If we are going to witness assembly elections in 2014 then one thing is for sure that social media would be the big driver and decision maker. We have already seen in the past how Akhilesh Yadav used social media during the state elections in Uttar Pradesh. The early signs that we had already witnessed has got some more strength by Mamata Banerjee joining Facebook and asking support from the netizens of India. As we know that the entire nation is eagerly waiting for it’s new President but that’s being delayed due to internal party politics. Mamata Banerjee who has been pitching APJ Abdul Kalam as the potential candidate for the post has been snubbed by the UPA and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Finding no support from any party, Mamata and her party Trinamool Congress has logged into Facebook and asking for support from Indians.
The Facebook Fan Page
The Facebook fan page that was launched on 15th June, 2012 has got a fan following of more than 16,000 with just 2 Facebook updates. The party which has used social media in past has used the timeline feature and added some important milestones of Mamata Banerjees’s life. The first post that started with Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poem – “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…” was an appeal made to the people to support the choice of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam as the President of India. The engagement that the post had will make any social media guru envious 2,655 Facebook shares, 8136 likes and more than 4,000 comments.
If that was not enough the page has already got one more update which has a message of thank you from Mamata Banerjee and it has also got some massive response from the fans – 739 shares, more than 4000 likes and more than 2000 fans have already shared their comments.
Is the move a right one?
An extremely well planned move by Mamata Banerjee and her party for two reasons majorly:
1. After the Arab uprising, the Anna’s movement and the recent CD controversy of Abhishek Manu Singhvi which led him to leave his party post, has made us believe in the powers of social media. So after being snubbed by her allies, going to the citizens of India especially the youth, was undoubtedly a right choice.
2. In the past, Mamata Banerjee and her party’s image on social media was not appreciated much by the netizens. #arrestmenow and the urge to delete morphed images from Facebook created a lot of backlash. The new move has not only given Mamata Banerjee an opportunity to reach out to people specially the youth on Facebook but will help settle the dust on older issues.
The move no doubt is a masterstroke but it would be interesting to keep a watch on what happens to the page once the President has been elected. In the past, I have witnessed that most of the pages die because they were born with small objectives and not with the idea of community building. However, the recent statement from Mamata – “Whatever I have to say, I will say it on Facebook.” to the media has made me believe that she and her party are taking the right steps to mint from the medium.
Don’t you think that this move may not be the deciding factor for the election of the President of India but it has surely changed Trinamool Congress and Mamata’s image on social media?