialOomph. Using a robust monitoring system that includes alerts from multiple sources will help ensure that any time you, your brand, your clients or the industries you serve are mentioned, that you’re on top of it and able to react and respond accordingly. In fact, smart monitoring can help you avoid problems before they develop instead of just react to them once they happen.

Don’t be Pace Salsa

Six months ago, Pace Salsa was in the news after some strange activity occurred on the @Pace_Foods Twitter account. The original news stories reported that the Pace Foods account favorited one or more of comedian Kyle Kinane’s tweets, many of which were both highly offensive and also supported rival companies. The account was actually a hoax by another comedian (long story), which turned out to be pretty hilarious. Unless, of course, you worked for Pace Foods. Had Pace been using any one or more of the platforms below, they would’ve known about this rogue activity much sooner than they ultimately did. And I’m thinking there was probably a big lesson learned by the brand and their marketing team as a result.

Bottom line, protect your brand identity in the social media realm to begin with and you’re likely not to have these problems. Isn’t that peace of mind worth a little work on the front end? We think so.


Source: Business2Community

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The 50 Most Influential Brands on Social Media

The 50 Most Influential Brands on Social Media

Klout has published its first list of the 50 global brands with the most social influence and engagement.

Called the Klout 50, the list has been compiled by analysing the businesses in the Interbrand 2014 Best Global Brand report and measuring their social influence on the Klout scale.

Amazon topped the list, beating Microsoft by just one hundredth of a point. MTV, Google and Facebook round out the top five.

The 50 Most Influential Brands on Social Media

1. Amazon, 98.86 points
2. Microsoft, 98.85
3. MTV, 98.32
4. Google, 98.04
5. Facebook, 97.94
6. Intel, 95.94
7. Nintendo, 95.04
8. McDonald’s, 94.74
9. ebay, 93.82
10. Ford, 93.19
11. Sony, 93.06
12. HP, 92.38
13. Chevrolet, 92.36
14. Coca-Cola, 91.99
15. Thomson Reuters 91.89
16. General Electric 91.37
17. Nike, 91.22
18. Honda, 90.94
19. Pizza Hut, 90.94
20. Audi, 90.75
21. Adidas, 90.00
22. Adobe, 89.90
23. Nokia, 89.84
24. Goldman Sachs, 89.67
25. Tiffany and Co, 89.60
26. Budweiser, 89.56
27. Porsche, 89.22
28. Apple (AppStore), 89.19
29. Shell, 88.94
30. Pepsi, 88.80
31. SAP, 88.59
32. American Express, 88.50
33. Louis Vuitton, 87.76
34. MasterCard, 87.42
35. Oracle, 87.14
36. Gucci, 86.75
37. Morgan Stanley, 86.65
38. Burberry, 86.04
39. Accenture, 86.01
40. Caterpillar Inc, 85.27
41. 3M, 85.20
42. John Deere, 83.53
43. Starbucks, 83.51
44. Sprite, 83.22
45. Gillette, 83.03
46. Zara, 83.02
47. Heineken, 82.81
48. Gap, 82.76
49. Disney, 82.39
50. KFC, 81.76

“We believe that being influential in the digital space is centered around creating and sharing engaging content online,” said Klout’s Katy Keim. “The Klout 50 salutes the brands who connect with their consumers through social media by encouraging them to share interesting experiences. However, this is also a wakeup call for brands who are not on this list to engage their consumers by creating a memorable experience — whether in person or online.”

(Source: Klout.)


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