Kenya's Presidential hopefuls are not evenly matched on social media

Jubilee's Uhuru Kenyatta overshadows NASA's Raila Odinga on all social media platforms

Social media has proved to be a powerful tool in Kenya especially as the August 8 general elections draws closer.

And the country’s top Presidential contenders, Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance (NASA’s) Raila Odinga know this all too well.

The two Presidential hopefuls have made heavy investments on all social media platforms in a bid to reach out to the over 19 million voters.

Both Jubilee and NASA believe they can capitalise on social media users to reach out to millions of voters through a ripple effect.

The two rivals use the digital media platforms to mainly sell their agendas and hardly throw shade at each other as was the case with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the run up to the 2016 US Elections.

That said,a quick spotcheck by Business Insider SSA on their pages notes a rather sharp contrast in terms of followers as depicted below:

It is no surprise that the Head-of-state is more popular given that early this year, he was ranked Africa's most popular leader in Sub-Saharan Africa on social media.

This can be backed by the fact that Uhuru has a vibrant Strategic communications team that ensures his followers are kept up to speed with the President's schedule, campaign videos, and press statements.

The same cannot be said for Raila who despite be engaging on social media, still doesn't have the numbers to match those of his fierce rival.

And besides putting massive investments in digital messaging, Uhuru has contracted leading international data firms to help in his campaigns.

One of those firms is Global data-mining company Cambridge Analytica which is credited with helping Candidate Donald Trump to win the American presidential election last November.

The firm is capable of trawling Facebook and buying up commercial consumer datasets to identify 'persuadable' voters.

Meanwhile, Raila's team has hired influential bloggers with millions of followers on social media to lead its campaigns. Some of the bloggers use pseudonyms to comment on stories from the Jubilee camp.

Both parties however hope that the huge investments made towards online campaigns will be worth it come the August 8 elections.


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