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Tuesday 3 September 2013

Social Media Influence on Politicians

Just one move and let the whole world know about it in seconds. Yes, this is our internet! Not just that, all will have a view or suggestion about it and this is all possible through different social media platforms available.

With everyone using social media at present for promotional purposes in our nation, our politicians are not that far behind in the race and are highly active on various social media platforms. As per a recent study, it has been revealed that social media and online presence of the politicians and their parties will influence the result of 2014 general elections. So, who are our social media friendly politicians?

The population of India is majorly comprised of youths. Therefore, the political parties currently are incorporating it by making well-known individuals a part of their political party, the most common and prime examples being, Rahul Gandhi from Congress, Milind Deora from Indian National Congress etc. Being from the same generation, they easily connect with the youth and express their thoughts and opinions through different online channels along with other mediums.

However, apart from these young politicians others too are actively taking part in it. Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Ajay Maken are completely different from each others. The former is from the old guard while the latter is from the youth brigade. Although one is rooted in Rajasthan and the other takes a bigger role on the Indian politics, both of them have one thing in common. Both have a huge fan following in Turkey.

Maken, the general secretary in charge of Congress' high profile communications cell is one of the handful politicians of our nation with a verified Facebook page which ensures that the page is managed by him and not others. The page has 99,154 'likes', or virtual endorsements. However, just 3.1% out of the total likes is from India and the remaining 33.9%, 24.9%, 12.5% and 9.5%) are from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the US respectively as per analytics tool.

He is really an exception among all Indian politicians to have such a huge number of fans following globally on Facebook. From India, Narendra Modi and Akhilesh Yadav, both have verified pages and with more than 90% followers from India itself.

Other than Maken, another exception is the Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh with 4,636 likes on an unverified page on Facebook. Turkey accounts for 53% of his total fan followers and rest from India.

These days, almost all the politicians are trying to be social. These include Sonia Gandhi (86.5%), Rahul Gandhi (92.1%), Nitish Kumar (94.2%) and Mamata Banerjee (93.4%).

Recently, on being asked in an interview about the power of social media, one of the leading political icons, Narendra Modi said that, "To me it is not just about Twitter and Facebook. For instance, I am amazed at how YouTube as a medium of video sharing has made e-Learning accessible to so many people. Or when I look at an application like WhatsApp and how simple it is to use. Often the first reports when a disaster strikes or an unfortunate incident happens are received via one of these Social Media channels. I see the real power of Social Media come through, during such moments of crisis. Recently during the Uttarakhand disaster I was pleasantly surprised at the positive role played by Social Media in bringing home news of the missing to their loved ones."

As per the tech savvy Human Resource Misinter, Shashi Tharoor, social media should not be ignored. He added that, "No politician wants to turn away from an audience of even 100 people, so who is going to turn away from an audience that has numbers in millions. You should seize that audience."

He thinks that it will take an exciting turn soon after the introduction of 4G service. Faster technology will let the users to get connected more easily than ever.

Social media provides all the up-dates and also outshine the latest news that reaches millions in seconds. It has become the fastest coverage source of any news or event. It lets the politicians interact with the common people and know their opinions which are really a great way to reach them and to increase their popularity.


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