Millennium Post (Kolkata)

WhatsApp, social media influencer­s emerge as go-to campaign mediums

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As the country gears up for the world’s biggest electoral exercise, messaging platforms like WhatsApp and social media influencer­s have emerged as the go-to mediums for political parties to influence voter psychology, ad gurus and political analysts say.

In the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, political parties are extensivel­y using social media to propagate their achievemen­ts and seek support from voters.

The BJP is trying to engage with the voters by sending them a personalis­ed ‘Letter from the Prime Minister’ on WhatsApp which has over 500 million active users monthly in India highlighti­ng the achievemen­ts of the Narendra Modi government and seeking feedback from voters.

The party launched the website ‘My First Vote For Modi,’ which allows visitors to pledge to vote for Modi and

submit a video stating the reason behind their choice.

The website also hosts several short videos highlighti­ng the developmen­t work done under the NDA government.

On the other hand, the Congress runs a Rahul Gandhi WhatsApp group in which the leader is said to interact with people and respond to their queries.

The circulatio­n of WhatsApp informatio­n is monitored at the district level to ensure it reaches the masses and corrects the party’s voter base.

“Whichever political party has higher WhatsApp groups under its banner can communicat­e faster and better with the voters. It helps them to highlight their achievemen­ts instantly with a large user

base and influence the voters by drawing parallels with the opposition,” Amitabh Tiwari, an election analyst and commentato­r, said.

Facebook boasts 366.9 million users according to Statistica, a data-gathering and visualisat­ion platform.

According to the data from the Election Commission, the Bharatiya Janata Party spent a total of Rs 325 crore for media advertisem­ent (print and electronic, bulk SMS, cable website, TV channel, etc) during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, while Congress incurred an expenditur­e of Rs 356 crore.

After the COVID19 pandemic, perspectiv­e towards social media as a tool of informatio­n significan­tly changed, Ankit Lal, founder of Politique Advisor and former IT Cell head of Aam Aadmi Party, said.

“Many political parties now adopt a digital-first strategy for their poll campaigns to connect with the voters who heavily depend on social media to get informatio­n. Social media influencer­s have become another important medium through which parties try to influence the floating audience of those who do not vote but engage in consuming the narratives,” he said.

 ?? ?? Representi­onal image
Representi­onal image

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