10th Dec 2013
India considers itself to be a young nation — a nation with more youth, who contribute to the economic and social well-being of the country (a fancy way to say, we pay the taxes!). As we gear up for the electoral festivities that await us, every major political party that exists in the country is trying its best to woo the youth. In the past, we've seen it all — from branded laptops to Google Hangouts, politicos have tried every "innovation" in the book to woo young voters. This time around, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Narendra Modi used the social media to their best abilities. Kapil Sibal tried his hands too, but hasn’t been too proactive on Twitter. That said, no one mobilised the social media and populist sentiment, the way AAP and its conveyer Arvind Kejriwal did. Here's a quick recap of how they not only motivated people to vote, but vote in their favour.
Beginnings on Facebook
Way before formally announcing that he would be contesting in the Delhi elections; Arvind Kejriwal and his team already had set up a webpage called India Against Corruption to popularise the Jan Lokpal movement. The entire exercise also included special calling cards, Android and Symbian apps, and Twitter interaction to ensure the movement reaches every corner of the country.
Unlike Narendra Modi who stuck to Google Hangouts and Twitter to woo young voters, AAP went all out to mobilise crowds to actually become active campaigners for their cause. Here are some of the notable ways they made their campaign a success:
Voterite: This website helped motivate first time voters to not just make an informed choice, but also become a "campaigner for AAP" within their own virtual social circle.
Call Delhi: This was something new. While the campaign has officially been shut before the polls, the official AAP Website has a nice little monologue that you could give your friends in Delhi and woo votes in the party's favour. It also has a pamphlet that you people can distribute for awareness. I don’t know how many people it managed to convince, but the party gets full points for creative thinking.
Thunderclap: This was an innovative way to spread the "Vote for AAP" message via Twitter and Facebook. The campaign saw over 3.5 million people click in favour of the new party, and it met its target of acquiring the necessary number of supporters.
While we in no way endorse any political parties, or any such social agenda, the AAP campaign showed that there is more to elections than just promotional smartphones, cheesy anthems, and jarring songs. Campaigning in elections is no longer about assimilating crowds and distributing freebies (which is deemed illegal, by the way). With the strong hold of social media, and Internet on the whole, in the country this can prove to be quite a potent tool to gain voter confidence quickly, and more effectively.
Will Social Media Shape Successful Election Campaigns In India?
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and BJP to an extent show the country how to use social media constructively.
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