Kenyans throughout Kenya have been voting for the next President since 6.00 am this morning. It is expected to be one of closest and most hotly contested Presidential elections ever in Kenya history with either Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta expected to win according to the latest statistics. As I write this blog post, the voting process nationwide is in full swing with a massive turnout of registered voters being reported countrywide. Depending on how people eventually vote, we may know as early as tomorrow (Tuesday) who the next President of Kenya will be.
Incidentally, and the reason for this blog post, digital media and in particular social media had been expected for the very first to feature prominently in these Presidential elections. The reason for this is that according to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), we now have around 17+ million Internet users in Kenya. In my opinion, this number may actually be quite exaggerated since numbers often overlap between mobile networks where most of the Internet usage in Kenya actually happens (people typically have multiple phone numbers on different networks and hence multiple Internet access points). In addition, the number of Kenyan Youth voting this time round is probably the largest ever in history and as a result these “Digital Natives” are expected to be a major influence in the final outcome.
On the basis of the above, I decided to see how interesting it would be to see how ALL the Presdential Aspirants have performed as of this morning in terms of their social media reach. I opted to use only Twitter and Facebook as the basis of this research since ALL the candidates have a presence on these major social media networks in Kenya although a few are on YouTube, Google+, etc. In addition, I opted to use absolute numbers in terms of Twitter Followers and Facebook Pages. As you will see, overall, the numbers represented are a tiny minority compared to the number of voters registered, as well as those expected to actually vote. However, its interesting to see how these elections would have turned out if social media was the main criteria, from a hypothetical perspective. In this respect, see below an infographic that highlights the social media results of today’s Presidential elections in Kenya: