CAN SOCIALMEDIAIMPACT ELECTORAL OUTCOME ?June 2013Amit Malviya
Electoral Campaign• Tactical• Constituency profiling• Past electoral data analysis• Candidate selection• Local messaging• Booth management• Get the vote out• Strategic• It is all about right communication that is simple and effective !• The level of misinformation is high.• Often there is no information.
Why Social Media ?• It lets you• Set the agenda.• Counter the propaganda.• Run a fact based negative campaign.• Targeted messaging.• Voter education.• Provide publicity material / talking points.
Why Social Media ?• Deep penetration. Sticky.• Facebook reach 71Mn in Dec12 (54% higher over Dec11).• Likely to reach 100Mn by Dec13• Add another 25Mn NRIs, who will be eligible to vote.• Peer to peer and micro targeting possible. Personal.• Amplifies and facilitates repeat messaging.• Two way communication. Allows for crowd sourcingfeedback.• New medium – impact unknown. First mover advantage.• Invest in Facebook – think of it as a channel.
Why Facebook ?• 97% on Social Media use FB. Spreading rapidly beyondmetros. 1/3 from towns with population < 5lac, 1/4 < 2lac.• 160/543 are High Impact Constituencies (FB users higherthan margin of victory or > 10% of voting population.)• 67/543 are Medium Impact Constituencies (FB user >5% ofvoting population. Each FB user can influence one.)• Rest are Low Impact (60/543) or No Impact (256/543)• Party wise standing in 2009Party Impact LevelHigh Medium Low No TotalINC 75 28 27 76 206BJP 44 18 11 43 116
Twitter• 16Mn users currently [14% of Social Media]• Open• Partisan• Instant• Noisy• Has taken main stream media hostage !
Channels• Social Media• Facebook dominates• Twitter• Google+• Google Hangout• Pinterest• WhatsappDifferent channels will cater to different audiences.• Messages in various formats supported –audio, video, pictures and text.• Allows multilingual messaging.
Why Is Social Media Effective ?• Average people believe what most other peoplebelieve, not necessarily what is the truth.• Main stream media has its biases• Indian Middle class lacks enthusiasm, is ill-informed.Need to deliver messages in their living rooms, on theirhandheld devices, in their mail boxes, which they canaccess in their time.• Social media has captured the imagination of first timevoters in the 18-24 age group. Voting population in 2014expected to be 800Mn, many below 25.
Important To Know How to Use IT !• When to use a sledge hammer and when a toothpick.• Minds ruled by emotions cannot be overruled by logic.• Voters don’t read the fine print.• Voters want it short and simple.• We must say what we have to and keep repeating.
Has it worked before ? Yes.• Obama campaign spent USD 16M in online advertisingand social media presence (Facebook, YouTube, Twitteretc), including mobile devices.• They also bought ad spots on bus, MTV, ComedyCentral, video games, radio, student newspapers, alt-weeklies, as well as outdoor billboards.Learning: We need to take the battle to unconventionalavenues to attract non traditional voters.
Challenges ?• How to build a volunteer base ?• Voter registration• Door to door campaign• Get the vote out !