IntroductionElection is near and the campaign is yet to begin. But the interesting fact is how social media can bring in a change to the election result of 2014. The answers are in different poles. Some believe that there is no use in such campaigns through social media and some strongly believe it is essential. But let it be anything the lead parties are trying their best to give attention to election through social media. The hits and misses of many parties in social media sites of new generation is just an example. But how far these are important? It is a serious question and we will try to find out an answer through this article.
The start of media war in politicsBefore some years ago election was matter of money and rallies. It was more claimed for the fireworks on roads and the huge rallies with banners. The banner fight is yet to start in India as elections are closer enough. But the fights in social media have risen already. A digital war may be the right title to get in for the same. But what is the reason for the same. When did the social media become more important for politicians? The question arises in our minds without any doubt. The answer too lies there itself within our minds. It was the people who, led to this situation. The growth of Indian media is something important in the recent situation. The social media growth in India in the last decade was that large especially in last few years. The number of broadcasting channels, twitter followers, face-book users etc. got more hike in value. No India has the largest base among other countries and it stands third behind USA and china in case of Internet users too. The reach of Internet and other social media has been raised to high level in reality. There are 150 million users now but when we consider the same with the whole population it is just a fraction. Then why the social media fight or the above said digital fights among political issues are raising high. What can this fraction do? The fact is easier to think. The Indian population structure is one reason. It has 50 percent of its population below 28 and this is important to think. The idea gives the power to vote bank and so the social media gets more influence. At least two out of three users are more influenced in Internet world and so the digital war gains more prominence. We don't have a world that was seen in last decade now. The shares of Google, Twitter and Facebook have now risen in India. India has more than 900 million mobile phone connections and that is more serious to consider. The 130 million broadband users can also influence anything in India. Twitter was born in 2006 but it could even influence the U.S. elections. That shows why our politicians are taking more care to digital war. These facts can make anyone believe that social media can be rating mark in 2014 election.
Who are in front row for the digital war?The preparations for social media campaign is now in more buzz. The election is close enough and the start of election campaign in social media has started so early. These days the TV night shows of news channels is overloaded with the politicians. Politicians try their level best to bring in a vote by a contact with middle class through TV. The news channels are getting into the buzz now. But the social sites including twitter and face-book was already in the war earlier. The top parties that try their new step in election are BJP and Congress. BJP was better in social media idea as Congress is getting into the trip now only. Before the present situation, leaders of BJP with more influence Narendra Modi started over the social media ideas. He established in 53 centers his achievement and that shows how the Gujarat CM found the importance of social media in 2014 election. Narendra Modi has 1,600,000 followers in twitter now and his 3D projection idea in 53 places boost this count. Another big national party Congress has a decent man to fight and that is Shashi Tharoor. He has been bigger than anyone when we consider the social media side. He has 17,00,000 followers and that is something serious to think. But interestingly others reach to their tweets not only via Internet but also through newspapers. That shows the power of media interlinking and so the tweet in one place can even get influence village areas. Am Aadmi party which literally means Ordinary Mans Party gets more into such ideas these days. Kejriwal's movement got more likes in face book but he only has 30,000 followers in twitter. It is low compared to Modi or Tharoor but interestingly for this party it is good. Even they are trying their best to get in a face in social media and that clearly brings out the importance of social media in election campaign. A 35 member team has been formed by congress to counter the BJP ideas in social media. But it is more interesting to see how this counter would be successful to beat the well claimed BJP social media hangover. Rahul Gandhi is more engaged in such ideas too and the count of face book likes for Rahul Gandhi too shows that same. Anyhow parties are getting into the lead in social media and especially the main two national parties are in lead too.
ConclusionIt cannot be denied that social media has got importance in 2014 election campaign and might affect the results. Preparation and digital war is on in social media and that is essential too when we consider the recent political and population structure of India. According to survey from one source, only 160 of 543 consistencies are having high impact when we consider the social media influence. 67 have medium impact, 60 have low impact and 256 do not have much impact with social media wars. Anyhow the 160 are important in political view and the last 256 too. The real fight of this election campaign would be mix of both. The banners and rallies would be influencing the rural parts of India which is more in India. Still a good portion also need social media support. So this election has got equal balance for the campaign in both road and online. The election are closer enough and let us wait and see the new generation politics both online and offline this time.
I think the bigwigs of political parties have recognized the importance of social media and they are creating wonderful pages and making buddies in this regard. Surely the reach of a candidate is more through a sterling message and that can change the equation. If a person's message is sent to the youth from a leaders, he feels elated and wants to support him. This is what is going to happen. Especially the youth who are the first time voters are going to be targeted through social media for their valuable vote. I think they are going to benefit without spending money.