In recent times, social media has become the most preferred method of interaction in political campaigns. Politicians have invested a great deal of money for influencing public perception through their presence and participation in social media.
The reasons for this widespread use of social media by politicians are: huge smartphone penetration and a large Facebook population. There is active engagement with the users in the various niche sectors like LinkedIn and Twitter (urban youth, mostly); along with Facebook, YouTube and TikTok (semi-urban youth, mostly).
Political Campaigns in Current Scenario
The advantages of using social media in this scenario are: keeping up to date with news any time of the day, accessing the results of online polls conducted, interacting directly with the political leaders; and politicians can ensure that their advertisements are reaching the targeted group of users. Also, this results in the emergence of social votes, where the voters encourage their friends and followers to not only vote, but to vote for a particular candidate.
The political staff use analytics tracking to track the audience. They create a website, link the politicians’ social media accounts to the website, post their responses on current affairs and conduct press releases. Then they create hashtags on the social media platforms for promoting their ideology. The politicians also partner up with social media influencers who then turn into instruments for the political party propaganda.
The political staff also develop a thoughtful strategy to ensure success, have a contingency plan in place, organize the party objectives, use attention-grabbing images, include video content, highlight the supporters, analyze the results, ask the followers for feedback, and encourage the followers to spread the word. They also keep track of the time spent on the campaign. Thus, social media plays a very significant role in political campaign management.