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Uses and impact of social media in political campaigning


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Social media is developing an opportunities for connecting people and managing relationship who are actively using this new medium. It is undoubtedly true that social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter are influencing the ways in which politicians engage the public.

Social media has transformed politics in India and globally. Its effect has impacted the way candidate campaign for their election. Social media allows politicians and political parties a method to connect directly with people across the country at a reduced cost and greater reach than traditional media. Social media is not simply the next in a line of communications technologies: it has changed everyday activities and connected people in a manner never before possible.

The rise of smartphone technology has also enabled this trend since people can access the Internet almost anywhere making a mobile device a potential organizing and fundraising tool. Social media has transformed politics as it creates an instantaneous multi-directional public dialogue that offers the ability to rapidly analyze the data and learn from the findings on an unprecedented scope.

The study aims to examine the extent use of social media by the political parties to promote their image and political messages, among their supporters and peoples in social media. The study intends to examine the efforts of social media use pattern in the virtual environment.

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Uses and impact of social media in political campaigning

  1. 1. Vijaykumar Meti Ph.D Researcher Department of Journalism & Mass Communication Gulbarga University, Kalaburagi – 585106 Paper Presented on 22-23 January 2015, in National Seminar on Media in Contemporary World, organised by Dept. of Journalism & Mass Communication, Mangalore University, Mangalagangothri.
  2. 2. Introduction  Social media is developing an opportunities for connecting people and managing relationship who are actively using this new medium.  Social media was a popular word in 2014’s Indian parliament election. It allowed politicians and political parties a method to connect directly with people across the country.  It is undoubtedly true that social media has transformed politics in India and globally and influencing the ways in which politicians engage the public.
  3. 3. Introduction  For over a decade politicians have taken the web in an attempt to better reach voters in our new media society.  At first it was the use of static webpage to promote: campaign goals, promises and information.  As social media or the social networking sites (SNS) began to rise in popularity during mid-2000’s, campaigns have began in an earnest attempting to harness their power to reach more voters.
  4. 4. Social Media & Politics: A Glance  The 2008 U.S. presidential election was the benchmark as the first election to fully grasp the power and reach of the SNS’s to impact voters.  The U.S. President, Barack Obama’s campaign used Facebook and Twitter in an exceptional ways to reach out the young voters.  It worked, allowing him to win the votes nearly 70 percent of voters that were under 25 years old.
  5. 5. Social Media & Public Sphere  Social media is also facilitating a new way by which people are able to search and share information and increasing their awareness.  It played a vital role in converting street movements into large cities of Romania in 2012  In the same passion during anti-corruption movement in 2012, social activists used social media to connect people in India.  In the same way, social media has made it incredibly easy for a wide range political parties, social activist, individual leaders to communicate with their audience and to call them either to protest, or to vote .
  6. 6. Social Media And Its Uses In India  The use of social media by Indians was first highlighted during the 2008 Mumbai attacks when information shared through Twitter and Flickr between Indians and the outside.  The second mass use of social media in India was the May 2009 national elections, when, for the first time, online voter registration and transparency campaigns started, where first time political parties tried to reach out to voters through social networking websites.  In 2013-14 political parties like Bharatiya Janta Party, Indian National Congress, Samajwadi Party etc., used social media for connecting voters.
  7. 7. Social Media And Its Uses In India  Currently, political parties are increasingly embracing social media to encourage people.  It is really a long leap from the times when politicians were relied mainly on posters, cardboard, cut-outs, graffiti, banners and personal canvassing to win over voters.  Among major political parties in India, BJP has the biggest charisma in social media. BJP started using the social media even before 2009 general election, which it lost. But in recent years, it has dig deeper into social media.
  8. 8. Functions of Social Media as a New Tool in Election  Politicians promote their controlled speech and present their point of view without being interrupted by journalists or by media format limitation.  Social media has given privilege for politicians to post a presumptive political agenda.  By means of social media, political parties or politicians can mobilize public and invites them to participate in discussion on some issues of public interest.  By using the social media tools, politicians and political parties interacts apparently with more efficiently with their supporters, beyond institutional and bureaucratic rigors.
  9. 9. Social Media as a Promotion Tool for Political Campaigning  Engaging People Through Social Media Tool  Information Sharing  Balance Between Traditional & Internet  Convey Messages Through Videos  Branding
  10. 10. Conclusion  It is clear that social media has an effect in regards to elections. It is becoming one of the primary sources used by voters to gather information on each of the candidates.  It is expected for a candidate to have at least some presence on at least one of the major social networking sites.  To reach the public instantly, most of the politicians maintain Facebook and Twitter accounts. Prominent political leaders like Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandi and Arvind Kejrival etc., are managing their accounts on daily or weekly basis.
  11. 11. Conclusion  Social media facilitating two way communication through which voter react on political leader statements and put forward their messages and thoughts.  Social media has some disadvantages too. For example, few political leaders illegally purchase liking on SNS. Fraud information on SNS also misguide the voters and influences their decision making to vote.  Due to lack of trained person for handling social media in India, misuse of social media is a challenge for government.
  12. 12. Thank You contact