Political Parties Of Bihar Are Logging Onto Social Media. But Is It Effective?

Politicians of Bihar have found a new interest in social media. So we look at their social media initiatives to engage with the youth.

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Yesterday, we had shared about Karnataka’s regional party KPCC embarking on social media due to the forthcoming state elections. Today we came across a story at Firstpost that highlighted on the fact that politicians of Bihar have found a new interest in social media. From the ruling government leader Nitish Kumar to the members of JD (U), LJP President Ramvilas Paswan, and more are creating a presence on social media to lure the youth.

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Nitish Kumar, the man who is pushing hard for an image makeover has adopted social media for the cause. The Chief Minister who had recently launched the campaign of Special Status for Bihar in the capital has used Facebook to create awareness about the demand. He has presence on Facebook, Twitter and also has a blog but none of them are active. In fact the pages that have been created by his fans on Facebook are much more active.

Kumar’s aide Sanjay Jha, a former BJP MLC agreed that the blog has not been active for some time now which has more than 2K followers but plans are to revive it soon. Party members like deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, rural development minister Nitish Mishra, information technology minister Shahid Ali Khan and social welfare minister Parveen Amanullah have also joined the bandwagon and trying to create a presence on social networking sites.

The rival parties are not behind too. LJP president Ramvilas Paswan and former minister Upendra Kushwaha have also acknowledged the power of social media and opened up their presence. However, veteran leader and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has still kept a distance but his fans have created a presence for him.

Is it effective?

If we can recall in the 90’s when the Internet was slowly penetrating into our lives, every one had only one aim – to open a website. Today the aim has walked a few steps and is about creating a social media presence. I am not against this but creating for the heck of it just because everyone is doing or for the sake of followers then it is a mere waste of everyone’s effort.

The story that does not mention the specific social media accounts of the ministers, has failed to understand the medium like the politicians of Maharashtra. However, our findings have a different story to say.

1. The social media presence created by most of the politicians are inactive. Best example is the presence of the Chief Minister.

2. Creating a presence and showing an intent to inform as well as engage are two different things. The political parties have understood the step one but not the later.

3. Zero integration between websites and social presence. The websites should at least list the official social networks of the politicians or their respective parties.

However, the social media presence of deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi stands out from all other political leaders. The deputy chief minster has made a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

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With more than 95K fans on Facebook and 4805 followers on Twitter, the minister has not only been active but has also been sharing his views quite boldly. The Facebook page is filled with the latest updates and his view points in the national language too. Though the blog has not been active and the tweets are a copy of the Facebook updates, it was encouraging to see that the website was quite well integrated with the social channels.

A social media presence even with thousands of followers would do no good. It’s time when political parties draw a leaf from social media efforts driven by leaders like Sushil Kumar Modi, Narendra Modi, Dr. C.P.Joshi, etc. since a major chunk of prospective electoral candidates are spending time on social media.