The entire mood of the nation
The entire nation is waiting with bated breath as to who will be the next ruling party for the next five years. This year’s polls have witnessed the greatest turnout especially by the young voters who turned out in handsome numbers to vote for their next ruling party and eventually the next Prime Minister. Back in the years, when the world was devoid of any social media, people relied solely on the results day for the final verdict.
But now with the advent of social media, the things have been changed in the election of Lok Sabha a lot. In terms of information or data insights or any other opinions. Social media has played a crucial role in making the information reach to the remotest parts of India making people aware of the most important event in India’s democracy and that is the Lok Sabha elections. This time the Lok Sabha election was fought on social media in equal measures as it was conducted offline. Active campaigns kept the people hooked on to the different elections agendas.
The benefits of using social media for Lok Sabha elections are-
- Creates a positive image of party leaders
- Creates effective know-how of what kind of work the party has exactly done
- Gives information about the political leaders
- It makes the young population more involved in making election decisions.
- It creates awareness about the elections.
Statistics say that-
- Around 70% of the ad's spending has been directed to solely digital ads.
- It is expected to be somewhere around 2000 crore which includes mobile and SMS campaigns, and the ad spending is 600 crore solely of the Facebook campaigns.
- Twitter campaigns were expected to be around 200 crores.
The best part of social media is that it helped create awareness and the required knowledge which is necessary for today’s young population and also helped them participate actively in the campaign. The top two national parties, BJP, and Congress have been said to spend around 550 crores as a part of their digital campaign, with the share of the regional parties to be around 35% respectively. According to statistics, Twitter emerged as the single most battlegrounds for the political know-how and getting to know about the general elections. The next in line was Facebook and Instagram respectively.
What was the difference between the two biggies of Indian politics?
We must note some facts around here-
- It can be clearly seen that in the year 2014, BJP was already big on digital campaigns and social media whereas Congress was not that much into social media.
- The legacy of 2014 is very much going to come in handy for this year’s elections (for BJP) as social media is a very big bet and can play a very important role simultaneously.
- The results or the overall political mood can very well turn out to be in BJP'S favor if they will capitalize on the current digital marketing political trend.
- As compared to Congress, BJP was a clear leader in the field of social media following.
Why did social media work in favor of BJP in the Lok Sabha Election?
As mentioned above BJP strongly included very important influential pages that every citizen would like to read. It was not just for the sake of it that the pages were included. For eg- BJP had
- Maan Ki Baat
- Nation with Namo
- Modi Government Updates
- I support Narendra Modi
- Mission Modi 2019
- I trust Narendra Modi
- Our PM Narendra Modi
- Modi Mania
On the other hand, if you have a look at the political campaigns or any of the pages of Congress, you would surprisingly not find any as compared to the BJP, so it clearly shows that BJP has been a step ahead in remaining digitally conscious and they have capitalized on the entire situation very cleverly. Social media pages are also proof that once you search for any particular leader of any of the top political parties you would first find the names of BJP and then of the Congress. On Facebook itself, there are around numerous groups which cater to fan clubs of Narendra Modi.
Where did the BJP score?
On March 17th, the entire nation went in a tizzy when our Prime Minister prefixed ‘Chowkidar’ to his name with the rest of the leaders, followers, and even the citizens the following suit.
Immediately, Twitter followed suit and the hashtag was trending on social media.
This hugely helped BJP, in leveraging their strong point and making its presence felt in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. The #mainbhichowkidar proved as an impetus as it gave rise to other political hashtags and upped the digital quotient of BJP
They were as follows-
#BJPwinning #Northeastformodi #Mainkamalkhilaneayahoon Congress had one social media strategy which was the #Parivartanbusyatra which hardly made any impact as compared to the campaigns of the BJP. So it can be seen that BJP was the clear winner when it came to leaving a mark on social media which eventually channelized their way to the growth trajectory. Well, not just the marketing campaigns, but BJP also scored well on merchandising and it was a well thought out strategy.
If we check the statistics-
- Amazon, India’s most popular e-commerce site was selling Modi t-shirts and caps.
- There were also diaries, mugs, and hoodies that sold and people showed a lot of support by buying them.
- On the other hand, there was no merchandise of Congress.
Social media strategy of Congress-
- However, the fact cannot be denied that Congress is certainly not at the back front and is making digital strides in making their online footprint stronger.
- The party has shared its WhatsApp number for the citizens to communicate any kind of issue they had.
- Digital ads were shown in the Primetime hours highlighting the good work of the Congress.
- Congress was also using various data analytics to track and measure the strategy of rival parties.
- Congress was big on the TV ads rather than the digital media.
- The Indian National Congress is the only political party in India which is present on Instagram officially.
- It also has a grass root level of networks on the digital handle which is working officially on the social media platform, which is called as Khidkee.
- Congress also released a digital song on YouTube.
- Congress party had also started mobile marketing and the various helpline numbers were also given out.
- The helpline numbers were opened to manage communication for all.
- The party has also proposed various ranges of initiatives such as A billion and one voice, UPA transparency revolution.
The Khidkee Portal and App-
- The App was launched by Congress, to directly communicate with the party leadership, exchange the various thoughts, and also share what all concerns they have as the citizen of this country.
- The idea behind Khidkee is to promote information, openness, and overall strength of the party and be the voice that people want.
- The app also has an authentication process for joining.
- The platform is also available on various mobile platforms in the form of apps. It is available on the android play store.
- Congress, however, scores high on the Google plus platform as compared to other political parties.
- It utilizes the platform of the Hangout most amazingly and is the strength of its social media strategy.
- Instagram is also the mainstay of Congress as it has a very strong content team for managing their social media accounts.
- They have an extremely good stronghold on posting effective social media content.
Game plan BJP
- BJP creates different Whatsapp groups for the different sections of the society, which in a way worked in their favor as people from all walks of life were able to connect with the party and its thought leadership.
- BJP had created around 3 groups and each group accepted a minimum of 200 members.
- However, it needs to be mentioned that Congress was not that effective as BJP when it came to cashing in on the use of Whatsapp.
Where were both parties on similar grounds?
Both the parties came up with the idea of very new and fresh content related to different kinds of contests which gave rise to a lot of engagement and people actively participated in it.
Social media strategies of other parties for Lok Sabha Election-
Like the rest of the parties, AAP also cashed in on the effective use of social media along with making a difference in the marketing campaigns.
- They had their focus on the door to door campaigns.
- They also had a social media strategy.
- Hoardings were also put up.
- A lot of interaction was held on social media for the young voters and to be able to understand the party manifesto.
- In addition to the above, the leader of AAP also had a tremendous fan following on Facebook, and Twitter.
- Thunderclap was a social media strategy used by AAP.
- The trending hashtags used by AAP were- #voteforAAP, #AAPsweepingDelhi, #thundercla, #voteforAAMADMIparty
As a party, AAP had the highest engagements.
These were the highest 3 parties who leveraged their social media platform in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and used it as an important tool.
On a concluding note-
The digital game in this year’s Lok Sabha elections was huge and every top party ensured that it remains on the top game for scoring high in the Lok Sabha polls. It can safely be said that political parties are now making the use of digital media very seriously and it is a big win for the future of digital India.