By Kennedy Odweyo

Social Media provides a virtual platform, through mobile and web-based technologies, where different special interest groups; whether geographic, economic, social or spiritual can create, share and exchange ideas and information on matters that are relevant to their special interests and effectual on their day to day lives and eventual well-being.

By its global and real-time outreach, social media has provided and continues to provide an affordable, unrestricted and effective avenue for civilian engagement in matters that affect their well-being, including governance.

Within Nairobi County and Kenya as a whole, various social media platforms and digital tools have been used to highlight various governance issues and helped in the promotion of good governance practices at the county and national level, as well as within the local communities; and in the private sector.

Through Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, citizens have been able to share and access critical information and reports on governance; in form of photos, written content and video recording; on matters such as police brutality, overzealous civil servants, the poor state of roads, hospitals and schools; among other civilian basics.

The result of the aforementioned has led to improved service provision in hospitals, enhanced infrastructural developments in schools and roads, suspension of civil servants caught up in various improprieties like corruption and abuse of office.

At a personal level, I use my Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as my newly developed blog to enlighten the public on governance issues, while highlighting some of the administrative and political decisions and misdeeds within my authoritative and conclusive knowledge.

To achieve the above-mentioned objectives, among many others, and enable the various social media platforms to serve their purpose optimally, there are various categories of digital tools and applications that can enable a user in the optimization of their online purpose:

Production Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer & Buffer Extension that facilitate the management of social media accounts, scheduling and publishing of posts as well as the retrieval of analytics on each channel; or Canva that can be used to make quick graphics from flyers to social media posts on topical governance issues that can be easily interpreted and understood by other users within the community or area of interest.

Collaborative Tools such as Slack through which you can collaborate and coordinate with individuals and teams during messaging; or Any. Do that provides an “easy and convenient to execute” module for all your digital communication works by allowing you to digitise your daily tasks, set alerts and reminders, and save notes while syncing the data on all your devices for ease and convenience of access.

Data and Listening Tools like Chart Beat that gives you real-time data activity on your website regarding the source of the traffic, the popular content, and what is being shown; to enable you to make real-time decisions on what to share and when to share it; or Klout Extension that is a mobile and website app that uses social media analytics to rank users according to online influence; thereby enabling you to know who to follow or learn from in terms of content creation, the authenticity of content, outreach and relevance.

It is clear that social media has enabled people to freely express themselves and hold people in government accountable. social media can cause an uproar and call people to action on a societal issue. How have you used your social media platform to better the society around you?

Facebook:  Odweyo Odweyo.

Twitter:    @RadicalKayne