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How do political parties leverage social media and digital marketing?

role of digital marketing in politics

In any election the most important part is to reach as many voters as possible. It is essential for any candidate to be able to stay in touch with the voters and keep them updated about the party’s aims and policies. If there will be no communication, then there is a strong chance that the candidate may loose the trust of the voters. In today’s India, maximum voter who are on social media are first time voters. A candidate in elections, can easily reach these voters via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and influence them.

All of you are aware of the fact that the first political leader to join social media for his campaigning was President Obama. Recently, you must have seen the successful use of social media and digital marketing in Indian elections as well. It not only gave the opportunity to know the candidates but also a way to choose wisely.

The best example would be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign. It reached the public both ways, offline as well as online. All of you are aware of the page “I support Narendra Modi” and the WhatsApp number. These tactics boosted the campaign. He also launched two websites India272.com and namonumber.com. This shows the efforts made by Modi to reach the people, specially the youngsters of India. He deliberately targeted the first time voters, constantly making them aware of the importance of elections and voting in a democracy. With so much work done by him, no wonder that the 2014 elections are called #Twitter Election. Modi even announced his win on Twitter.

The political leaders realised how important it is to catch up with the young generation and the people in general. The most effective way to engage with them in a short period of time is via digital marketing and social media channels. Everyone saw how AAP and BJP were at war with each other on social media platforms. But Congress party was a bit late in to realise the importance of these channels in the “digital age”.

How can we forget the catchy lines in the advertisements for Modi’s election campaign- “Mera desh badal raha hai, aage badh raha hai”, “ab ki baar Modi sarkaar” and ” achche din aane vale hai”. Ad gurus like Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi and Sam Balsara successfully pulled off this campaign along with team Modi. Such advertising campaigns not only stay with the viewers for a long time but also bring a kind of optimism among the voters. BJP invested in short advertising films which brought out the public sentiments. “Janta maaf nahi karegi” campaign before the 2014 elections, proved successful indeed.

Not only this, but even certain brands attempted to use this voting or election sentiment. You are pretty much familiar with the Tata Tea “jaago re” ads. One of them was pictured around the importance of voting. The elections saw use of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google¬†Plus. Modi’s social media and digital marketing planning benefitted in many ways He could reach around 12 crore first time voters, easily spread awareness about party’s policies and inspire the youth to make a positive change. This tech savvy PM also launched the Digital India scheme.

Another party to use such strategies was Aam Aadmi Party or AAP. It became quite popular on social media platform and they highlighted their achievements using hashtags. They started the “Delhi wants Election” campaign, where they invited people to upload their videos asking for elections. They even took to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in an attempt to match BJP’s online campaign. You can observe how digital marketing is really helpful during the elections and can be a ladder to success.

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