Beginning this year, the Indian Government and its various other departments has shown a refined interest towards social media. The whole love affair started from the end of last year when the government was caught on backfoot during the Anna Hazare movement, that was well backed by India Against Corruption. The Government realized it soon enough that having static Facebook pages like Govt2.in won’t help. People look for meaningful engagement rather than a repository of links. The first bold step the government took was creating a social media policy for all its departments. A well thought idea and a start but nothing has happened after the draft creation. Thereafter, we saw PM’s office stepping onto Twitter and slowly making a presence felt on Facebook and Youtube. We did a review of our PM’s presence, which according to me was playing safe. Besides this, there have been news floating around that ministers are being trained at foreign universities and also being trained in India.
How effective have been these investments is something we will have to wait and watch but taking a leaf from the Indian Government, the Tourism Ministry has now announced that they will tie up their successful campaign, Incredible India with social media and specially with Facebook. ((As reported by Economic Times Of India))
Walking the Facebook way is understood considering its gigantic user base and the ministry wants to cash in on it. Presently the campaign has two more interesting sub-campaigns going on Atithidevo Bhava and Clean India campaign. Both the campaigns have launched their websites and do have a social media presence. However, both need lot of work to be done in their social media presence. For instance, Atithidevo Bhava has a Facebook page but without a cover page, Twitter is in a very sorry state and similar is the case with the Clear India campaign too.
However the ministry says that – “By linking these two sites with the Facebook, we have tried to establish a direct contact with masses and make the campaign more visible” which brings me to a simple question- is mere linking of websites to a Facebook page be defined as Social Media?
I won’t be commenting on what kind of engagement Incredible India would be driving as it is yet to be launched but the Ministry can very well take a look to the work that Chattisgarh Tourism has done on social media. I wish that the government draws a meaningful strategy rather than just creating social media pages and displaying the icons on websites. Hopefully it should not walk the way as the Karnataka Tourism had done in past. Tourism is an amazing subject and India has loads of rare information that needs to be shared with its people and with the world. So the governments move to connect the Incredible India campaign with Facebook is definitely a positive one but it should be done with a well defined objective and well-drawn strategy to back it up.
Do you think that our government has shown serious efforts when it comes to social media or has it done just a lip service?