Communication and Politics go hand in hand. The key to shining in politics, as often seen, is to be an effective communicator and to be able to connect with the public. In order to achieve desirable communication with people, politicians these days are resorting to social media. Social media has also influenced the way politics operates. In a country like India where the enthusiasm for politics and usage of social media is intense, analyzing a trend like this becomes very significant.
Twitter has emerged as a platform of choice for purposes like mass communication, transmission of information etc. Being a medium that is both word-based and pictorial it enables communication to seem realistic which is a key aspect for political branding. For instance, while tweeting about Rupay card, Narendra Modi also posted pictures of the event. Twitter, therefore, helps politicians keep the element of realism intact.
Twitter happens to be a place which provides equal access to the public as well as the politicians and binds them all to the community of users. This helps increase the scope of interaction between the politicians and the general public. Politicians share pictures of the summits, visits, meetings etc. they participate in which helps people feel more involved. The best example for this is the Twitter activities of our PM Narendra Modi who pictures and shares all his prominent meetings, international summits, national milestones, visits etc.
Twitter allows politicians to gauge the prevalent public opinion by easing the process of Trend analysis (analysing the trending issue or to start a favourable trend using hashtags), Sentiment analysis (analysing people’s current views on a politician or any political/non-political event) and Volume analysis (analysing the proportion of people supporting or opposing a politician or a political party) (Wani, Alone, 2015). Twitter is also a great place for politicians to increase their visibility which becomes crucial in a multiparty system that runs in India.
Twitter is also evolving to become a major tool in perception management. As account holders, politicians are completely responsible for their Twitter accounts which gives them the choice of posting only desirable information. Politicians can project a certain image of themselves based on the ideas they post, the people they follow, how responsive they are etc.
Of late, we have seen numerous instances of the stir Twitter can cause. There are several politicians and parties who have a distinguished presence on Twitter. Shashi Tharoor is one of the first names that strikes our mind when we talk about Twitter. Amit Shah, the current president of the BJP is also to be seen using Twitter efficiently. Other politicians creating a storm with their Tweets are Sushma Swaraj, Omar Abdullah, Arun Jaitley etc.
Evolving India witnesses the transformation of political street brawls and banner conflicts to Twitter wars. From Arvind Kejriwal’s tweets on the current government to Mr. Siddaramaiah’s digital spite on Modi, we have seen it all. This trend highlights the increasing role of Twitter in Indian politics and also gives us an idea of the impact it can cause.
The key to making it big on Twitter depends how effectively and frequently politicians communicate with the general public. Firstly, it must be ensured that Twitter updates and engagements are done frequently which ensures that the public does not lose touch with the politicians. Secondly, the strategies must focus on Social Media Optimization which increases visibility for the concerned party. Graphic designs must be used more effectively since the pictorial representation of an issue increases the impact. Podcasts can be used to add a personal touch to the process.
In a nutshell, Twitter allows politicians and parties to understand and interact with the public better which helps them strategize their public relations schemes, their marketing plans etc. Political branding using Twitter, however, involves a great number of inputs other than political knowledge and expertise alone. Public relations and social media management have evolved into intricate concepts. This technicality mainly originates from the fact that a great deal of information in this context is one-way. This calls for careful filtering of information regarding what to be publicized, how to create maximum impact using a certain piece of information etc. Owing to this complexity involved in Public relations and social media management, it is recommended to consult people from the concerned field. For all this and more help, contact Brandshark, Phone 9602791295, Email, [email protected] .
Wani G., Alone N, 2015, Analysis of Indian election using Twitter, International Journal of Computer Applications, Vol. 121, No.22, pg 1-2.