Battleground social media: The real Modi wave is on Twitter
There were 49 million Indian elections-related conversations on Twitter -- more than double the 20 million Indian elections-related conversations on Twitter for all of 2013.
Unless you're living in cave, and hate the word social media, it's unlikely that you would have escaped the kind of craze the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections have seen. Even if you're not watching television, you'd have likely seen the "Modi-Bhakts" fighting it out against "AAP-tards" and "Congi dogs" on Twitter, Facebook and comment forums across various sites.
According to a PTI report, after the seventh phase of polling, there were 49 million Indian elections-related conversations on Twitter -- more than double the 20 million Indian elections-related conversations on Twitter for all of 2013.
Now a Hindu report with exclusive numbers from Twitter says that the 56 million election-related tweets were seen on the social media site "from 1 January this year until 5 p.m. on May 12."
The report says, "Modi was the most popular election-related term (11.1 mn tweets), followed by the Aam Aadmi Party, its leader Arvind Kejriwal, and the BJP... Every polling day saw between 5.4 lakh and 8.2 lakh election-related tweets, with April 24 seeing the highest election-related Twitter activity." You can view the full report here.
Interestingly the Hindu report also quotes BJP's IT cell head Arvind Gupta as saying that their social media strategy is also driven purely by volunteers. He told The Hindu, "99% of the [party’s social media] push is attributable to volunteers across India who are connected in networks."
While BJP has certainly used social media to its advantage, debutant AAP has also worked very hard to make sure that it social media campaigns do well. The report also points out that AAP is the most popular party on Twitter.
AAP's IT cell head Ankit Lal had earlier told Firstpost that the party had an extensive social media strategy for Lok Sabha elections. He said then, that the party already had state and district pages in place, which were managed by the local teams and supervised by the core central team.
As far as competition with BJP was concerned, he had said that, "The kind of social media activity our channels have seen is stupendous. BJP can dream about it, they can’t achieve it."
Where political leaders are concerned however, Modi is the man on Twitter. He has the highest number of followers for any Indian politician with over 3.89 million followers.
The elections have certainly been an important event for Twitter in India.
The micro-blogging site had teamed up with TCS in India and launched a special app for the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections called iElect. The aim of the app was to help users gain social media insights into the ongoing Lok Sabha polls by looking at the kind of conversations that were taking place on Twitter. The app collects aggregated content from Twitter and presents it in the form of interesting infographics. You can read our review of the app here.
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