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In a bid to woo voters, Indian political parties are thronging social networking platforms.
814 million Indians will cast their ballot from April 7- May 12 in the world’s largest democratic exercise.
More than 200 million Indian voters are estimated to have access to the internet including over 100 million active on various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Estimates suggest that out of nearly INR 40-50 billion total advertisement and publicity budget across the parties, digital platforms may get at least INR 4-5 billion in the run up to the polls.
With online campaigning emerging as a major tool for the Arvind Kejriwal-led Common Man Party in Delhi Assembly polls last year, social media is getting greater attention of the strategists for all parties in the general elections of 2014.
According to officials at digital marketing firms being used by some leading parties, judicious use of social media could turn out to be the “game changer” in some urban seats.
“With over 200 million internet users in the country, internet as a medium has found its own space in the political parties’ media spends. Leading national parties are actively engaging users through digital medium. Different parties are adopting different strategies and digital spending varies from 5 per cent to 10 per cent of their total advertising budgets,” said Google India‘s Industry Head Gaurav Kapur.
Google is also seeing independent spends from political candidates to drive user engagement on their websites to create awareness about their achievements and plans for their constituencies.
YouTube is playing a central role in this – as it overcomes the language barrier and political parties are able to engage users through audio-visual medium in local languages, Kapur added.